Oklahoma football: Wide receiver Jalen Saunders ruled ineligible, NCAA denies appeal

Saunders led Fresno State last season with 50 catches for 1,065 yards and 12 touchdowns.
by Jason Kersey and Stephanie Kuzydym Published: September 3, 2012

“That's something we wanted to do, and we're doing that,” said running backs coach Cale Gundy. “The thing with Trey is, he's one of our best tight ends. He's also our best fullback, and he's also our best carrier. He's a hybrid. You have to find ways to get him touches.”

In Saturday's season opener at UTEP, though, Millard got two carries for six yards. He caught two passes for 19 yards.

“I thought Damien (Williams) ran it pretty decent, didn't he?” Bob Stoops responded when asked about Millard's lack of touches. “So did Dom (Whaley). I'm not going to sit here and worry that each guy has gotta get this many (touches). It just happens to be in the flow of the game.”

Last season, Millard only had 24 carries, but one of them was a 61-yard touchdown run at Kansas State.

A TYPICAL DAY OF PREPARATION FOR JAYDAN BIRD

Jaydan Bird makes plays on both sides of OU's ball. He's a fullback on offense and a linebacker on defense.

On Saturday against UTEP, the senior from Wichita, Kan., was one of the lead blockers in the Belldozer and also blocked UTEP's fake punt attempt.

A typical workout for Bird is a split practice, usually starting with offense first and then defense. He said coaches talk before practice about the packages they're working on for the day and where they'll need Bird. Playing both sides of the ball means more time in the film room.

“I enjoy it,” Bird said. “It's fun going both ways. You gotta stay in shape. After that first game, running down the field, a 65-yard run, then turning straight around and going on kickoff, I was tired.”

EXTRA POINTS

*Landry Jones's 68-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills wasn't just the longest reception of Stills' career — it was also the longest play from scrimmage for OU since Nov. 27, 2010. Jones found Cameron Kenney against Oklahoma State for an 86-yard touchdown pass.

*In the fourth quarter, junior college transfer Damien Williams had a 65-yard TD run. That's the longest for a Sooner since 2008, when DeMarco Murray went 70 yards against Texas A&M.

*Punter Tress Way punted seven times against UTEP. The senior had three punts for 50 or more yards — 54, 52 and 50. He now has 61 punts for 50-yards or more in his career.

*OU's opening drive of the 2012 season was a punt blocked for a touchdown. That's the first time for an OU opponent since Sept. 7, 2002, against Alabama.


by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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