SI Take 3: Nelson will be missed

Weekly recap of the most important things from Bob Stoops' weekly press conference.

Every Monday afternoon during the football season OU coach Bob Stoops has his weekly press conference. Sooners Illustrated will give you the three most important things to take from the session.

Game No. 6: vs. Texas (Red River Rivalry)

Take No. 1: Won't be easy to replace Nelson

You don't just shoehorn somebody in to replace senior captain Corey Nelson. The linebacker will likely miss the rest of the season with a partial torn pectoral muscle suffered in Saturday's win.

It won't be just one person, and we won't likely know who's going to start until much later in the week. Freshman linebacker Dominique Alexander and Aaron Franklin will battle it out, and Stoops said it will be about who has the best week of practice.

"They both have excellent quickness and speed," Stoops said. "They'll have to step up."

Nelson hasn't redshirted during his time at OU, and Stoops said they'll look into whether or not he can earn a medical redshirt year.

Based on NCAA rules, it's not likely. You have to play less than 30 percent of a season to earn that right. Nelson has already played more than 40 percent this season.

Stoops talked to Nelson on Sunday and Monday and said Nelson remains upbeat and even wants to delay surgery so he can help coach the linebackers on the field Saturday.

"I love (Nelson) in that he's upbeat," Stoops said. "He's still going to remain a leader."

Nelson just hasn't been a leader on the field, but he is a leader in the locker room and basically one of the quarterbacks on the defense in terms of making the calls.

Take No. 2: Stoops likes uniform change

News sprinkled Monday about OU and Texas wearing different uniforms designed by Nike featuring gold accents. OU, one of the more traditional programs in the nation, has been reluctant to try new uniform combinations.

But Stoops said he doesn't mind the change and said they met with Nike about a potential change and approved it.

"I like the accents," Stoops said. "It's keeping up with the times. Kids like to see this."

Not just recruits, but the players all seemed pretty excited about tweaking things for the Red River Rivalry.

OU won't be Oregon or Oklahoma State anytime soon with uniform combinations, but it will add a little spice to everything Saturday in Dallas.

Take No. 3: Stoops happy with state of program

The rivalry is always going to be there between the Sooners and Longhorns. Texas, on paper, seems to get the edge on the recruiting trail in terms of the number of stars coming out of high school.

But Stoops said he doesn't have a problem with the guys he has.

"We like whatever stars we got," Stoops said. "We like our players. We don't offer based on stars. Sometimes it's about we like how he fits. We like some intangibles. All different kinds of reasons."

Texas has had its fair share of troubles on the field and with injuries. Stoops said he cannot worry about what other people are saying. He's worried about his guys.

"We constantly talk about how we're going to be at our best," Stoops said. "That's what we're always looking for."

A win against Texas is nice, but Stoops said you can't measure success that way.

"This game is never the end-all for either program," Stoops said. "We've won this game before, haven't won the rest of them. That's not good enough."

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