Stoops’ monthThis wasn’t how Stoops envisioned the first month of his season playing out. Down his three best offensive weapons and in possession of a pair of one-point losses, the Sooners’ preseason national championship hopes are now all but dashed. He said it was among the worst months he’d ever had as a coach, but compared it to another period that was nearly as tumultuous within the program. "The only thing close was a few years ago when we lost AD (running back Adrian Peterson) and we had to remove our quarterback (Rhett Bomar). That whole situation was similar, but not quite what these injuries held,” Stoops said. "That year we didn’t blow anybody out, we were in fist fights every week. And they handled it well.” That team — 2006 — won the first of three consecutive Big 12 championships, finishing the season 11-3 with a loss to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Arrested developmentWith Ryan Broyles sidelined for perhaps a month, whoever quarterbacks the Sooners will have to find someone to replace Oklahoma’s most consistent target, a player who caught seven touchdown passes in just three games before his injury against Miami. Several players have shown promise of becoming that target, including juniors Brandon Caleb and Cameron Kenney. Two players that haven’t, however, are Jameel Owens and Dejuan Miller, a pair of highly recruited receivers who have had minimal production since arriving in Norman. "Sometimes guys are a little bit overplayed,” said Stoops, stressing that he wasn’t talking about any of his players in particular. "Sometimes their work ethic hasn’t been to a certain point what it needs to be to develop in the ways they need to develop. Sometimes just their understanding and accountability on the field to know what they need to do and to do it isn’t always there. And sometimes it is just maturity, and all of a sudden they do understand.”
Quick hitsStoops pegged Jeremy Beal, Kenney and his kickers, Tress Way and Jimmy Stevens, as the players of the game against Miami. … Mossis Madu will replace Broyles both as a kick returner and at receiver while he heals from a fractured left shoulder blade. … DeMarco Murray will play more in the slot, wide receivers coach Jay Norvell said. ... Tyler Evans did not start at right guard against Miami because of what Wilson called "a gimpy ankle.”