Youth Provides Spark

The Sooners are 5-0 heading into their bye week and probably wouldn't have gotten there without contributions from one of the most unexpected groups during OU head coach Bob Stoops' career: the freshman class.

"There's no doubt about it," Stoops said. "There's no denying that you look at the freshmen that contributed and had huge games vs. Texas a week ago. These guys impacted the game."

A number of them, too.

"Kenny Stills had a huge game, great catch on the first touchdown," Stoops said. "Trey Millard every game has been outstanding and was again the other night running the ball, catching it, blocking, you know, was just great. Tony Jefferson has been outstanding every game and had another great game. Aaron Colvin was in there, didn't flench, you know, had a really good game, and Daniel Noble at D-line, continues to do well."

In fact, Jefferson was only one tackle away from leading the team against UT, as he had nine, one of which was a tackle for loss, to go along with a quarterback hurry.

And Colvin finished with seven tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.

Noble had two tackles, and freshman linebacker Corey Nelson even got on the action with two tackles of his own.

Millard, of course, on the offensive side of the ball, performed a role most Sooner fullbacks under Bob Stoops haven't done, and that's run the football.

He picked up a couple pivotal first downs, part of a five carry, 16-yard outing, and he even caught a pair of passes for nine yards.

And then there's the electric Stills on the perimeter, who led the team with five catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.

So, this game really epitomized what has been a recurring theme so far, freshmen serving as an integral part of the progress of this team and unafraid of the big stage.

"Those guys are good players and I saw it before the [Texas] game," Stoops said. "There wasn't a bit of doubt in their eyes, and they played that way. And I even made a point the night before the game, talking to--because we had all our guys down there because it was our home game--there's a bunch of freshmen that aren't playing like [it]."

And this just in: There's more that haven't even been showcased yet.

"[There are guys] that aren't playing as much maybe yet that are working into it and even some that are being redshirted," Stoops said. "It is a real [good thing]. You know, I said, ‘You guys need to be encouraged. Your time will be next year and or sooner than you think, and you're going to be good. It's a really strong class, and again a bunch of them that you're not even talking about are really going to be great players."

No doubt, this class will help the Sooners throughout the rest of 2010 and carry them for years to come.

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