Oklahoma junior Geneo Grissom said the defensive lineman group is like a “brotherhood.”
That's why Grissom and the other defensive linemen were supportive after sophomore Charles Tapper's fourth-quarter ejection Thursday night against Baylor, but also honest.
“We all told him that was a bonehead choice to make, but we've all got his back no matter what,” Grissom said.
After Baylor's final extra-point attempt of its 41-12 rout of Oklahoma, a Baylor lineman hit Tapper in the facemask, prompting Tapper to respond with a punch.
Officials flagged Tapper for unnecessary roughness and ejected him. The Big 12 Conference issued a one-half suspension in response.
“This is his first time being in a situation like this, first time being out there and just having all this publicity and whatnot,” said junior defensive end Chuka Ndulue. “You've gotta hold yourself to a higher standard. A lot of people are looking at you. You can't just react like that. I understand he was getting frustrated. I was, too. Everyone was getting frustrated. You've just gotta learn to keep your anger down.”
Ndulue noted the Baylor player threw the first punch, but that doesn't excuse Tapper's reaction.
“The second guy always gets caught, because if you watch it, the dude jabbed him first and Tap responded,” Ndulue said. “Everyone makes mistakes, and I told him he's gonna be all right. Right now it's gonna look bad, a lot of people are gonna talk to him about it and get at him in social media. But if he just keeps his head up, before he knows it, in two weeks, it'll be behind him.
IKARD: ‘I'M STILL MAD AT KIRK HERBSTREIT'
Three years later, Gabe Ikard is still upset with Kirk Herbstreit.
Herbstreit was the color commentator for Oklahoma's 47-41 win over Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Nov. 27, 2010, and blamed Ikard for a third-quarter sack on Landry Jones.
Cowboys linebacker Justin Gent burst through a giant hole in the left side of Oklahoma's offensive line and sacked Jones for a nine-yard loss.
“I think because they disguised it so well, there's confusion right here by the left guard, this time Ikard, he comes down, and allows Gent to come free,” Herbstreit said during the broadcast.
Ikard said offensive linemen generally don't deal with much criticism on social media except when they make a glaring mistake — or a TV announcer incorrectly blames them for something.
“You know, offensive linemen don't throw interceptions,” Ikard said. “We don't fumble. We don't drop passes. They leave us alone pretty well, unless something's glaring.
“The most frustrating thing social media-wise is when an announcer says something that's completely wrong, that it wasn't your fault, it's the way something was designed or something went wrong from a skill position or a guy went the wrong way, or something like that, and they blame it on you.
“I'm still made at Kirk Herbstreit. He blamed a sack on me at Oklahoma State, and it was not my fault. It was (left tackle Donald Stephenson's) fault. It was slide protection.
“I get all these things that say, ‘Dude, I can't believe you gave up that sack.' Well, it wasn't my fault.”
OU-KANSAS STATE KICKOFF SET FOR 11 A.M.
For the fourth time this season, Oklahoma will kickoff at 11 a.m.
The Big 12 Conference announced Tuesday that the Sooners' Nov. 23 game at Kansas State would kick off in the morning and be televised on Fox Sports 1.
It will be the second consecutive 11 a.m. kickoff for the Sooners, who will also start at 11 a.m. Saturday at home against Iowa State.
The Sooners have increased 11 a.m. games in each of the last four seasons. They also kicked off that early against Tulsa and Texas.
SHOATE WILL BE HONORED SATURDAY
During Saturday's game against Iowa State, representatives from the National Football Foundation will make a presentation to the family of the late Rod Shoate.
Shoate, the former Sooners linebacker, will be posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame at the NFF's awards dinner next month and be officially enshrined during a ceremony next summer in Atlanta.
Shoate was a three-time All-America pick from 1972-74, earning consensus All-America honors in 1973 and was a unanimous pick in 1974.
He had 420 tackles in his career and finished seventh in the 1974 Heisman Trophy voting.