Freshman linebacker Corey Nelson made the most of limited playing time against Missouri. Nelson played just 11 snaps but recorded five tackles.
"What's not to like about that?" said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. "That being said you have to find different ways where he can help because he's at (weakside linebacker) where he plays behind another really good player (Travis Lewis)."
Nelson was inserted when OU went to a 3-4 package, primarily playing a rush end role similar to Ronnell Lewis, who is sidelined with a sprained knee.
"We love his attitude and how quickly he picks things up," Venables said. "He's a playmaker. He's quick, athletic and explosive and has good instincts."
UPON FURTHER REVIEW: REVALUATING LANDRY JONES' INTERCEPTIONS
Quarterback Landry Jones threw two interceptions at Missouri. On his first interception, Jones said he should have thrown the ball away instead of trying to lob it over defensive end Aldon Smith. His second interception was tipped at the line before being picked off near the sideline.
"Up until that game I took care of the ball pretty well and didn't throw too many interceptions," Jones said. "I feel I made most of my reads right (before Missouri). I kind of let down the team, not playing the way I'm capable of, putting us in bad situations on some routes and missed some things."
Jones was 0-of-7 passing in the fourth quarter. But offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and coach Bob Stoops said it would be unfair to place the offense's late-game struggles on Jones.
"Much of the time success and failure isn't all that guy," Stoops said. "I've been saying all along he's done well when he's supported better. Better protection, running the football, guys making key catches. All of that together is part of it."
OU RANKS LOW IN NCAA FOOTBALL GRADUATION RATES
The NCAA announced Wednesday that graduation success rates for Football Bowl Subdivision players who entered college in 2003 rose three percent, to 69 percent. OU and Arizona were the only two schools in the top 25 poll that finished below 50 percent.
According to the release, the Sooners' four-year measure was 44 percent.
The report said the overall graduation rate for all athletes is 79 percent. Men's basketball rose to 66 percent. The NCAA's formula takes into account transfer students and is different than the federal government's methodology.
SOONER REMINDER: COLORADO QUARTERBACK HAS BEATEN THE SOONERS
Colorado coach Dan Hawkins' son, Cody, will start Saturday after Tyler Hansen suffered a ruptured spleen last week. Hansen has owned the job since the middle of last season, but Hawkins was the starter when the Buffaloes rallied from a 17-point deficit to upset the No. 3 ranked Sooners 27-24 three years ago in Boulder.
"He beat us as a freshman and we had a pretty good team," Venables said. "Now he's a senior. He's even better. He's experienced. I think he has a lot he's playing for. He's very tough minded. He's a captain. Players respect him. He'll be very well prepared."
STOOPS SAYS HE WON'T MISS TRIPs TO BOULDER
At his weekly press conference Stoops was asked if he'll miss playing Colorado, which will join the Pac 10 next season. He said, "Sure" but then changed his answer.
"I say I do but probably not," Stoops said. "I don't much care... We never liked going up there anyway."
Because of the altitude? "Yeah. And the travel. The different time zone," Stoops said. "You don't like going on the road anywhere. Bottom line is we're still going to play 12 games. And they'll be good games."
Stoops, though, said Nebraska is different. "We have such a tradition with Nebraska. That's where that makes that a little bit different. You think of all the years that game meant so much."
By Mike Baldwin