Brigham Young football coach Bronco Mendenhall
caused waves Tuesday, telling reporters that BYU could be playing a game at the Dallas Cowboys stadium in 2009.
Mendenhall singled out Oklahoma as a possible opponent.
"I know that we have been and are being considered for some early games next year, and that was one of them,” Mendenhall said. "There was a chance that it could be against Oklahoma. But there were a list of teams for us to play, or we might have been just one of the teams being considered to play.”
The Salt Lake Tribune reported discussions are ongoing with ESPN representatives for BYU to play a game next September at the new Cowboys stadium.
OU spokesman Kenny Mossman
, however, said talk of a game with BYU in Dallas is premature.
"We’re often in negotiation with our television partners about various potential matchups,” Mossman said. "That partnership obviously includes ABC and ESPN.
"It is a common practice for the networks to be in discussion with a number of schools at this time of year. This is nothing out of the ordinary.”
OU already has non-conference games scheduled in 2009 with Tulsa at home and Miami at Dolphin Stadium on Sept. 12, though that date is expected to be changed because of a conflict with the Florida Marlins.
Defense still hurting from big plays
Oklahoma’s defense has been under fire for allowing 433.2 yards and 31.2 points per game against Big 12 competition.
But most of the conference statistics haven’t been poor for the defense.
In Big 12 play, OU is first in sacks (15), first in lowest opponent third-down conversion percentage (32.4 percent), second in turnovers forced (11), second in pass defense efficiency (131.6) and third in fewest opponent first downs (104).
Those numbers, however, underscore just how undermining yielding big plays has been for the OU defense.
Against conference opponents, the Sooners have allowed 15 runs of at least 15 yards, and 16 passes of at least 25 yards.
To put that damage into context, all four of Nebraska’s scoring drives last Saturday included a play of at least 23 yards.
Take away those four scoring drives, which comprised six plays covering 240 yards, and OU held the Huskers to 94 total yards.
"There are a lot of positives that we’re doing,” coach Bob Stoops
said. "If we can stop some of the big plays, that’s the issue.”
"They’re different than anyone we’ve seen this year, as far as their overall team speed. They play fast, they play hard and they’re very well-coached. I have a lot of respect for what they’ve done in their recruiting and how they’ve brought those players in and developed them and how they’ve coached them.”
Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman on Oklahoma
By Jake Trotter