OSU's offensive line gave up eight sacks in last season's loss to Texas. [Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman archives]

Tramel: Oklahoma State offensive linemen survive horror flicks of 2014

Sports | Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment

STILLWATER — OSU's offensive linemen didn't have to go out to the Carmike 10 to catch a horror flick last autumn. Terror and fright awaited the Cowboy blockers every Sunday when they watched the video of the previous day's game.

OSU's line was young, and then it lost shifty quarterback J.W. Walsh (a mobile QB is a line's best friend), and then injuries mounted, and soon enough, what had become a Cowboy staple, a solid front wall, was a shadow of its predecessors. A zombie offensive line.

“It's our job to protect the quarterback and open up lanes for the running back,” said State center Brad Lundblade. “Anytime you watch film and see you're not doing your job, it's a bad feeling.

Bill Bedenbaugh's experience makes him the perfect Air Raid offensive line coach for Oklahoma

Sports | Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment

NORMAN — In less than a week, the Air Raid offense will return to Oklahoma when the Sooners kick off the 2015 season at home against Akron.

New offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley and new starting quarterback Baker Mayfield are getting most of the attention — not undeservedly — but an important, yet sometimes overlooked, part of this system is offensive line play. And Oklahoma couldn't possibly have a better Air Raid offensive line coach.

“Maybe the No. 1 selling point to come here,” Riley said. “There's probably not a more experienced line coach for this system than him. It's as big as it gets.

OU football notebook: Evans, Shannon competing for starting spot

Sports | Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment

Regardless of who wins the starting inside linebacker spot between Jordan Evans and Frank Shannon, the Sooners will have plenty of experience there.

Evans started all 13 games last season, finishing second on the team in tackles, and Shannon started all 13 games the season before.

Shannon was forced to miss all of last year while serving a one-year university suspension.

“Competition is what it's all about at every position,” said linebackers coach Tim Kish. “It's what make you a better team. It's been awesome.

“They've been great together. They know what's at stake. To be honest, we'll need everyone at the end of the day. What everyone's role will be will be determined as the season progress.

Thursday night spotlight could lead to yet another new Cowboy uniform combination

Sports | Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment

STILLWATER — On a late-September Thursday night last fall at Boone Pickens Stadium, the Oklahoma State equipment staff pulled a classic switcheroo in the hour leading up to kickoff against Texas Tech.

In front of more than 55,000 fans and an ESPN-televised national audience, the Cowboys warmed up in standard white helmets before heading to the locker room for final preparations. They returned to the field in never-before-seen orange and silver chrome lids with oversized Pistol Pete logos.

“We got fitted for them like a month before,” cornerback Kevin Peterson said. “So, we wore the white helmets out there and we were like, ‘Oh dang, they got us again. We're not going to break them out.' … They kind of surprised

Deer Creek girls fitting right in with Class 6A

Sports | Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment

EDMOND — Deer Creek got its first true taste of Class 6A competition Saturday in its own cross country meet, and it proved it fit right in.

The Antlers' girls team finished four points behind Norman for second place just one week after winning at Piedmont.

Deer Creek may experience some growing pains in its first year in Class 6A, but it's nothing new for a girls cross country team that won the last two Class 5A titles while competing at times with Class 6A foes.

“I'm actually really excited to move to 6A,” senior Brianne Kirchgessner said. “I just know that our team's really strong, we take whatever competition we can get and we really just want to get out there and run with them because we know we can.

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