This and that: OU tidbits

News and notes from OU's win vs. Texas and looking ahead to KSU.

A few days removed from Oklahoma’s win against rival Texas so it’s a good time to go back and reexamine what exactly happened in the Cotton Bowl and how it could play a role Saturday against Kansas State.

Alexander comfortable, confident

Sophomore linebacker Dominique Alexander didn’t lead the team in tackles this time around, but there’s no doubt he played even better against the Longhorns than he did last season.

Alexander finished with 11 tackles despite playing the second half with a cast on his right thumb.

“I wasn’t out there thinking,” Alexander said. “I was just out there flying around and making plays. I felt very comfortable.”

Alexander and counterpart Jordan Evans combined for 25 of OU’s 88 tackles. Alexander was pretty close to flipping his commitment from OU to Kansas State before ultimately deciding to stick with the Sooners.

OU fans are certainly glad with how that has turned out.

Hunnicutt still ‘Moneycutt’

Consistency can get boring, or at least overlooked. OU coach Bob Stoops, though, knows he’s lucky in what he has with kicker Michael Hunnicutt.

Hunnicutt, the school’s all-time leading scorer, added to that total with a 44-yard field goal against the Longhorns. It was the longest of the season for the senior captain.

“Hunnicutt has been fabulous, so consistent,” Stoops said. “He has been great. We definitely appreciate him.”

A huge reason KSU lost to Auburn was in the kicking game with three missed field goals, and the kicking game was a crucial factor in Arizona losing its first game against USC on Saturday night.

Other schools might have problems in the kicking game, but it’s not a concern for Stoops and the Sooners. Hunnicutt, incredibly, has made a field goal in 23 straight games.

Ross great at returning, won’t change positions

This same line of questioning was asked after the West Virginia game regarding sophomore Alex Ross and his ability to play wide receiver.

Stoops said no to the idea that week and stayed true to that this week. It’s simply a different game as a slot receiver compared to being a running back, kick returner and someone who catches balls out of the backfield.

Ross once again ignited OU with a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Texas, his second one this season. He leads the nation in kickoff returns at 45.7 per return.

KSU has a special teams weapon of its own in Tyler Lockett, but Ross isn’t a slouch, either. If teams keep kicking it to him, no denying he can use that track speed and run downhill with the best of them.

Phillips continues improvement

Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips said the bye week allowed his back to heal, and he is starting to play like that once again.

Phllips only had two tackles vs. Texas, but it’s never about the numbers for a defensive tackle. It was about his physical presence, which one again was put to good use for OU.

Stoops talked about the athletic ability of Phillips that has really helped Phillips separate himself from the rest of the crowd.

Phillips isn’t the only one to use that bye as Zack Sanchez said his shoulder is now 100 percent, but the Sooners will still be without Keith Ford, Charles Walker and Derrick Woods this week against the Wildcats. Matt Dimon did return to practice Monday.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories