BCS Notebook: OU Meets with Media

The football program has been in lockdown mode since the day after the Big 12 Championship, but this afternoon media access was granted. Bob Stoops and a number of players and coaches answered some of the lingering questions surrounding the BCS Title Game.

Injury Update

It is obvious that DeMarco Murray and DeMarcus Granger will be out, but what about all of the other players that are on the mend?

The Oklahoma defense will be much stronger with Austin Box in the middle, and Alan Davis could provide some depth on the edge. Stoops is hopeful that they will both be able to contribute.

"Again we are hopeful that Alan Davis and Austin Box will be back," Stoops said. "We are hoping that it will be fairly soon."

"He [Austin Box] is not practicing yet. He is conditioning and lifting, so he is getting closer."

Manuel Johnson went down with a dislocated elbow in the Kansas game He has played with a brace on his elbow ever since, and despite making a heroic catch in the Tech game he has not been as effective playing with an apparatus on his arm.

With the time off there was chance he may get to play with out, but Stoops believes that he will still need a brace for the BCS game.

"I don't know that yet. I am assuming right now that he is going to be in the brace. He still wears it to practice, so I think that he will still be in it."

Academic Success

It is not at all uncommon to see schools to have a number of academic casualties, but the Sooners players have dedicated themselves in the classroom and Stoops reports that every contributor is good to go for Miami.

"No," Stoops responded when asked point blank if there were any players that were going to be academically ineligible.

Bradford Injury Update

The whole nation saw that Sam Bradford was in a cast for the Heisman presentation, and that has obviously limited his practice reps. It is almost time to get the cast off, but he will have to use some type of protection for his thumb in the Big Bowl.

"He still has his cast on," Stoops acknowledged. "Here after the Holidays they will reduce it to a splint. Similar to what he played in during the Big 12 Championship game."

Return Game

With the loss of DeMarco Murray the doors are open for a guy to step in to the return game. Stoops feels like there are number of qualified candidates, but it will be a tough job to fill Murray's shoes.

"Juaquin Iglesias has always done it," Stoops started. "Mossis Madu, Chris Brown, Manny Johnson, all of those guys have doen it before."

"We will obviously miss DeMarco. He is a great return man as well as a great running back and receiver as well."

BCS Woes

It seemed that the main question on the top of people's minds was the recent streak of misfortune for OU in BCS Bowls. Stoops says there is not a whole lot to do differently.

"You can change, but nothing guarantees success," Stoops admitted. "I think in the end you are playing other championship teams and you have got to play well. If you turn the ball over and you don't play well you are not going to win in the end."

That's not to say that there won't be some changes.

"We will change some things scheduling wise," Stoops confirmed. "But what worked for us in 2000 in the Rose Bowl didn't work the next time. What didn't work now does work, so what do you do? Is there any magic formula to it? No. We will adjust."

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