Knight didn’t return to the Bedlam game, won when junior Blake Bell led the Sooners on a last-minute, game-winning touchdown drive. Knight has, though, returned to practice and is expected to play against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
MILLARD PRAISES RIPKOWSKI
After senior fullback Trey Millard suffered a season-ending ACL tear in late October, junior Aaron Ripkowski’s role in the Sooners’ offense because much more significant.
Millard said he’s been impressed with how the former walk-on has stepped up during the past several games. Coach Bob Stoops awarded Ripkowski a scholarship after his sophomore season.
“He’s stepped up,” Millard said. “He’s had a lot more responsibilities since I’ve been down and he’s done a great job with it. We’ve got great coaches, and that’s part of the reason I was able to be successful.”
CLAY: ROSS NEEDS TO ‘MATURE A LITTLE BIT’
Oklahoma senior running back Brennan Clay has become the team’s primary ball carrier, and next season, his production will obviously need to be replaced.
True freshman Keith Ford saw some action early in the season before developing a fumble problem and then suffering an injury.
One player fans have been curious about is redshirt freshman Alex Ross, the former Jenks standout who has rarely played this year.
He picked up eight yards on the first carry of his career in Oklahoma’s season opener, but was immediately flagged for unnecessary roughness, and didn’t earn another carry until the Sooners’ Nov. 16 game against Iowa State.
In total this year, Ross has carried the ball three times for 19 yards.
“It’s a lot more than just running the ball,” Clay said of Ross. “You’ve gotta be able to protect the quarterback, know the protections and know the little things. I think that’s just where he needs to mature a little bit, but he’ll be fine.”
IKARD SEES OPPORTUNITY IN BAMA MATCHUP
Oklahoma senior center Gabe Ikard is excited for his team’s Sugar Bowl matchup with Alabama for lots of reasons, including program pride and ending his career on a high note.
But the first-team All-American also recognizes the opportunity he has been given to showcase his talent against a Crimson Tide defensive line seen by most as one of the nation’s best.
“It's a big opportunity for the guys on our O-line to really put some good things on tape for NFL scouts,” Ikard said. “They're the most talented team we've played, the most talented team I've played in my four-and-a-half years here.
“This is what you call a ‘money game’ for a player. … There will be great matchups all over the field and it's up to us to execute well and go out there and earn some more respect, and for the seniors, earn some cash.”