Oklahoma (0-0) at Bowling Green (0-0)
11:10 a.m. CST. Owen Field (82,112) Norman, Okla.
Television and Radio
Saturday's opener will be televised regionally on ABC. Terry Gannon and Jamal Anderson will call the game while Mark Morgan will work the sidelines. To listen the OU radio broadcast live on the internet, click the link below and then click the 'audio' link next on the right hand column of the Bowling Green game.
Saturday's matchup will be the first meeting ever between the two schools and the Sooners first-ever game against a Mid-American Conference opponent.
The Sooners are No. 2 in both the USA Today Coaches and Associated Press Polls. Bowling Green is unranked.
Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops, who is beginning his sixth season in Norman, is 55-11 overall. Gregg Brandon was 11-3 in his first season as the Bowling Green head coach in 2003. Brandon had stints at Wyoming, Utah State, Northwestern and Colorado before joining the Falcons' staff as the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator in 2001.
About Bowling Green
Bowling Green returns 20 starters from last season's 11-3 squad that knocked off Northwestern, 28-24, in the Motor City Bowl. The Falcons, who hail from the underrated Mid-American Conference, played well on the road last season against major Division 1 programs beating Purdue in West Lafayette, 27-26, in week two and taking Ohio State to the wire in Columbus in a 24-17 loss in week four ... The Falcons return nine starters on offense, but one of the two losses was a major one in quarterback Josh Harris. Harris threw for 3,813 yards and was the teams' second-leading rusher with 830 yards. Stepping in for Harris is junior Omar Jacobs, who only played in four games of a year ago. All five starters return on the offensive line, as well as junior running back P.J. Pope and receivers Cole Magner and Charles Sharon. Pope was a first team All-Confernence selection last season after rushing for 1,005 yards and catching 48 passes for 433 yards. Magner led the Falcons in receiving with 99 catches for 1138 yards and 10 touchdowns. Sharon was second in catches (59) and yards (887) ... Defensively, Bowling Green returns 10 starters from a unit that allowed 21.7 points and 361.1 yards per game a year ago. Senior corner Keon Newson led the defense with 124 tackles, 15 pass break-ups and six forced fumbles. Junior defensive end Mitch Crossley led the team with nine sacks, while sophomore end Devon Parks earned freshman All-American status with five sacks ... On special teams, the Falcons return starting kicker Shaun Suisham and punter Nate Fry. Suisham hit 16 of his 24 field goal attempts with a long of 47, while Fry averaged 40.2 yards per punt ... The Falcons come into Saturday's game having won their last three season openers and their last two meetings against Big 12 teams (Kansas and Missouri in 2002). Bowling Green 4-5 overall against the Big 12.
Oklahoma comes into Saturday 83-20-6 overall in season openers. Under Stoops, the Sooners are 5-0 in openers, winning by an average score of 44-9. They are 30-1 in Norman under Stoops and are currently on a 13-game home winning streak. OU is also 16-0 during the month of September under Stoops, and on a 15-game winning streak against non-conference opponents ... Offensively, the Sooners return 10 starters from an offense that scored a school record 601 points last season ... Senior quarterback Jason White needs 2,740 passing yards and eight touchdown passes to break the career marks set by Josh Heupel. White is currently fourth on the passing list behind Heupel, Cale Gundy and Nate Hybl. Heupel's touchdown pass mark sits at 53 ... Senior receiver Mark Clayton needs 15 catches to break the all-time mark in Sooner history, which is currently held by Quentin Griffin with 169 receptions ... Oklahoma's five returning offensive line starters — Jammal Brown, Wes Sims, Vince Carter, Davin Joseph and Kelvin Chaisson — come into Saturday's opening with a combined 129 starts. Defensively, the Sooners return eight players with starting experience from a team that gave up 15.3 points and 259.6 yards per game last season ... The Sooner defense has forced at least one turnover in 59 of their last 66 games ... Senior defensive end Dan Cody is currently 11th on the all-time career sack list with 15. Defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek and Jonathan Jackson are tied at 17th with 13 career sacks. Cody led the Sooners with 10 sacks last season ... Senior safety Donte Nicholson is the Sooners' leading returning tackler after finishing last season with 90 total stops. Junior safety Brodney Pool is the top returner in interceptions with seven. Senior linebacker Lance Mitchell led the Sooners in tackles through the first three games last season with 17 before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Fresno State ... On special teams, Oklahoma returns kicker Trey DiCarlo, punter Blake Ferguson and punt return specialist Antonio Perkins. Perkins, who has seven career punt return touchdowns, is just one shy of the all-time mark held by former Texas Tech star Wes Welker. DiCarlo led the Sooners in scoring last season and set an NCAA record with 74 PATs. Ferguson comes into his senior season with a 40.2 career average on punts.
Stoops on Bowling Green
"We're excited about the opportunity playing a very good Bowling Green team. Coach Brandon and his staff have done a great job a year ago winning 11 games, winning their bowl game, beating Purdue at Purdue, taking Ohio State to the wire. A very strong football team, well-coached. Very good athletes running around.
"They're very sound and disciplined in how they play. You look at their record the last few years, and are 6-1 against Big 12 and Big 10 opponents. They're not coming in here impressed with anybody. We realize that and our guys will be anxious to play and go see what we can do to."
"Offensively, they're very wide open. A lot of four receiver sets and no backfield sets. I don't want to say they're like Texas Tech, because Texas Tech is very unique in what they do. But they have a lot of similarities with their quick bubble screens and their quick throws and the way they use their run game. There are similarities to the Tech wide open offense and those that you see play with four receivers. They spread it out and go shotgun most of the time. That's their style and they've been very effective in it. They were in the top 15-20 in the offensive categories in virtually every one a year ago.
"Defensively, very standard and coached well as you watch them with their 4-3 and their four and five DB sets, and the way they play zone, mix in zones and sneak in some man-to-man. Pretty standard in how they play, but they are very sound and disciplined in how they play. They're coached well."
Brandon on Oklahoma
"It is a heck of an opener, there is no doubt about that. I would be lying to you if I said anything else except that they are one of the top three overall programs in the country, bar none. Year-in and year-out Coach Stoops has done a fabulous job with that program. They are who everybody wants to be like. For us to have an opportunity to play them is an extreme challenge for our program. Our kids are excited to play Oklahoma. I don't know how we will do, but I know that we will be ready to play."
"I will guarantee you that Oklahoma knows who we are and they are not going to take us lightly. They certainly are going to be ready to play us because that is the kind of coaches they are there. I know a lot of their coaches and they will prepare that team. We have proven that we can play with a lot of people, and this is just another opportunity to do that."
OU-Bowling Green Pregame Notes
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
OU back to the WR target boardJalen Reagor is out of SoonerSquad17. So who's in? Trying to figure out the answer.
Sooners Illustrated6:22 AM
SoonerSquad17 more than a class, it's familyOU's SoonerSquad17 is a lot more than a No. 1-ranked class... it's a family.
Sooners Illustrated6:20 AM
Setting the stage: OU at Texas TechSetting the stage one more time for OU at Texas Tech this weekend.
Sooners Illustrated6:15 AM
Five questions: Texas TechRaiderPower.com publisher Jarret Johnson stops by for five questions about Texas Tech.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 9:50 AM