Youngstown showdownRon Stoops Jr., Bob Stoops’ older brother and the defensive coordinator at Cardinal Mooney High School, won an Ohio playoff game Friday night. A friend flew Ron Stoops and his two sons to the game from Youngstown, and a Cardinal Mooney teammate came along: Mark Pelini, nephew of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini. "I said to Bo, your nephew’s up in my office, sitting with a Nebraska shirt on,” Stoops said.
Murray’s big nightDeMarco Murray scored three touchdowns, giving him 29 for his career, which ties the OU record held by Adrian Peterson for most TDs by a Sooner in his first two seasons. Murray had kickoff returns of 62 and 57 yards, becoming the first Sooner since Brandon Daniels against Notre Dame in 1999 to have two kickoff returns of at least 50 yards.
A ton of yardsIn OU football history, only six times before Oct. 18 had both teams combined for 1,000 total yards. Then it happened twice in a row, Oct. 18 against Kansas and Oct. 25 against Kansas State. The streak ended Saturday. OU and Nebraska combined for 926 total yards.
Knall recoversOU’s only punt of the first half seemed headed for disaster. Mike Knall dropped the snap, and Cornhuskers converged on him. Knall seemed ready to run for his life, then decided to turn and punt. He knifed the ball through two Huskers, and when NU failed to field the kick, it bounced all the way to the Nebraska 21-yard line, for a 60-yard punt.
Injury reportOU defensive end Auston English went down midway through the third quarter, leaving the game with an apparent left knee injury. He did not return. English remained on the Sooner sideline, wearing a knee brace. "It’s a sprain, so how long, we’ll just have to see,” said Sooners coach Bob Stoops. Tight end Brody Eldridge (ankle) returned after two weeks out of action, but he was pulled after suffering soreness in the ankle. Wide receiver Manny Johnson (elbow) returned after missing the last seven quarters, but he played sparingly as the game got out of hand early. "They X-rayed him and nothing has changed,” Stoops said. "So that’s a positive.”
’71 saluteThe 1971 OU-Nebraska clash — known as the "Game of the Century” — was celebrated throughout the weekend, complete with a reunion including Sooners and Cornhuskers. Players, coaches, trainers and other team personnel were recognized at halftime, to varying degrees of applause. The biggest cheers: 1. Barry Switzer. 2. Tom Osborne. 3. Greg Pruitt. 4. Johnny Rodgers. 5. Chuck Fairbanks.
Skycam firstFor the first time ever, Skycam was used as a part of a broadcast at Owen Field, according to OU sports information director Kenny Mossman. The Skycam is a robotic camera, suspended from a cable-driven, computerized transport system. The cables were attached to the four light posts in the corners of the stadium. Skycam is a stabilized camera system that can fly anywhere in a defined three-dimensional space in the middle of a sporting event. Skycam has been used in marquee broadcast events such as Super Bowl XXXVII, U.S. Tennis Open, NCAA Final Four, NFL Pro Bowl, Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and college football games. BY JOHN HELSLEY, JAKE TROTTER AND BERRY TRAMEL