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OU football notebook: Frank Alexander leads Sooners' sack parade

BY MIKE BALDWIN, TRAVIS HANEY and BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writers Published: October 8, 2011

Lewis wore No. 12 against Texas.

“I was so proud of Travis,” said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. “This is my first time as a coach to go through something like this. I've said it before but to see how our guys have embraced Austin's spirit and have kept it alive, the strength they've exuded is pretty special. It's very humbling for me.

“I know it was on everybody's heart all week. And it has been (all season). But this was his biggest game of the year... To see Travis out there in No. 12 was very appropriate.”


OU's one negative Saturday was allowing a 102-yard kickoff return.

Last season the Sooners allowed four kickoff returns for touchdowns. This season coverage had been much improved before Fozzy Whittaker scored in the second quarter.

“After today's (lopsided win) that's what you're going to ask me about,” said OU coach Bob Stoops. “Through five games we've only covered about 100 kicks and you ask me about the one kick.”

OU's coverage on the other eight kickoffs was good. The Longhorns averaged only 18.0 yards on the non-touchdown returns, although they had another return for a TD called back by an obvious block-in-the-back penalty.


Sophomore middle linebacker Tom Wort suffered a bruised back late in the third quarter and did not return.

“I'll be fine. I'll play next week,” Wort said. “I just tried to hit the quarterback and the next thing I know I had taken a shot to the back.”

Wort collided with Travis Lewis on the play. Lewis lay on the ground more than a minute but returned a few plays later.

Sophomore running back Brennan Clay, who suffered a sprained shoulder against Ball State, suited out but did not play. The only running back to receive carries other than Dominique Whaley was freshman Brandon Williams.


Since Alabama made Sports Illustrated's cover following a rout of Florida, OU defensive end David King was asked if the Sooners deserved next week's cover.

“We'll get one after Jan. 9 (date of the BCS championship game).”


The win moved the Sooners ahead of Texas in all-time winning percentage. OU's winning percentage (.718) is fourth all-time behind Michigan (.736), Notre Dame (.732) and Ohio State (.718).

The Sooners actually would move up to third if Nebraska defeated Ohio State in a game played Saturday night.


Stoops tied Barry Switzer for the most wins by an OU coach against top 25 competition. Stoops is 43-17 against nationally ranked teams. Switzer was 43-21-4... It was just the second time in school history the Sooners had two fumble recoveries for touchdowns, the other coming against Marquette in 1941... Dominique Whaley's 64-yard touchdown run was the longest by a Sooner since DeMarco Murray raced 70 yards against Texas A&M three years ago... Michael Hunnicutt became just the third OU freshman kicker to convert multiple field goals against Texas, joining R.D. Lashar (1987) and Trey DiCarlo (2002).


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