Take it outsideBrody Eldridge seeing more time at tight end this week could have been prompted by the performance of James Hanna and Trent Ratteree, who both drew criticism from Stoops for their performance on Saturday. "He’s valuable out there, capturing edges and getting creases on the corner where he’s so effective,” Stoops said. "He’s a valuable piece, wherever we play him. It depends on where we need him.” Eldridge has said he has no preference where he plays.
YOUNG BUCKTrue freshman Demontre Hurst made a tackle on his first collegiate play, covering a kickoff. The oft-mentioned defensive back remembers his clear path to the ball carrier, and making a surprisingly easy tackle. What happened after his tackle is what really stuck with him. On the way back to the sideline, Stoops stopped him and said, "Congratulations, you made your first big college hit.” "I was just smiling the whole time,” Hurst said. "Everybody was patting me on the head and telling me good job.”
TICKETS AVAILABLETickets for the Sooners’ games in Norman against Idaho State on Saturday and Tulsa on Sept. 19 are still available. Tickets are $49 for the Idaho State game and $69 for TU’s visit on Sept. 19. Kickoff times for those games have been set at 6 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., respectively. Tickets can be ordered on SoonerSports.com or by calling 800-456-GoOU (4668). If tickets remain on game day, tickets will go on sale five hours before kickoff at Gate 5 of the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
PEP RALLY ON FRIDAYOU’s practice field will be open to the public for the first time on Friday night for Oklahoma’s "Big Red Rally.” The event, planned for 5-7 p.m., will feature speeches from a compilation of Sooner legends. The Oklahoma Spirit Squads and the Pride of Oklahoma marching band will also be there. Two footballs signed by Stoops will be given away, as well as numerous gift certificates.
NO PRESSUREAfter the loss of Heisman winner Sam Bradford and All-American tight end Jermaine Gresham, some felt that more of the responsibility for winning games would fall on the Sooner defense, which isn’t lacking in star power with All-American Gerald McCoy and Big 12 Freshman of the Year Travis Lewis. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables disagrees. "I don’t see it as more pressure. I think we need to be as good as we’re capable of being,” Venables said. "We have a standard that’s regardless of a situation of who’s on the other side of the ball. Control what we can control. That’s always been how we operate, and it’s no different now.”
BETS ARE OFFBefore the season, at least one betting Web site posted a 73-point line for Florida’s opening-week matchup with Charleston Southern. However, Las Vegas sports books never put an official line on the game, typical of contests that should be extremely one-sided. Oklahoma’s date on Saturday with FCS opponent Idaho State has qualified as one of those games. No spread will be set for the game. Last week, the Bengals lost at Arizona State, 50-3.
FINCH EXPECTS SOONERS TO REBOUNDSooner oral commit Roy Finch, a four-star running back from Niceville, Fla., told the recruiting Web site Scout.com that he expects Oklahoma to rebound from the loss to BYU. He said the loss had no effect on his commitment. Finch, at 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, is ranked by Rivals.com as the fourth-best running back in the class of 2010.
QUOTABLE"I haven’t ran with the ball in five years, probably. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just kind of got the ball. I think I blacked out and woke up on the ground.” — OU linebacker Ryan Reynolds, joking about his 22-yard interception return in the first quarter against BYU BY DAVID UBBEN