Grissom makes history
The Sooner defense had one touchdown taken away in the first half so Geneo Grissom felt it was his job to make it happen in the second half.
Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips had a fumble return touchdown called back in the first half on a personal foul penalty.
No penalty this time for Grissom, who absolutely baited Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans into making the throw. Grissom, using his freakish athleticism, made the grab and raced 38 yards down the sideline for his third touchdown of his career.
“I had to make sure we got that one back,” Grissom said.
Gastelum gets game ball, scholarship
OU fans aren’t cringing anymore when Caleb Gastelum comes into the game. For the second week in a row, the linebacker has made a huge impact for the OU defense.
Gastelum led the team with eight tackles and added a sack and interception. That was good enough for a game ball from Bob Stoops and a scholarship.
“I tell myself every day that hard work pays off,” Gastelum said. “Sometimes you get down because you don’t think it will happen and things aren’t going your way. You just remind yourself that if you work hard, good things will happen.”
Gastelum thought about leaving the team in the past but is now playing a crucial role following the suspension of last year’s leading tackler, Frank Shannon.
The game ball was a surprise, but the scholarship was an even bigger surprise. Stoops said after the game Gastelum is now on scholarship for this semester.
Bell gets on the board
It was a big day for tight end Blake Bell. Not only did he make his first reception, but he also caught his first career touchdown.
“I was excited to get that first catch and get my feet wet with everything,” Bell said.
He had to leave last week’s game with a helmet issue. And he had to leave Saturday’s game for half a series with another helmet issue.
So far the helmet has been the biggest adjustment for Bell. As a tight end moved over from quarterback, he’s doing just fine.
Ross a dangerous threat
With OU’s three running backs, you have to make a lot of your opportunities. You can’t say Alex Ross hasn’t done that in two games.
Ross had an 80-yard kickoff return last week and topped that with an 82-yard touchdown run against Tulsa.
“We’re going to always have fresh, strong guys,” Stoops said. “You’re going to have a better chance to pop a big run, and they’re going to run stronger the fresher they are.”
Ross in the open field is scary right now. His track speed is really showing when he’s in open space and was on full display on that long touchdown run.
Injuries slowly starting to mount up
OU has been able to play a lot of guys in the first couple of games. The Sooners have needed to as the injuries are starting to slowly become a real factor.
Cornerback Zack Sanchez left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury and didn’t return. Stoops said Sanchez should be OK, but he was on the sideline in the second half his arm in a sling.
The news isn’t as good for redshirt freshman defensive lineman Charles Walker, who should miss the next 2-3 weeks with a knee sprain.
The loss of Walker is key to the depth of the line, but OU cannot afford to lose Sanchez for an extended period of time. Cornerbacks Jordan Thomas and Stanvon Taylor filled in well for Sanchez against Tulsa, but it could be a different story as the competition increases.