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Redshirt freshman MLB Frank Shannon will continue to play more, Mike Stoops says

by Jason Kersey Published: October 10, 2012
Sophomore linebacker Frank Shannon, right, will enter the 2013 season as a starting inside linebacker. PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN
Sophomore linebacker Frank Shannon, right, will enter the 2013 season as a starting inside linebacker. PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN
NORMAN — Redshirt freshman middle linebacker Frank Shannon got his shot at some significant playing time in last week’s 41-20 win at Texas Tech, and took full advantage of it.

Shannon entered the game in place of starting middle linebacker Tom Wort after Tech quarterback Seth Doege completed a few passes on Wort early in the game. Shannon finished with a team-high six tackles.

The redshirt freshman also made one of the game’s key plays when Texas Tech attempted a fourth down conversion on its first drive of the second half, with OU leading 24-13.

Shannon burst between blockers and recorded a sack, stopping any momentum Doege and the Red Raiders’ offense had begun to build on that third-quarter opening drive. Tech had advanced to OU’s 36-yard line before Shannon’s sack.

“I just went into the game thinking that I just had to go out there and play hard and make good plays and read my keys,” Shannon said.

Shannon’s pass defense skills and continued improvement were on full display Saturday, but defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said Wort, a junior with 25 career starts, remains the starter.

“Frank played exceptionally well and certainly continues to earn more playing time,” Mike Stoops said. “But as of right now, Tom’s our starter. We just want to bring Frank along and continue to give him more snaps.”

But when asked if Shannon is better suited for the Big 12’s pass-heavy offenses, Mike Stoops answered in the affirmative.

“I’d say that is really an accurate statement, just because of the spread offenses,” he said. “(Wort is) built for more downhill. He’s a big, physical middle linebacker.

“We’re going to see a big part of that in this week’s prepartion too. Texas is gonna try to run at you. They’re gonna try to wear you down too. I think that’s right up Tom’s alley as well.”

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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