Oklahoma-UAB Pregame Notes

The Sooners and Blazers will kick-off the 2006 season at 6 p.m. Saturday night in Norman. UAB is coming of a 5-6 season in 2005, but they're not your average cupcake. In their six losses last season, the Blazers only lost lost by an average of 5.3 points per game. (Photo/Jeff O'Donnell)

The Matchup
Oklahoma (0-0) vs. Alabama-Birmingham (0-0)

Kickoff
6 p.m. CST. -- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (82,112) -- Norman, Okla.

Television and Radio
Saturday's game game will be televised nationally on TBS. Ron Thulin (play-by-play), Charles Davis (analyst) and Craig Sager (sideline) will call the game.


The game can be heard on the radio in Oklahoma on KOKC 1520. It is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 155.

To listen to the OU radio broadcast live on the internet with Bob Barry, Sr., Merv Johnson and Mark Rogers, click the link below and then click the 'Listen Online' line below and then click the top photo on the page.

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The Rankings
The Sooners are ranked No. 5 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and No. 10 in the Assoicated Press Poll. UAB is unranked.

The Series
Saturday night will mark the first-ever meeting between the Sooners and Blazers.

The Coaches
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is 75-16 entering his eighth season in Norman. Blazers head coach Watson Brown, the brother of Texas head coach Mack Brown a former offensive coordinator at Oklahoma (1993-94) under Garry Gibbs, is 59-65 entering his 12th season at UAB.

Peterson Watch
Junior running back Adrian Peterson needs 1,086 yards this season to pass the career rushing mark set by Billy Sims (4,118). Peterson is currently 8th on the all-time list.

With a 100-yard effort on Saturday, Peterson would pass Greg Pruitt (3,122) and move into 7th place. And he would need 166 yards to pass Stanely Wilson (3,198) and for the 6th spot. De'Mond Parker is currently 5th at 3,403 career yards.

About UAB
Overall, the Blazers return nine starters from last year's 5-6 team. However, they're no cupcake and they proved that last year giving Tennessee all they could handle in a 17-10 loss in Knoxville. And in their six losses, the Blazers only lost by a an average of 5.3 points per game.

The Blazers return five starters (WR, LG, LT, RT, RB) from last years offense that finished the season 52nd in scoring offense (27.91 ppg) and 21st in total offense (434.64 ypg). UAB finished the season ranked 64th in rushing offense (142.55 ypg) and 70th in passing offense (224.27 ypg). However, starting quarterback Darrell Hackney graduated.

Defensively, UAB returns four starters (DE, MLB, SLB, WLB) from last year's team that was ranked 49th in scoring defense (24.00 ppg) and 56th in total defense (372.36 ypg). The Blazers' defense ranks 59th against the run (148.09 ypg) and 71st against the pass (229.09 ypg).

Senior Parker Mullins returns to handle both the kicking and punting duties. Mullins averaged 38.6 yards per punt last season. On field goals, he was 14-for-18 with a long of 41 and a perfect 37-for-37 on extra points.

Roster | Depth Chart | 2005 Stats | 2005 Schedule/Results

Oklahoma Notes
Saturday's season-opener will mark the beginning of the 112th season of Oklahoma Football. The Sooners' all-time record currently stands at 757-289-53...OU is 51-9-5 in season openers in Norman and 84-21-6 overall in season openers. Under Stoops, the Sooners are 6-1 in season openers...Oklahoma is 41-2 at home during the Stoops era, as well as an impressive 20-2 in September and 25-6 in non-conference games...The Sooners are 32-8-2 against teams from Conference USA.

Stoops on UAB
"UAB is a team year in and year out in their conference who always does awfully well. Coach Watson Brown and his staff have done a great job through the years. You look at a lot of their games they've played in the past, some of their openers, last year with Tennessee. Very good game — 17-10. They played Georgia very close I believe the year before. Year in and year out they're always a good football team.

"They love to run the football. He (Watson Brown) really has three really good backs that he works a lot. You'll see a lot of option, three backs in the backfield or one back with a second coming in and running option, misdirection plays with some two-backs and three-back. Almost wishbone type plays to some degree. And they'll spread it out as well trying to throw the football.

"Defensively, structurally very sound. Last year they did a lot of quarters and half-field coverage and mix in their man free, which is similar to what many good, strong defenses do. With a new coordinator this year, we anticipate the same thing since it was good for them."

Brown on Oklahoma
"I'm nervous. We have a lot of question marks. I think we will be really good on defense. We have a lot of young kids on offense and I am ready to see them react to game situations. Oklahoma's defense may be the best defense I have played in the 12 years that I have been here.

"Oklahoma closed practice to everyone, so no one know what they are doing. (Paul) Thompson is obviously an athletic kid who is 6-4, 230 pounds and can play wide receiver. We are going to have to react on the run after the game starts and we see what he is doing."

"And then the running back is the best running back we've played in 12 years here. There's no doubt about it. And that's comparing him to some really good ones, because we've played a lot of good football teams."

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