Macon Things Happen

Whenever Nebraska freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez felt pressure inside and outside the pocket during the Sooners' 23-20 victory over Nebraska in the Big 12 Title game, you could bet senior defensive end Pryce Macon was one of the players in the offensive backfield making things happen.

Macon, who did not make his first start until this season, made five tackles – all of which for a loss – had three sacks and forced two of Nebraska's four fumbles.

"To play so well in the Big 12 Championship game is something I'm sure he'll remember forever," said head coach Bob Stoops.

While the conference title was the best game of Macon's career, he has had a productive season in a year where the defensive line has struggled. Macon has recorded 21 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and six sacks, which is tied for second most on the team.

"Pryce did a great job all year," Stoops said. "We are proud of him. He's been through a lot of adversity – multiple injuries, and he's kept coming back. And he's rewarded for it because he's really played well here down the stretch."

But the rewards of continuing to play through hard times were not easy for Macon. He had trouble seeing the playing field during his first four years because of the amount of talent in front of him in the depth chart, but he did not give up even though things did not go his way.

Coming into this season, Macon had played in nine games, all of which were as a backup, and had just eight tackles and one sack.

"I'm not going to say it's been easy," Macon said. "My parents wouldn't let me quit, friends wouldn't let me quit and I just kept grinding. God had a plan for me, and I'm just glad I stayed and stuck it out and kept fighting.

"I couldn't see it going any better than this."

Macon's big day was not centralized during just one quarter, as he created havoc in the backfield throughout the game. But the defense as a whole really picked up in the second half by not allowing a point during the final 30 minutes and forcing offensive mistakes until Nebraska's final drive.

"The coaches got us ready to play, and they've been telling us to finish," Macon said. "We just had to go do it. There was nothing else to do but finish and get that victory."

And that's what Macon and the rest of the defense did.

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