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Berry Tramel

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OU football: TU will miss Johnson on kickoffs

by Berry Tramel Published: August 29, 2011

The University of Tulsa apparently will be without star receiver Damaris Johnson on Saturday against OU at Owen Field. The Golden Hurricane might miss Johnson most on kickoffs.

Johnson was suspended by TU coach Bill Blankenship last week after Tulsa police questioned Johnson and arrested his girlfriend, alleging she sold him merchandise worth thousands of dollars but charged him pennies on the dollar.

Johnson was a second-team all-American last season and is the NCAA career leader in all-purpose yardage. Johnson rushed for 560 yards last season and caught 57 passes for 872 yards. But he might be most dangerous on kickoff returns — Johnson holds the NCAA record for career kickoff return yards, 3,417 yards. He’s returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

Tulsa has a potent offense. But TU’s best scoring opportunities might come on kickoff returns, which the Sooners have been lax in covering in recent years. “He’s an electrifying punt returner as well,” Bob Stoops said.

Stoops said he figures TU won’t change its offense much at all without Johnson. “Obviously, he’s a major weapon and a constant threat,” Stoops said. “But I’m sure they’re not going to switch what they’re doing.”

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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