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Oklahoma football: 2012 season in review

SOONERS — Looking back at Oklahoma's 10-3 season, with a sneak peek at the Sooners' offseason to-do list.
by Jason Kersey Modified: January 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm •  Published: January 5, 2013

Oklahoma's 2012-13 season got off to a slow start, hit speed bumps with home losses to Kansas State and Notre Dame, and then ended with a thud Friday, when the Sooners lost 41-13 in the Cotton Bowl to Texas A&M.

The Sooners finished 10-3 and co-champions of the Big 12 Conference.

Here's a look back, and a look ahead:

Offensive MVP: Landry Jones, senior quarterback

Jones' college career ended in disappointment, but that shouldn't overshadow the impact he's had on Oklahoma's program and 2012-13 season. The four-year starting quarterback completed 66 percent of his passes this season for 4,267 yards and 30 touchdowns, with 11 interceptions. Jones' costly turnovers were ultimately the difference in an early season loss to Kansas State, but he was mostly outstanding the rest of the season. His career ends with 16,646 passing yards and 123 touchdowns.

Defensive MVP: Aaron Colvin, junior cornerback

Colvin narrowly edges fellow safety Tony Jefferson as the Sooners' most valuable defensive player. Oklahoma's secondary struggled late in the season against high-powered offenses; neither Colvin nor Jefferson were blameless, but still were clearly the top players on OU's defense. Colvin moved back to cornerback from safety before the season and was stellar early. Another college season and he could become a first-round NFL Draft prospect. He finished his junior year with 61 tackles, two sacks and four interceptions.

Biggest surprise: Jalen Saunders, junior receiver

Saunders transferred from Fresno State last May. The NCAA initially denied immediate eligibility for Saunders, a former first-team All-WAC selection, but the decision was overturned on appeal a few days before Oklahoma's fifth game in October. He made a quick impact on Oklahoma's offense in the slot, finishing the year with 62 catches, 829 yards and three touchdowns in nine games. He's due Tuesday in court to face a misdemeanor charge for marijuana possession, stemming from an early morning traffic stop Dec. 2 with sophomore defensive back Cortez Johnson.

Biggest disappointment: Late-season defense

Oklahoma's defense — in its first year since defensive coordinator Mike Stoops' return — allowed season totals of 5,178 yards and 331 points. But over half the points (172) and nearly half the yards (2,325) came in four late-season contests, shootout wins over Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State, and Friday's embarrassing Cotton Bowl loss to Texas A&M. Stoops tinkered with varying personnel groups, but none seemed to stop those high-powered offenses from having their way.

Best win: Texas (Oct. 13, Dallas)

Oklahoma blew the Longhorns out of Cotton Bowl Stadium for the fourth time of Bob Stoops' 14-year tenure, 63-21. The Sooner defense played spectacular, Blake Bell scored four touchdowns and Damien Williams busted off a Red River Rivalry record 95-yard touchdown run that opened the floodgates. Two of Texas' touchdowns came late in the fourth quarter against OU reserves.

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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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