Practice report (8-31-09)
The Sooners held their first game-week practice of the year, as OU prepares for Saturday’s game against BYU. Three pieces of news came from today:
1. Mike Balogun will not travel with the team to Arlington as he continues his fight with the NCAA.
What Bob Stoops said about Balogun: “Right now he’s not certified so that tells me I can’t bring him.
“It’s looking that way, at least this week. I don’t want to say something definitively and then something comes back during the week that we didn’t know about. Right now, that’s what he’s anticipating.”
My take: As long as Balogun continues to be decertified by the NCAA, he will not be playing on the field, regardless of what happens in the courtroom. It’s too much risk for the OU program on one player. The good news is that the Idaho St. is next week, so essentially the Sooners have 2 weeks before they would need him again. But time will tell if the NCAA makes a ruling by then.
2. Former tight end Brody Eldridge will start at center, but could also play tight end in spots Saturday.
What Stoops said about Eldridge: “He’s still working there. He does well there. As long as everything is still good and consistent at tight end, we’re going to work him there. You think about it, Brody, as I have said for the last two years, has been one of our best players and it allows him to be on the field even more. That’s our thinking and you never know, things may change, but he’ll work there some.
“He’s awfully good there. I don’t see a big deal in it. It would if he had only been here a year, but this guy’s been great for us for three years. When we see him doing a great job there against our d-line this whole time. He’s going to have another number if we want to put him at tight end and work some other guys, he can do that too.”
My take: Brody starting at center is not surprising; him playing tight end and center in one game is. Stoops couldn’t recall a specific incident of a player having to go back and forth between numbers. Neither can I. Will it happen? I think so. Coaches told Ben Habern that he would play this weekend, which means that Eldridge will either be on the sidelines or on the field at tight end when that happens. My guess is the latter.
3. Stephen Good has fallen behind Jarvis Jones atop the depth chart at right guard.
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