Oklahoma's coaches and players claim they were not at all surprised by journeyman walk-on running back Dominique Whaley rushing for 131 yards and four touchdowns in his debut with the team.
Junior safety Javon Harris' claim is stronger than most, though, considering he shared a field with Whaley in high school.
“I always knew he had it in him,” Harris said earlier this week.
There's a perception out there that Harris started over Whaley at Lawton MacArthur. That's not really true. Yes, Harris was the tailback. But Whaley started, too, just at a different position in the option offense. He would line up in the slot and take handoffs in motion, in order to get the speedy runner to the edge.
Whaley has put on 20 pounds since he arrived at OU in 2010. Now he's a physical back who still has his speed. When Whaley got going against Tulsa, Harris would break away from his defensive teammates on the sideline. He had to see his old friend go to work.
“Every time he touched the ball, I think I was standing up somewhere, running down the sideline with him,” Harris said. “It's something that's exciting to see, someone you grew up with in high school.”
But is Whaley a one-hit wonder? A Tulsa phenomenon only?
“Oh, no,” Harris said. “I would say to expect it the rest of the year.”
STOOPS TAKES NOTICE OF JIMBO
Morale at Florida State was low not too long ago, with legend Bobby Bowden struggling in his latter years at the school.
Jimbo Fisher was brought on in 2007 as an offensive coordinator. Fisher received, too, the title of coach-in-waiting. It has not worked elsewhere, really, but it has at FSU.
The Seminoles appear back. In addition to the top-five ranking this week, Fisher helped engineer the nation's top recruiting class in February. And that was coming off a 10-win season that included an ACC division title and a Chick-fil-A Bowl win against South Carolina.
“They've had a big impact in a short time,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “I've known Jimbo for a decent number of years. We've never spent a ton of time together, but I've always respected his work, going all the way back to LSU with Nick (Saban), what he's done at Florida State and the job he did a year ago. He's done a great job.”
PLAYING WAITING GAME
Oklahoma State is not the only team with a late game – and long wait – Saturday. The Cowboys and Tulsa will kick off after 9 p.m. in Oklahoma. FSU and OU will start about two hours earlier, but still late in the day.
So, what does Stoops do with his team all day before such a big game?
“We'll get out of the hotel for a while,” he said, “go over to their stadium for a while, check our pads, have a little substitution drill. Then (we'll) go back, watch some tape, do a little walk-through. We just kind of break the day up.”
JONES GUNNING FOR RECORD
After throwing for 375 yards in the opener against Tulsa, OU quarterback Landry Jones passed Jason White to move into second on the school's all-time passing list.
Jones, a junior, is now gunning for Sam Bradford and the record mark of 8,403 yards. Given the speed at which the Sooners offense moves, Jones could have pass Bradford by the second quarter.
With 8,291 yards, Jones needs 112 yards to move into No. 1. Both White and Bradford, of course, won Heisman trophies.
‘NOT A GOOD LOOK'
After practice Tuesday, Jones sat near Kenny Stills, the receiver with a wild Mohawk haircut.
Sudden thought: Why don't quarterbacks ever wear their hair like that?
“It's not a good look,” Jones said.
For a quarterback?
“For anybody,” Jones said. “It started out OK, but it's getting out of control.”
But don't think Stills' hair will cause Jones to look away during the game. Stills caught 61 passes for 786 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman last season. He'll return for the FSU game after serving a one-game suspension.
“That's huge for us,” Jones said. “Having another weapon out there is going to be really big for us this week.”
VENGEANCE IS MINE, SAYETH STOOPS
The revenge factor favors Florida State, since the Sooners whipped the Seminoles 47-17 last season.
“But we're going to be after winning, too,” Stoops said. “Being made doesn't do it. Playing well does.”
Stoops even said the Sooners could work up some anger by Saturday night. What does OU have to be mad about?
“We're 1-0,” he said. “They're 2-0. They got one on us.”