NORMAN â€” The one downer on a day Oklahoma sent its seniors out on a high note was senior defensive tackle Adrian Taylor suffered a season-ending torn Achilles late in the first half.
Sidelined by a gruesome broken left ankle in the Sun Bowl, Taylor spent the entire off-season rehabilitating the injury to play his senior year. The Achilles injury was on his right foot.
â€œIt crushes you with what he's invested in this program with everything he's gone through,â€ said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. â€œHe's given us a lot more than we've given him. His legacy will be incredibly strong here...
â€œHe has an incredible spirit and strength. I told him we need him to continue to give that to us. We need that from him. He's not done. He won't take anymore snaps but mentally we need him right there with us.â€
One of Taylor's roommates is defensive end Jeremy Beal, selected the co-winner along with Taylor for the Don Key award.
â€œHe was playing his heart out,â€ Beal said. â€œIt was hard to see him get hurt, especially on Senior Day. I feel for him. You can tell he's a little bit down but he was excited for the other seniors how we won. But his football career may be over.â€
Coaches moved Pryce Macon to defensive tackle a couple of weeks ago. The only other defensive tackles are sophomores Stacy McGee and Jamarkus McFarland. The Sooners this week should get back Casey Walker, sidelined the past seven weeks by a sprained knee.
â€œThat's an area we already were a little bit thin,â€ Venables said. â€œGetting another body that's actually played there and was a starter will help us.â€