The wait for an NCAA ruling on Fresno State transfer wide receiver Jalen Saunders continues.
Saunders has asked the NCAA to waive its requirement that transfers sit out a season. Oklahoma assistant coach Jay Norvell has said the request related to personal, off-the-field issues. OU coach Bob Stoops said he expected an announcement any day.
"I thought I would have heard by now," Stoops said, "but it's not uncommon to get it a little bit late."
OU coaches have spoken highly of Saunders, an All-WAC performer last year as an outside receiver. Stoops said on Monday that Saunders continues to practice with the team. Kenny Stills, Trey Metoyer and Penn State transfer Justin Brown are listed as OU's starting receivers.
WAY'S GOALS: WIN, EMBARRASS THE OPPOSING PUNTER
Few deny that UTEP is severely overmatched against No. 4 Oklahoma heading into Saturday's game in El Paso, Texas. Miners coach Mike Price even went so far as to say Monday that the Sooners "have no weaknesses."
But there is one area where UTEP, based on last year's stats, holds an advantage — punting.
OU senior Tress Way averaged 42 yards per punt last season, with a long kick of 67 yards. Miners senior Ian Campbell ranked fourth nationally at 46.1 yards, which included 18 punts of 50-plus yards and long of 71 yards.
Campbell probably would have led the nation if his 75-yarder late in a blowout loss to Tulsa hadn't been negated when he was roughed.
Also witnessing Campbell's powerful leg that day was Tulsa punter Cole Way, who happens to be Tress Way's little brother.
"My little brother texted me ... and he said, 'Man, UTEP's got a good punter,'" Tress Way said. "I said, 'Yeah, well, we'll see what happens.' I'm planning on dropping some bombs, and if he wants to come be a part of that, we'll see how it goes.
"I'm a competitive guy, so no matter which team we're playing, the ultimate goal is to win the game. The secondary goal is for me to embarrass the other punter and make it not even close."
DEFENSIVE TACKLE PHILLIPS DEVELOPING TECHNIQUE
Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jordan Phillips is already a fan favorite, and he hasn't even played in a game yet.
Lots of Sooner fans are eager to see Phillips (6-foot-6, 318 pounds) in action, but he said Monday that he isn't sure where he fits in the defensive tackle rotation at this point, and that he knows he's still got work to do to earn that playing time.
The first depth chart released by Oklahoma since the spring lists Phillips as senior David King's backup. The chart is listed, however, as an "unofficial" one.
Phillips said the redshirt season last year was good for him, because, he admits, he came in "raw."
"I didn't have much technique," Phillips said. "Coach (Jackie) Shipp just drills technique. I somewhat have my technique down, and that's helped me a lot to get in the rotation."
Phillips added that Stoops talked to him about needing to step up even before senior Stacy McGee's indefinite suspension earlier this month.
"Coach Stoops told me I need to get prepared and be ready to play this year," Phillips said. "That just made me work harder, I guess."
FINCH STOPS TWEETING
A day after tweeting that he might delete his account, Roy Finch became the second Sooner to stop using Twitter before the Sooners' season opener.
Safety Tony Jefferson deactivated his account before the start of fall camp.
Finch said he chose to stop tweeting because it was a distraction from class and football.
Finch said he sent a last few tweets and then stopped.
"I just got too consumed in it," Finch said. "I'm just trying to keep my head focused for this season and not get wrapped up in what other people say about me."
Jefferson cited his main reason also being it was a distraction. Both Finch and Jefferson said they will likely rejoin the Twittersphere before the season is over. Finch joked with the media that it will likely be after a high-yardage game for him.
UTEP: BY THE NUMBERS
10 — Career touchdown passes for UTEP's Nick Lamaison. The Miners' quarterback has a 4-5 career record with 10 interceptions.
0 — Bowl wins for UTEP over the past 45 years. The Miners beat Ole Miss in the 1967 Sun Bowl, but since then have only appeared in, and lost, five bowl games.
10 — Missed field goals by UTEP kickers last season. Steven Valdez, the Miners expected starter, was 1 of 2. OU kickers were 25 for 28.
170 — Career rushing yards returning to the Miners' backfield. UTEP lost its top three tailbacks from last season and will start a sophomore (Nathan Jeffrey) with 24 career carries, backed up by another one (Josh Bell) with only three attempts. The two have combined for one touchdown.