Derek Farniok answers the call

Derek Farniok didn't sulk. He was ready and played well in his first start at left guard for Sooners.

Offensive tackle Derek Farniok was just going through another normal Monday practice last week when Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh asked him to move over.

Farniok, who has been a tackle for as long as he can remember, was making the move to left guard because of injuries to Ty Darlington and Nila Kasitati.

Sure it’s not how he envisioned making his first home start, but Farniok was there for the Sooners at left guard in OU’s 52-38 win against Tulsa.

“Felt like I did pretty good,” Farniok said. “You never do perfect, always room for improvement. There were a couple of plays where I messed up, but I was pretty happy.”

It was a makeshift offensive line for the Sooners against the Golden Hurricane with their two senior captains missing. But strangely enough, it was probably the best game for the offensive line this season as the group continues to find its rhythm.

Farniok battled it out for the left tackle position during camp, but it was redshirt freshman Orlando Brown who ultimately won that job.

It could have been a major setback for Farniok, now a senior, but he realized he had to shake off the disappointment and get right back to work.

“No, just keep going, just keep fighting,” said Farniok about if he was disappointed. “You never know. Never would have thought I would be playing guard, but you have to be ready. There’s always going to be an opportunity.

“If you slack off, say screw it, you’re going to miss those opportunities. It was good. I kind of enjoyed guard. It was fun.”

Farniok’s play was good for OU in terms of seeing that depth with the line. OU had a pretty clear-cut five guys the last couple of years, but this year is different. There might not be one superstar, but there are a bunch of guys who Bedenbaugh is starting to realize he can trust in a big moment.

Farniok rotated in and out during the game, and it’s clear his preference is tackle because it’s what he does best. But his selflessness showed Saturday, and he was a reason why OU’s line didn’t fall off the rails following injuries to both Darlington and Kasitati.

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