WILLIAMS TO MISS COTTON BOWL
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops announced Friday that sophomore tackle Daryl Williams is expected to miss the Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M, scheduled for Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The sophomore sprained his MCL early in Oklahoma's 50-49 win at West Virginia on Nov. 17, and missed the Sooners' final two regular-season games.
Williams — an honorable mention selection on the coaches' All-Big 12 team — started the first 10 games of the year at right tackle; sophomore Tyrus Thompson replaced him in the lineup for the Sooners' wins against Oklahoma State and at TCU.
Oklahoma's offensive line, which began the season among the Sooners' deepest position groups, has been victim of staggering attrition since before preseason practices began.
Before the Sooners' season opener, senior center Ben Habern chose to end his career because of lingering neck and back issues; senior guard Tyler Evans tore his ACL within the first few days of fall camp; redshirt freshman tackle Dylan Dismuke took a medical hardship, ending his career because of a severe knee injury; and true freshman guard John Michael McGee quit the team shortly after joining it.
The injuries didn't stop once the season began. Redshirt freshman guard Nila Kasitati tore his ACL late in the Sooners' Oct. 6 win at Texas Tech; junior center/guard Gabe Ikard missed one game with a concussion; and starters Bronson Irwin, Adam Shead and Lane Johnson have all battled pesky ankle issues.
JONES, JOHNSON INVITED TO SENIOR BOWL
Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson and quarterback Landry Jones have each been invited to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl, which is set for January 26, 2013, at Ladd-Peoples Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
The all-star game, which will be televised by NFL Network, marks the 16th consecutive Senior Bowl with Oklahoma represented in it.
Johnson, a Grovetown, Texas, native, was a junior-college quarterback, came to Oklahoma as a tight end and played defensive end before moving to the offensive line last season. He started 10 games at left tackle this season, and 11 at right tackle last year. Jones, from Artesia, N.M., is the Big 12’s all-time leader in passing yards and total offense.
STILLS CALLS HIS SEASON ‘SUB-PAR'
Oklahoma receiver Kenny Stills labels himself a pessimist when it comes to most things.
Asked to assess his junior season — during which he's caught 75 passes for 892 yards and 11 touchdowns — he said he felt his performance was “subpar.”
“I'm my biggest critic; I always have been,” Stills said. “I have high expectations for myself, and there's still too many times when I'm dropping easy balls, and kinda leaving my body out there. I definitely expect more from myself.”
NORVELL ON SAUNDERS: ‘THAT'LL HANDLE ITSELF IN TIME'
Oklahoma junior receiver Jalen Saunders, the Fresno State transfer who became one of the team's most dynamic offensive weapons after gaining his eligibility midseason, is practicing with the team like usual, co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said.
Saunders was arrested along with sophomore defensive back Cortez Johnson early in the morning on Sunday, Dec. 2, hours after the Sooners' regular-season finale. Both face misdemeanor charges for marijuana possession; Saunders is scheduled to appear in court January 8, four days after Oklahoma's Cotton Bowl tilt with Texas A&M.
“We're just coaching him up,” Norvell said. “That'll handle itself in time. We don't have any control. We just coach him up and get him ready to play. We'll play the guys that can play.”