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The Greatest Rivalry

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NFL Spotlight

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Hiring Time

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King's Corner

Sugar Bowl Review

Editorial

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Josh Heupel Q&A

Josh Heupel Q&A

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The Closer

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Spring Football Review

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To The Point

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Jalen Saunders Q&A

Patience Rewarded

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Proud Heritage

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Locked In & Loaded

Ben Habern Q&A

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The Classics

Top Ten Recruits

Bonus Prospects

Oklahoma Influences

Tight End Tough

Marquis On The Mark

Sooner Stars Set To Return

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Jamell Fleming Q&A

Boomer Bio: Trey Millard

Stacy McGee Q&A

Red River Tradition

Red River Tradition

James Patton Q&A

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Quarterback Race

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Getting His Kicks

Making The Right Moves In Recruiting

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No Doubt About It

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Jay Norvell Q&A

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Joseph Ibiloye Q&A

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Josh Heupel Q&A

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Top Targets

Brent Venables Q&A

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Tisdale and Griffin

Wayman Tisdale Dies

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Bradford Wins Heisman

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Jackie Shipp Q&A

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Looking Ahead

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Manny Being Manny

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Super Sidekick

English Lesson

Revved Up & Remodeled

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A Cut Above

The Definition of Rivalry

On The Rise

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Bookends

Bradford Named Starting QB

Venables Verbatim

Sooner Spectator & Rivals.com Teaming Up

Final Chapter

Catching Up With Sumlin

Welcome Back Little Joe

Wilson’s Defensive Wisdom

Reggie Smith Q&A

Malcolm Over The Middle

Fantastic Five

Thompson & Alexander To Sign Autographs

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GET READY FOR THE RETURN OF SOONER SPECTATOR!

OU’s Greatest

Boomer Bio: Brody Eldridge

Boomer Bio: Fred Strong

Dual Threat: Stephen Garcia

Thirty Reasons Why OU will beat Texas

Double Duty

Kody Cooke: A Conversation

Boomer Bio: Lendy Holmes

Welcome Back

Quick Five With Nic Harris

Road Warrior

The Opposition

Defensive Backing

Recruiting: Crimson Bloodline

Wilson Weighs In

Replacing Runnels?

Defensive Outlook

Top Shelf: Austin Box

Rufus Revelations

Reaction to Capel Hiring

A.D. Unscripted

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OU Scrimmage Report

Joey Halzle Q&A

Gray, OU prep for The Dance

Moore is Better

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Sherri Coale Conversation

Taylor Made

Future Considerations

McCoy becomes a Sooner

Michael Neal Q&A

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Strong Willed

Football Recruiting Notes

Remembering Billy Ball

Enough Gloom & Doom

Back In Business

Endowed Scholarships Announced

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Biding His Time

Kelvin Sampson Q&A

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Boomer Bio: Allen Patrick

Chris Messner Q&A

Bob Stoops' take on Bedlam Victory

Terrance Anderson's Journey

OU vs. Tech: The Answers

OU vs. Tech Matchups

Road Warrior

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OU vs. A&M matchups

OU Coaches’ Roundtable

Recruiting: Derek Burton

Boomer Bio: Juaquin Iglesias

Carl Pendleton Q&A

Sooners topple Huskers in Lincoln

OU-Nebraska Matchups

Recruiting: Ugo Chinasa

Sooners top Baylor

OU vs. Baylor Matchups

Recruiting: Offensive Line

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Sooners top Jayhawks

OU vs. Kansas Matchups

Boomer Bio

A Pleasant Conversation

Texas tops Oklahoma

Red River Rivarly Matchups

Dusty Dvoracek: In The Trenches

Sooners Roll Past K-State

OU vs. K-State Matchups

Recruiting: Replenishing The Backfield

Boomer Bio

Sooners give one away

Recruiting Demarco Murray

C.J. Ah You Q&A

The Answers: OU vs. Tulsa

Not Pretty, But Sooners Win

Spectator Sneak Preview

Bob Stoops' take on TCU loss

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Moses leads Sooner tight ends

Rufus Alexander Q&A

Thompson gets nod at QB

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Travis Wilson Q&A

Clint Ingram Q&A

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Brent Venables Q&A

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Joseph talks about summer workouts

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Sooners name Golloway

Stephenson decides to stay at Wichita State

Stephenson takes OU head baseball job

Soon to be Sooners

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Letter from the Editor

Q and A

Ever Elusive

Sooner Selections

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OU's Weekly Sports Report

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OU's Kim wins Big 12 Golf Title

White and Vermeil talk about first day of rookie camp

White gets a chance with Kansas City

Red Rallies to Down White

Big crowd expected

Prelude To Greatness?

Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain




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OU vs. Kansas Matchups
How the Sooners stack up against the J-Hawks

How They Match Up is a weekly feature in every issue of Sooner Spectator during football season.

Oklahoma running game vs. Kansas run defense

An ankle injury to OU’s Adrian Peterson in the Kansas State game — the same ankle he sprained against Tulsa — raised concern whether it would become chronic. With Peterson down, the Sooners rediscovered their shotgun running game with Kejuan Jones, Donta Hickson and Jacob Gutierrez. More consistent passing from Rhett Bomar and more aggressive blocking allowed OU to average almost 180 yards rushing in its first four games.

Kansas started 3-0 mainly because of its run defense. Three of KU’s first four opponents failed to surpass 70 rushing yards. That’s thanks to the play of LB Nick Reid, who made 48 tackles, including 10 for loss. LBs Banks Floodman and Kevin Kane are also active run-stoppers, and DBs Charles Gordon, Ronnie Amadi and Jerome Kemp are excellent in run support.

Edge: Even
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Oklahoma passing game vs. Kansas pass defense

OU’s Rhett Bomar improved drastically against Kansas State. He went into the Texas game having played four whole quarters without a fumble. Moreover, Bomar had thrown 57 passes in a row without an interception. Paul Thompson helps at WR, but Travis Wilson remains the go-to star. Look for Wilson to continue to thrive in one-on-one situations. TE Joe Jon Finley must continue to evolve as a downfield threat.

Watch out for Kansas LB Brandon Perkins, who comes in on passing downs to rush the quarterback. Perkins collected eight sacks in KU’s first four games, including a school-record five against Louisiana Tech, and has 17 in his career, fourth-most in school history. Three of KU’s first four opponents hit the Jayhawks for more than 250 yards, however, an average of 267 yards per game. Charles Gordon is an NFL talent.

Edge: Oklahoma
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Oklahoma offensive line vs. Kansas defensive line

OU’s shuffle continues up front, but this time it wasn’t voluntary. C Chris Chester’s knee injury is expected to keep him out several weeks. That means more playing time for Chris Bush and Jon Cooper at center and for Bush and J.D. Quinn at right guard. Inserting Duke Robinson at left guard gives the Sooners a more physical presence, and keeping Davin Joseph at left tackle keeps Rhett Bomar safe.

During KU’s 3-1 start, DE Charlton Keith made eight tackles for loss (including four sacks). DE Jermial Ashley and DT James McClinton and Tim Allen are not productive tacklers in the KU system, but they excel at occupying blockers and freeing up the KU linebackers. LB Brandon Perkins is essentially a stand-up end that chases QBs and must be accounted for.

Edge: Oklahoma
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Oklahoma special teams vs. Kansas special teams

The Sooners dominated against Kansas State, making big plays on punt and kick coverage teams — Russell Dennison would be an All-American special-teamer if such a position existed — and on both return teams. Reggie Smith, who started out averaging 22.0 yards per kick return, is a touchdown waiting to happen.
Jejuan Rankins is still slowed by a sprained ankle. Jacob Gutierrez’ blocked punt against K-State was OU’s first since the 2004 Sugar Bowl.

Kansas PK Scott Webb started the year 6-for-6 on FGs. Another Jayhawks strength is kick returns, where Charles Gordon and Mark Simmons average almost 11 yards on punts, and Clark Green and Kenneth Thompson averaged almost 24 yards on kickoffs. P Kyle Tucker averages 43 yards per kick and has placed one-third of his punts inside the 20-yard line.

Edge: Kansas
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Kansas running game vs. Oklahoma run defense

Jon Cornish (72.5 yards per game) and Clark Green (56.8) were a solid 1-2 punch for the Jayhawk rushing attack through four games. Cornish came into the season with four career rushing attempts, but through KU’s first four contests had six touchdowns and was averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Green is among Kansas’ top-10 career rushers. QB Brian Luke is also a threat to run.

Run defense is the Sooners’ overall strength. Texas, the top-ranked rushing team in the country, was a challenge, but the Sooners’ first four opponents failed to surpass 100 yards. Dusty Dvoracek started the season on an all-star pace. So has LB Rufus Alexander, who led the team with 33 tackles and seven for loss through four games. MLB Zach Latimer (32 tackles, team-high 21 solo) is very good as a first-year starter.

Edge: Oklahoma
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Kansas passing game vs. Oklahoma pass defense

Jayhawks QB Brian Luke was average to start the season, completing just 55 percent of his passes and throwing five interceptions to go with five touchdowns. KU averaged just under 200 yards per game through the air. WRs Mark Simmons and Brian Murph aren’t consistent big-play threats. KU averaged 10.6 yards per catch and had just one reception longer than 30 yards through four games, which must change for them to have success against OU.

OU started two true freshman — SS Reggie Smith and FS Nic Harris — against K-State. They each gave up a completion (Smith missed a tackle that resulted in a 73-yard TD), but were mostly steady. Smith got OU’s first interception by a DB since last year. The CB situation got better with senior Eric Bassey back in the lineup and D.J. Wolfe gaining confidence.

Edge: Oklahoma
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Kansas offensive line vs. Oklahoma defensive line

Tackles Matt Thompson (295 pounds) and Cesar Rodriguez (278) and guards David Ochoa (280) and Bob Whitaker (317) combined for 41 starts last season. The Jayhawk offense averaged 3.9 yards per carry and allowed seven sacks through its first four games. KU probably won’t be more physical than the Sooners, so misdirections and draws could become big plays for the Jayhawks.

Remi Ayodele, Carl Pendleton and Steven Coleman have all been playing at a higher level. Dusty Dvoracek gets double-teamed, but through four games was fourth on the team with 19 tackles, including a team-high six for loss (and a team-high six quarterback hurries). OU's front four owns a distinct quickness advantage over the KU blockers and should be able to control the line of scrimmage.

Edge: Oklahoma
------

Oklahoma coaching staff vs. Kansas coaching staff

Three new assistants — OL John Reagan, RB Earl Mosley and WR Tim Beck — are helping move the program forward, but so much turnover on a staff is never healthy for a program. Mark Mangino has yet to come close to beating old boss Bob Stoops, but recruiting continues to surge and the Jayhawks continue to stockpile good victories (Missouri two years in a row, K-State last year).

The Sooner offense continues to evolve. Chuck Long and Kevin Wilson have molded the product on the field so much it hardly resembles the team that showed up for the TCU game. Defensively, Brent Venables has come up with creative ways of generating a pass rush in lieu of experienced ends. The guts shown by Bobby Jack Wright to go with a pair of freshman safeties is rare. Bob Stoops is 7-0 against his former aides.

Edge: Oklahoma