A piece of history nearly wound up in a garbage can in Lawrence, Kan.
Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles set the NCAA career receptions record last weekend during the team's win at Kansas.
But he fumbled trying to score soon after making the catch, so he decided to discard the gloves.
“I fumbled that ball,” Broyles said, “and I needed a new pair. I'm superstitious. I didn't even think about it.”
Broyles said it's the first time he's ever thrown gloves away in the middle of a game (because fumbling isn't exactly the norm for the senior).
After the win, Sooners sports information director Kenny Mossman asked Broyles where his gloves were. Broyles pointed toward the trash can.
Mossman, in a suit and tie, fished them out.
“I think they had some Gatorade on them,” Broyles said, “but they were fine.”
Broyles was much more concerned about the football than the gloves. He held tight to the ball after securing the record-breaking catch.
He eventually let go, so it could travel to the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., for a couple of weeks. Then it will return to Broyles' mantle.
“They'd better give it back,” Broyles said, laughing. “I'd go steal it if I had to.”
Broyles said teammates and coaches were counting down the catches out loud as he neared the record. He needed three to tie and four to set the record entering the game. A 57-yard touchdown in the second quarter allowed him to establish the new mark.
“They knew I needed one more,” he said, “so (the coaches) said, ‘Let's get it right here. Let's see if we can get a touchdown right here.'”
SOONERS COULD HAVE TWO CENTERS OF ATTENTION
When injured center Ben Habern is healthy enough to return, the plan has been to have him play left guard while he builds strength into his broken right wrist. If Gabe Ikard continues to play well in Habern's stead, he could potentially stay there.
“We'll see what Ben can do,” said James Patton, OU's interior offensive line coach. “Ben played guard. He keeps reminding me of that all the time. He played a bunch of guard down there, blowing people up. … Just based on how he comes back, with his injury. He's a ballplayer. He's a blocker. He'll play somewhere up there for us.”
Patton and head coach Bob Stoops have been impressed with Ikard, the Bishop McGuinness product. His ability to snap has been as good as they professed it would be when he slid over to replace Habern.
“Gabe's prepared,” Patton said. “He did it a bunch in training camp, a bunch in the spring. He went in during the Missouri game and did a great job finishing a pretty tight game. He's done well. He needs to keep it up.”
Earlier in the week, Stoops said Habern was “a ways away” from coming back because he was still in a cast. Habern, however, did at least duck in the media room Tuesday without a cast.
MINUS THE PIRATE, TEXAS TECH STILL THROWING
Mike Leach is almost two years gone from Texas Tech, but the Red Raiders still air it out. When hired, second-year coach Tommy Tuberville said he would keep much of Tech's spread philosophy, he just wanted to run more. But Tech quarterback Seth Doege has thrown for 2,167 yards in six games, just 10 yards fewer than Big 12 leader Landry Jones.
“They're going back to how they used to run it,” said OU defensive end Frank Alexander. “Tuberville, coming from the SEC, he wanted to run the ball. Now they're going back to a passing offense.”
Alexander said Doege passes quickly and Tech's linemen do what they did under Leach, “just backing up out of there, getting a wall. We just gotta get our hands up.”
One factor in Tech's offensive philosophies in recent weeks: It lost leading rusher Eric Stephens to a season-ending knee injury.
RATTERREE GOES FROM WALK-ON TO SCHOLARSHIP, ‘BUD' TO TRENT
OU senior tight end Trent Ratterree, a former walk-on, came clean and absolved Stoops of not knowing Ratterree's name years ago. During pregame stretching, Stoops goes by each player and shakes their hand.
Ratterree long has told the story of Stoops going by the tight ends. “Good luck, Brody. Good luck, Jermaine ... (gets to Ratterree) help us win today, Bud.”
The walk-ons took to calling each other “Bud.”
“I kind of gave him a bad rap,” Ratterree said of Stoops. “That was my freshman year. I failed to mention that, for comedic purposes.”
Stoops admitted it takes him awhile to learn every new player's name.
“It's not the easiest,” Stoops said. “When you have 120, or 115, especially new guys show up. Takes a little while. We had a new kicker out there. I called him New Guy for about a week ... you do your best. Eventually you get 'em.”
Stoops said his pregame ritual of shaking hands is “just something I've always done. My way of letting 'em know I appreciate 'em. To me, it's a special moment. My way of wishing 'em luck. I appreciate the hard work.”