Austin Woods smiled as he answered every question the media asked.
He was smiling because he'd done it.
The junior offensive lineman completed his chemotherapy treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma on Monday and took Tuesday off from practice.
“I'm a little more tired than I thought I would be,” Woods said. “I'm not sure if it's just because of school and lifting and chemotherapy or what.”
Woods was diagnosed with cancer soon after the spring game. He went through the entire preseason while going through chemotherapy and only missed a practice or two. He said the port still remains in his chest, and he still has another scan in three weeks that will tell him whether or not he is in remission, but all of his scans previously have come back “excellent.”
Oct. 1 was his last chemotherapy treatment.
“I'm really happy that I made it through and not too many setbacks along the way,” Woods said. “All my teammates and the fans helped out a lot.”
DEFENSE FOCUSES ON TURNOVERS AND BATTED BALLS
Oklahoma's defense worked this week on creating turnovers — whether that's forcing an interception or knocking down passes.
David King said the defense hasn't been performing to its standards.
“We usually have seven or eight at this point,” King said about batted balls. So far, Oklahoma has zero batted balls in 2012.
King said Texas Tech's pass-heavy offense will mean that defenders either need to get in the pocket or get their hands up.
“He's not a real tall quarterback,” King said of Seth Doege, the Red Raiders' starter. “We've got to get our hands up, or if we can't get in there, we've got to create some pressure in the backfield.”
Defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright put a strong emphasis on getting hands up and stripping the ball.
“His mouth out there,” King said, “he's just yelling at everybody. … We're just not getting any turnovers and that's just not the level we're used to playing at around here.”
OU HAS TO ‘WATCH IT' IN PRACTICES
Now that Oklahoma has already been through both of its 2012 regular-season bye weeks, the Sooners have nine straight weeks of a brutal Big 12 schedule, starting with Saturday's game at Texas Tech.
Sooners coach Bob Stoops was asked if he'll change anything practice-wise because of the long stretch of games — and possible injuries that could result from it.
“Injuries in today's game are an issue for everybody,” Stoops said. “You get thin real fast, so the more you go good-on-good, you're always susceptible to get someone banged up.
“If you don't, you're worried about making the strides you need to in practice. You have to watch it. You have to get some against each other and you have to keep trying to develop players that haven't played as much in practice as well.”
MORE Of STOOPS' THOUGHTS ON INJURIES
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy recently announced that he'll no longer discuss any player injuries.
Stoops was asked about Gundy's new policy during his Monday news conference.
“I like his policy,” Stoops said. “I've never addressed it when I thought a guy had an opportunity to play."
Stoops repeated what he's said in the past: He doesn't want his players' weaknesses out there for opponents to exploit.
“If a guy's been out, I've been pretty forthcoming about saying he's out,” Stoops said.
“I don't know that I'll change that right now, but I'll see how it goes for Mike.”
Two weeks ago, Stoops also said he thinks going too public with injury reporting contributes to gambling on college sports.
“I don't believe in that,” he said then
“I say to heck with them.”
ARMANTI FOREMAN COMMITS TO OU
The Sooners got their first commitment for the 2014 class late Monday when wide receiver Armanti Foreman committed.
Foreman (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) had more than 900 receiving yards as a sophomore last year for Texas City, Texas.
He was offered by the Sooners in mid-September and wasted no time jumping on board. OU was Foreman's first offer.
Oklahoma wide receivers coach Jay Norvell visited Texas City last month, sparking the interest from Foreman.
Foreman's commitment is nonbinding. He can sign beginning in early February 2014.