When UTEP quarterback Nick Lamaison was asked last month who would be the best quarterback on the field in the Miners opener against OU, Lamaison gave Landry Jones his deserved respect, but then said he hoped to be the most impressive signal-caller in El Paso.
“I've seen him play, and he's a great player and I have a lot of respect for him, but Sept 1, if he's the guy, or whatever quarterbacks come into a game, you always want to outperform the other guy,” Lamaison said.
Through a bit of overhype, the harmless quote made its way to Norman on Monday afternoon, becoming a talking point at the weekly press conference. But the mini-controversy was quickly squashed, because Jones gave the most- Jones-type answer he could have when asked about it.
“I heard it today,” Jones said, before being pressed further. “I'm going to go out there and play Oklahoma football.”
WHALEY LOOKS LIKE OLD WHALEY
Bob Stoops said he expects former walk-on running back Dominique Whaley to pick up where he left off last season before he suffered a broken ankle against Kansas State.
Stoops was asked Monday during the Big 12 teleconference if Whaley can repeat his 627 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, essentially in six games, before he was lost on the first offensive series in Manhattan.
“I really think so,” Stoops said. “In my mind, he looks to be back to what Dom always was, that's explosive, strong, fast. Whether he's 100 percent or not, maybe only he and the good Lord really know.”
STOOPS HIGH ON DAMIEN WILLIAMS
You haven't heard much about OU tailback Damien Williams. But Stoops said Monday that “Williams has really been impressive and will definitely get a bunch of snaps.”
Williams, a junior college transfer from Arizona Western, is listed as the co-backup tailback, along with Brennan Clay. He was a first-team juco All-American last season, when he rushed for 1,931 yards and 26 touchdowns.
SAUNDERS LEARNS 2012 FATE TUESDAY
Stoops said he expects to know Tuesday the result of Jalen Saunders' waiver request to the NCAA for immediate eligibility.
Saunders led Fresno State in receiving last season as a sophomore with 50 catches, 1,065 yards and 12 touchdowns while earning All-WAC honors.
If Saunders becomes eligible, OU will have gone in three months from having one active wide receiver with a one career Division I catch, Kenny Stills, to having three of them — Saunders, Stills and Penn State transfer Justin Brown.
As for transfer and former Arizona defensive back Cortez Johnson, he will not play this season. He will return in 2013 as a redshirt sophomore.
Lose helmet, lose yards
The new helmet rule in college football puts a 15-yard penalty against any team whose player loses his helmet and continues in the flow of the game. In other words, lose your helmet, remove yourself from the action.
The rule is in response to two factors: 1) the increasing fear of concussions; and 2) the propensity for players to lose their helmets these days. A generation ago, it was rare to see a helmet fly off. Now, it's common.
Stoops said Monday his staff has been prepping for the new rule, “really since the rule came out. Spring, summer, anyone whose helmet came off in practice, we made a note of it. Managers were checking it. How, why, figure out if something's wrong with it. Been very diligent.”
JUCO TE SANDLAND STILL WITH NO DECISION
Junior college tight end Beau Sandland made his second visit to Norman this weekend. Sandland didn't make a decision and will look at all his options before he declares.
There are currently six tight ends on the OU roster.
“It was alarming, at first, looking at their signing class,” Sandland told Sooner Nation. “The more guys they sign, the more competition there is. But they have a couple of high school kids who are really young and inexperienced.”
UTEP coach Mike Price on Miners fans: “Our fans would tailgate for a Dairy Queen opening.”