With a win over Missouri, Sooner coach Bob Stoops could be in a for a huge pay day. According to the performance bonuses written into his contract, Stoops would receive $80,000 if the Sooners win the Big 12 title. That victory would set Stoops up to earn even more in other bonuses. Stoops would earn $150,000 to appear in the BCS national title game, and an additional $250,000 to win it. Also, if the Sooners finish in the BCS top 10, he’ll make $75,000. Tuesday, Stoops made $30,000 when he was named Big 12 co-Coach of the Year. All told, Stoops can cash in on $585,000 total in performance bonuses if the Sooners win out. That doesn’t include the one-time $3 million stay bonus he is set to receive following this year. Sooner assistants Cale Gundy, Josh Heupel, James Patton, Jackie Shipp and Chris Wilson will earn $9,000 each if OU wins the Big 12 title, and $20,000 more if the Sooners win the national championship. Coordinators Kevin Wilson, Jay Norvell, Brent Venables and Bobby Jack Wright will earn $12,000 each with a Big 12 title, and $27,000 if OU wins the national championship.
STAYING AHEADWhen OSU running back Kendall Hunter scored on a 23-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, it marked the first time since the Texas loss that OU trailed in a game. The Sooners didn’t stay down at OSU for long, scoring on their ensuing drive to reclaim the lead for good. Other than Texas, those six minutes in Stillwater marked the only time the Sooners have trailed this season.
MACLIN ANOTHER DANGEROUS RETURN MANOU allowed its fourth kickoff return for touchdown, to OSU, when Perrish Cox went 90 yards for a score in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s game. The Sooners are the only team to have allowed that many touchdowns off kickoff returns this season. Only Tulsa and North Texas have surrendered three touchdowns. OU’s kickoff coverage will be tested again this Saturday by Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin. "It’s a big challenge,” Stoops said. "That guy, anytime he has the ball, is really an excellent player.” Maclin has averaged more than 25 yards per kickoff return with one touchdown and 9.9 yards on punt returns, though Tigers coach Gary Pinkel says opportunities for the speedy return man have been limited. "We’d like to help ourselves, return-wise,” Pinkel said. "Jeremy doesn’t really get as many opportunities, because people kick away from him or they kick high bloops or they squib the ball, which is just the different game plan teams have against him. We’ll see what (the Sooners) do.” Pinkel says he sees no explanation for why the Sooners have struggled in coverage; OU is ranked 108th nationally in kickoff return yardage allowed. "Some years, for some reason, things just happen and multiply a little bit,” Pinkel said. "They’re probably working on it as hard as anybody works on it. I’m sure they’ll work to correct it.”
KNALL IN THE COFFINMike Knall had his best game this year in Bedlam. The senior punter outperformed OSU’s Matt Fodge, who is a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to college football’s top punter. Knall had three punts go for an average of 47 yards apiece, including a perfect punt that rolled out of bounds at the OSU 1-yard line. The Pokes were forced to call three conservative running plays to give Fodge room to punt. In all, Knall pinned two punts inside the OSU 20. "It felt good,” Knall said. "I felt like I had nothing to lose. I went into the game focused and confident.”
WR JOHNSON CONTINUES TO HEALWide receiver Manny Johnson, who suffered a dislocated elbow two months ago, said he continues to get better each week. "It swells up after practice, but that’s to be expected,” said Johnson, who caught two passes for 24 yards at OSU. "I’ll be 80-90 percent for Saturday.”
BIG 12 TITLE TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINEEven though OU sold out its ticket allotment Monday morning, Big 12 title game tickets are still available through online ticket brokers. TicketsNow.com is selling tickets at an average price of $172 apiece, though many are available for $75. RazorGator.com currently has 1,108 tickets listed from $45 to $476 each.
GRESHAM TIGHT END OF THE WEEKJermaine Gresham was named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week by the Nassau County Sports Commission for the second consecutive week. Gresham is the only three-time recipient of the honor this season. BY JAKE TROTTER