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Game Preview: Oklahoma Sooners-Florida A&M Rattlers

Bob Stoops
Florida A&M Rattlers (0-1) at No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners (1-0)

Sept. 8, 6 p.m. CT
Owen Field (Norman, Okla.)
No Line

Florida A&M comes to Norman Saturday night, and the Rattlers aren't expected to give the Sooners much of a test, especially with four players suspended for this weekend's game.

 

GAME OUTLOOK

 

Two of the suspended FAMU players are starters (receiver Lenworth Lennon and cornerback Devontae Johnson)... Lennon led the team with 45 receptions last year, and Johnson led the defense with 5 INTs in 2011... The Rattlers lost to Tennessee State, 17-14, in their season opener...TSU led 17-0... FAMU fought back and drove 88 yards late in the fourth quarter, but twice failed to score from the one-yard line for the win with less than a minute to play... Quarterback Damien Fleming completed 15 of his 30 passes for 119 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT... He also rushed for 52 yards... Travis Harvey caught 6 of Fleming's passes for 52 yards and 1 TD... Linebacker Brandon Hepburn led the Rattler defense with 10 tackles, 3.5 for loss, including 2 sacks... One sack caused TSU's quarterback to fumble, which Hepburn recovered...

This week, Oklahoma MUST iron out some wrinkles from the UTEP game, especially on the O-line... This will be an opportune time to smooth them out... OU will need to work on pass protection in this game and the upcoming off week, because Kansas State will come to Norman on Sept. 22, and Bill Snyder's defense will not be shy about bringing the heat... Landry Jones will be as good as his line will allow... He seemed better with short passes than long bombs versus UTEP, but he had a couple of nice deep passes for TDs (68 yards to Kenny Stills and 18 yards to Brannon Green)... OU's D held a decent quarterback at bay and the pass coverage was especially good... UTEP's Nick Lamaison completed only 6 of 23 attempts for 39 yards... Oklahoma's defense needs to work on stopping the run as UTEP's Nathan Jeffery rushed for 177 yards – 8.4 yards each time he touched the pigskin... The Sooners had only 10 runs of 5 yards or more... Three of them were awesome—Damien Williams' 65-yard TD, Dom Whaley's 18-yard run and Blake Bell's 19-yard scamper... Trey Millard made a crucial block on Williams' run... Three players fumbled (Justin Brown, Dom Whaley and Trey Metoyer) against UTEP... OU was fortunate to recover all three... Holding on to the pigskin will be crucial as the season progresses... OU scored on two of its fourth quarter possessions, and the last series was played to keep the score down... In the fourth quarter, Landry was 3 for 3 for 29 yards and 1 TD, while the running game went for 124 yards and 1 TD on 14 tries... Special teams blocking also must improve as 2 kicks (a punt and a field goal) were blocked... Tress Way averaged 46.4 yards per punt, and Michael Hunnicutt had a 38-yard field goal... The Sooners should be able to name their score in this game, but it will again be "vanilla" football... When K-State comes to town, Stoops and his staff will open up the playbook... Hopefully, a lot of backups get to play vs. FAMU to develop depth for the big games.

ETC.

  • OU is 4-0 all-time on Sept. 8 (19-7 over Stanford in 1984, 34-14 over UCLA in 1990, 37-10 over North Texas in 2001, and 51-13 over Miami in 2007).
  • OU is 46-9-5 overall in home openers; 12-1 under Bob Stoops.
  • Stoops has never lost the second game of a season. The Sooners have won by an average margin of 29.1 points.
  • Florida A&M is located just three-fourths of a mile south of the Florida State campus in Tallahassee.
  • Florida A&M won the 1978 Division 1-AA (now Football Championship Series) national championship.
  • Bob Hayes and Nate Newton are the two most famous FAMU football alums, and both starred for the Dallas Cowboys. Hayes was a three-time Pro Bowl receiver and helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl VI. He also won two gold medals (100-meter dash and 4x100 meter relay) at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. "Bullet Bob" set the world record in both events. Hayes also is the only mand to win a gold medal and a Super Bowl ring. Newton was a six-time Pro Bowl guard and helped Dallas win three Super Bowls (XVII, XVIII and XXX).