NORMAN — Oklahoma improved to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in Big 12 Conference play with Saturday’s 38-30 win over Texas Tech.
Here’s a look at our coverage for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com, followed by a few quick thoughts:
* My game story: Oklahoma’s offense gets back on track in 38-30 win over Texas Tech
* Jenni Carlson’s column: Jalen Saunders provides much-needed spark to Sooners’ offense
* From Ryan Aber: Trey Millard out for the season with torn ACL
* Our OU notebook, with items on Gabe Lynn, the weather delay and linebackers
* Q&A with OU running back Damien Williams, who rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns
* What they’re saying about Saturday’s game
* OU-Texas Tech by the numbers
* Jenni Carlson’s OU report card
Other random thoughts, notes and observations:
* Offensive starters: QB Blake Bell; HB Damien Williams; FB Trey Millard; WR Jalen Saunders; WR Sterling Shepard; OT Tyrus Thompson; OT Tyrus Thompson; OG Bronson Irwin; C Gabe Ikard; OG Adam Shead; OT Daryl Williams.
* Defensive starters: DE Chuka Ndulue; DT Jordan Wade; DE Charles Tapper; LB Eric Striker; LB Frank Shannon; LB Dominique Alexander; CB Aaron Colvin; FS Gabe Lynn; SS Quentin Hayes; NB Julian Wilson; CB Zack Zanchez.
* The game’s start was delayed by an hour and 15 minutes because of potentially inclement weather, but I honestly never saw anything that looked too serious. But, hey, I’m not a weather man, so what the heck do I know?
* Texas Tech fans, former players and — apparently — current players weren’t pleased with our pregame coverage. Jenni Carlson’s pregame column on Tech wasn’t all that well received by lots of the Red Raider faithful. Apparently coaches made newspapers available to the Tech players during their game day breakfast. Hey, I’m just glad they’re buying papers!
* I feel awful for Trey Millard. He’s a really good guy and a great player who really risked his future by coming back for his senior year at Oklahoma. I’m not sure how much he really would’ve improved his draft stock with a full senior season, because fullbacks generally aren’t high picks anyway. I just hope he’s able to recover and still be drafted next April.
* Junior Trey Franks has apparently moved back to wide receiver. He was a receiver before his year-long suspension last season, but switched to safety during the suspension. He looked really good in the spring game last April at safety, but hadn’t seen any playing time on defense this season through seven games.
* After the first quarter, Blake Bell looked like the same Oklahoma quarterback that played against Tulsa and Notre Dame. It will be interesting to see if he can carry this momentum through the bye week and into the Sooners’ hugely important Thursday night game at Baylor.
* Damien Williams only had 14 rushing yards in the first half, but picked up 70 on the first drive of the second half alone. He finished with a team-high 97 yards and two touchdowns.
* Good to see the Sooners finally get Jalen Saunders involved in the offense. He’s a big-time playmaker but had struggled to get involved much throughout the early part of the season.
* Who has thrown the best deep ball of the season so far for Oklahoma — Lacoltan Bester last week vs. Kansas or Blake Bell this week vs. Texas Tech? I might have to give Bester the nod.
* After the weather delay, I admit being a little skeptical that Oklahoma fans would all return to their seats and “create a ruckus,” as the athletic department had asked them to do all week. But the fans were really good, especially at the end of the game.
* Lots of Sooners ran the perimeter of the field after the game and high-fived the remaining Oklahoma fans. That was a pretty cool moment.
I asked Blake Bell about it during his postgame news conference.
“It’s great,” he said. “Obviously with the day like it was, with the rain and sleet all day, still having the whole student section there and all the fans staying there, that’s great. After a win like that, to go around and show some love and support.”
* Oklahoma’s special teams units were duped a couple times. The fake punt return (or whatever that thing was called) was pretty impressive. Then the Red Raiders pulled off a successful onside kick in the third quarter that helped them get back in the game.
* Sophomore receiver Sterling Shepard passed his father’s career reception mark with five catches tonight. Derrick Shepard, of course, was a mid-1980s receiver standout who died in 1999 of a heart attack at age 35.
* Bob Stoops is now one win from tying Barry Switzer’s all-time program record of 157 wins. The soonest Stoops could tie Switzer would be Thursday, Nov. 7 at Baylor, and the soonest he could break Switzer’s record would be Saturday, Nov. 16 against Iowa State at home.
* I’m pretty exhausted after that game, so I’m gonna make this postgame blog a little shorter than they usually are. Sorry about that, but we’ll have plenty of Oklahoma football coverage in the coming days to get you through the bye week.
PEEKING AHEAD TO THE NEXT GAME
Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) at Baylor (7-0, 4-0 Big 12)
When: 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 7
Where: Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, Texas
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Cox 67/HD 728, Dish 150, DirecTV 219, U-verse 652/1652)
Radio: KOKC-AM 1520, The Franchise-107.7 FM