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OU football notebook: Sooners' Blake Bell makes debut at tight end

by Ryan Aber Published: August 30, 2014
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It is unclear if Mixon attended Saturday’s game. Mixon later deleted his pregame tweet.

SHEPARD DISPLAYS RETURN SKILLS

Receiver Sterling Shepard was impressive in his collegiate punt-returning debut.

The junior from Heritage Hall picked up 17 yards on his first punt return of the game in the first quarter, and added an 18-yard return in the third quarter.

After that second return — with the game well in hand — OU coaches replaced Shepard at punt returner with true freshman receiver Michiah Quick.

Shepard’s weren’t the only big returns for the Sooners against the Bulldogs.

Alex Ross added an 80-yard kick return that gave OU the ball inside the 15 in the second half.

Shepard was a standout return man in high school, but hadn’t had the opportunity to return punts so far in his OU career. He waited two years behind Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders.

Saunders, who was named to the New York Jets roster over the weekend, was in Norman for the game Saturday night.

SWITZER MAKES GRAND ENTRANCE AFTER THIRD QUARTER

During the break between the third and fourth quarters, a video featuring legendary former OU coach Barry Switzer appeared on the Jumbotron. Switzer spoke during the video about protecting OU’s tradition and never quitting.

The 76-year-old then ran through smoke onto the field out of the northwest tunnel to thunderous applause.

According to OU spokesman Pete Moris, the Sooners will welcome back a different legend to begin the fourth quarter at every home game this season.

SHEPARD DOES ‘SUPERMAN’ AGAIN

Shepard got some advice from the coaches after his 16-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Knight early in the first quarter.

The words didn’t have anything to do with Shepard’s catch or the route but his celebration.

After scoring, Shepard pulled on his shirt, mimicking Cam Newton’s Superman celebration.

Shepard has a history with the celebration and it figures that’s why Bob Stoops said something to him about it.

Shepard was penalized for doing the move in January’s Sugar Bowl win over Alabama, though the call was incorrect. Shepard was called for doing the banned “throat slash” gesture after a touchdown late in the second quarter of the bowl game.

REPLAY SCHEDULED, TV FOR TULSA SET

The game, which was broadcast on pay-per-view, will be replayed on Fox Sports Oklahoma at 9 a.m. Monday.

The broadcast will be squeezed into a three-hour window.

The kickoff for next week’s game at Tulsa has long been set for 11 a.m., but the network was unknown until Saturday night.

ABC and ESPN2 will broadcast the game in a reverse mirror. The game will be broadcast in ABC in some markets and ESPN2 in others. ABC will carry the game in the Oklahoma City metro area.

EXTRA POINTS

Michael Hunnicutt extended his school record for made field goals to 64 with a pair of field goals. Hunnicutt has made nine in a row dating back to last season’s win over Iowa State. … Sooners Dimitri Flowers, Samaje Perine, Daniel Brooks, K.J. Young, Jordan Smallwood, Jeffery Mead, Michiah Quick, Josiah St. John, Sam Grant, Jonathan Alvarez, David Driskill, D.J. Ward, Charles Walker, Matt Romar, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Devante Bond, Steven Parker, Jordan Thomas and Wesley Horky made their OU debuts. … The Sooners are now 20-0 against current members of Conference USA.

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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