Defensive end Ronnell Lewis is already out for Bedlam. Fears arose in the waning moments at Owen Field that end Frank Alexander might be out, too. But Alexander, who suffered a shoulder injury late in the fourth quarter, said he should be good to go for Bedlam.
"I was going in for the tackle, and somebody must have run into my shoulder," Alexander, who called the injury a pinched nerve. "It felt like it was knocked out of place. It was a constant burning, tingling feeling, numb, all in one. I thought it was gone. I was getting a little emotional. But it's feeling good. I've just got to take it easy."
Alexander is putting the finishing touches on a season that could net him Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. On Iowa State’s first drive, Alexander beat Iowa State left tackle Kelechi Osemele, who is projected to be a high round NFL Draft pick, and poked the ball away from running back James White. The turnover set up an OU field goal.
Alexander, who added six tackles and a quarterback hurry, is expected to be limited in practice this week.
“I'm fine,” Alexander said. “I'll come in every day for treatment. I'll just have to take it slow through the week. I can't be putting too much pressure on it. They said they’d watch it closely.”
The Oklahoma defense played well against Jared Barnett and the Cyclones.
THE SOONERS HAVE BEEN KNOWN to move in and out of different fronts this season. They showed a totally new set against Iowa State, perhaps giving Oklahoma State something else to consider this week.
For the first time this season, Sooners essentially played with two tackles and only one end in Alexander. The defense was an adjustment to the absence of Ronnell Lewis, who is out the regular season with an MCL knee sprain. The Sooners used Corey Nelson as an end/outside linebacker. The team experimented with Nelson in that role in the spring.
FOR THE THIRD TIME in two seasons, wide receiver Jaz Reynolds was suspended by coach Bob Stoops for a violation of team rules.
Stoops, however, said after Saturday’s game that Reynolds would play in Bedlam.
“Provided things are right this week," Stoops said.
Reynolds is also battling a sore shoulder that he injured last weekend at Baylor. Reynolds had to wear a sling early in the week, and was limited in practice. Stoops said Reynolds could have played, though, had it not been for the suspension.
After Ryan Broyles, who is out for the season with a knee injury, Reynolds has been OU’s top playmaker at wide receiver, averaging a team-high 17.7 yards per catch. He also has five touchdowns.
TRUE FRESHMAN RUNNING BACK Brandon Williams had the best game of his career, rushing for 80 yards on 11 carries. All told, the Sooners rushed for 253 yards.
“He’s playing a bigger and bigger role,” Stoops said. “He gives you a spark. He is a fast guy, strong runner and very capable.”
Despite avoiding a redshirt, Williams hasn’t played much up until Saturday. Ball security has been a major issue both in practice, and in games. Just as the Sooners were set to get Williams more carries, he fumbled against Texas. Williams said that’s been a major focus for him the last few weeks. After a banner performance in the fourth quarter at Baylor, Stoops said the offensive coaching staff made a decision to work Williams in as the No. 2 running back behind Roy Finch.
“I’ve improved a lot in holding onto the ball,” Williams said. “In high school, teams never really came after me like they are in college. But I’m ready now.”
SAFETY TONY JEFFERSON was on his way to having an All-America-caliber season after the month of September. But Jefferson has been dealing with an MCL knee sprain that has slowed him in conference play. Jefferson seemed to return to his early season form against the Cyclones as he totaled seven tackles, including two for loss, and a sack.
“My knee is getting better,” he said. “I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent, but I can go out there and make plays.”
There was some speculation early in the week that Jefferson might move to free safety in place of Javon Harris, with Joe Ibiloye coming in at nickelback. Instead, the Sooners slid Aaron Colvin to free safety, and subbed in Sam Proctor at strong safety.
The secondary played much better with the new lineup than it did at Baylor.
"I think we stepped up,” Jefferson said. “There were some mistakes in there that need to be fixed up, but I felt like we went in there and played our game like we should. We held our composure and not everything went our way, but we stood our ground and played good defense."
Blake Bell scored his eight and ninth rushing touchdowns of the season against Iowa State.
SENIOR DAY WAS TOUGH DAY for the family of Austin Box, who would have been a senior this season. Box was honored along with the other OU seniors. Box’s family held his No. 12 jersey with them.
“Every time Austin's name is brought up,” said wide receiver Kenny Stills, “it's hard for all of us."
IT WAS A NICE touch by the Sooners to recognize Corey Wilson as this year’s Don Key Award winner, presented to the OU senior who represents the character of Key, a former OU lineman. Receiver Ryan Broyles, linebacker Travis Lewis and tight end James Hanna also shared the award.
Wilson, a former OU wide receiver, was paralyzed from the waist down after being injured in an auto accident in February 2009.
SENIOR TIGHT END Trent Ratterree had a tough time staying composed in the interview room after playing in his final home game at OU. Ratterree, a former walk-on, was given a scholarship before this season.
“I love playing here,” he said. “The feeling I get when all those people are yelling and screaming and asking for your gloves – you can feel the love and support. It’s unlike anything else.”
Ratterree had a 10-yard catch to cap his career at home.
“All good things come to an end,” he said. “I couldn’t have been here without my parents’ support. They’ve been my life force. With my brother and my nephew coming up to watch, I just try to set a good example.”
SENIOR OFFENSIVE TACKLE Jarvis Jones was not at Saturday's game, and curiously was not suited up for Senior Day.
A source close to the program said Jones has been dealing with a "compliance issue," but wasn't more specific than that.
Jones, the projected starter at right tackle going into the year, suffered a torn patella tendon early on in spring practice. Since coming back from the injury, Jones has played sparingly, with Lane Johnson take over the full-time role at right tackle.