Oklahoma's football program remained last in the Big 12, according to the NCAA's latest Graduation Success Rate numbers released Thursday.
The numbers, though, were an improvement on last year and the best for OU football since 1999.
OU football's GSR, which measured student-athletes who enrolled in the school in 2006, was 51.
Last year, OU's GSR came in at 47.
TCU led the Big 12 with a GSR of 85, followed by West Virginia at 80, Texas Tech at 72, Kansas at 70 and Baylor at 67. Iowa State was sixth with 60, Kansas State scored 59 and Oklahoma State and Texas at 56.
Four OU sports — men's and women's tennis, women's basketball and rowing — had a perfect graduation rate.
WILSON, SHEAD EXPECTED BACK
The Sooners had a pair of shoulder problems in last week's win over Kansas, with nickelback Julian Wilson leaving the game early and offensive lineman Adam Shead suffering an injury late.
Bob Stoops said Wednesday that he expected both to play Saturday.
Wilson has been practicing since Tuesday, and Shead has gradually returned to practice during the week.
The Sooners didn't use five defensive backs much against the Jayhawks' ground attack but figure to use the spot quite a bit against Texas Tech's Air Raid offense.
Shead was replaced by Bronson Irwin, who moved to the left side while Nila Kasitati took Irwin's spot on the right.
OFFENSE STRUGGLING EARLY
Oklahoma has sputtered out of the gate offensively recently, scoring just three first-quarter points in its last three games.
“It's not like we're not capable of moving the ball; It's nothing that a defense has done in the first three or four drives; We're hurting ourselves,” co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said.
The Sooners haven't scored a first-quarter touchdown since the Sept. 28 win at Notre Dame and have just 30 first-quarter points through seven games. All but six of those came against Tulsa and Notre Dame.
Last season, the Sooners scored 91 first-quarter points, 64 in the first seven games.
“At the end of the day, we've got to do a better job as players and staff of starting fast,” Heupel said. “It's going to be critical in this ballgame. You certainly don't want them to get off to a fast start and us struggle offensively.”
RECEIVERS BLOCKING WELL
While Sooners' wide receivers haven't made the kind of plays, especially downfield, as they would like, the group has been blocking well.
That was evident most on Sterling Shepard's 10-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter of Saturday's 34-19 win over Kansas.
Jalen Saunders blocked JaCorey Shepherd twice as Shepard took his time to let the play develop in front of him.
“They're scrambling and they're fighting like crazy,” co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said. “It's not always pretty, but I think when you turn the film on, they are playing really hard. That's the thing we're most proud of right now, and we know that better things are coming with this offensive team because of the way we practice and the effort we give on gameday.”
“Yes, along with a whole lot of other things. I am old. Relatively old I guess. Relatively.”
Bob Stoops, on if coaching against Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who played for the Red Raiders early in Stoops' Oklahoma career, made him feel old.
BY RYAN ABER AND JASON KERSEY