Notes from Owen Field
Most courageous award
Not even the death of his daughter detered OU director of football operations Merv Johnson from his role as color analyst on the Sooner Sports Radio Network.
Johnson's 29-year-old daughter, Jill Foster, died in an automobile accident near Langley last Sunday afternoon.
Her funeral was Wednesday morning in Norman, and Johnson returned to his office Thursday.
"I had to be here," Johnson said an hour before kickoff. "The worst place I could be right now is home, not doing anything but thinking about Jill. I need to stay busy."
The Foster family was honored with a
moment of silence seven minutes before
The Sooners played without starting linebacker Torrance
Marshall and backup free safety Brandon Everage, both serving suspensions for unspecified reasons.
Marshall is a senior and one of the team's six captains. Everage is a redshirt freshman.
Neither player suited
for the game, instead
watching in street clothes from the sideline.
Now and then
UTEP coach Gary Nord noticed one big difference in the Sooners upon his return to Norman -- Josh Heupel.
Nord was the OU offensive coordinator for one season, before being ushered out of town with Howard Schnellenberger after a 5-5-1 season in 1995.
That year, the Sooners struggled with an erratic Eric Moore at quarterback in a would-be passing offense.
"The difference is they have an outstanding quarterback," Nord said. "We had to
make a quarterback out of a receiver.
That's basically the bottom line."
Hotter than ever
The temperature at game time was 106 degrees, making Saturday's start the hottest opener in Sooner history.
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