Nov 26, 2022; Lubbock, Texas, USA;  Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (10) throws a pass against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium and Cody Campbell Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech ends futility vs. Oklahoma, wins 51-48 in OT

Tyler Shough threw for 436 yards and two touchdowns and Trey Wolff kicked three field goals — including the game-winner — as host Texas Tech knocked off Oklahoma 51-48 in overtime on Saturday night in Lubbock, Texas.

The Red Raiders (7-5, 5-4 Big 12) beat the Sooners for the first time in 11 tries, finishing the season on a three-game winning streak.

Oklahoma (6-6, 3-6) finished with its worst record since 1998.

Jerand Bradley had eight catches for a career-high 173 yards and a touchdown for Texas Tech.

The Sooners got the ball first in overtime, but quarterback Dillon Gabriel was injured on the first play — a pass from wide receiver Drake Stoops to Gabriel off a reverse — and the Oklahoma offense stalled.

Zach Schmit’s 34-yard field goal try went wide right, setting up Wolff’s game-winner on the next possession.

Gabriel finished 28 of 40 for 449 yards and six touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough.

Eric Gray ran for 161 yards, while Marvin Mims (5 catches, 162 yards, 2 TDs) and Theo Wease (3 catches, 123 yards, TD) had big days receiving for Oklahoma.

The Sooners’ C.J. Coldon intercepted Shough, giving Oklahoma the ball in Texas Tech territory with 5:16 remaining and the game tied.

The Sooners’ offense couldn’t get anything going, but Schmit’s 42-yard field goal gave his team a 48-45 lead with 4:04 left.

The Red Raiders then drove the ball steadily down the field, tying it on Wolff’s field goal with 3 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.

Oklahoma led 24-7 midway through the second quarter and looked in control. But Texas Tech scored 17 points in the final 3:09 of the first half to pull within one at halftime.

The Red Raiders ripped off a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in which they never faced a third down to cut the lead to 24-13.

Safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson’s interception on the third play of the next drive gave Tech the ball inside the Sooners’ 30. It took just four plays for the Red Raiders to strike again, this time on Donovan Smith’s 7-yard run that pulled Tech within four with 1:28 remaining.

The Red Raiders’ defense quickly forced a punt, and a pair of long passing plays took them 77 yards in 45 seconds to set up a 29-yard field goal on the final play before halftime to cut Oklahoma’s lead to 24-23.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma Sooners running back Jovantae Barnes (2) runs the ball against Oklahoma State Cowboys safety Jason Taylor II (25)  in the second quarter at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Phipps-USA TODAY Sports

Fast start propels Oklahoma to win over No. 22 Oklahoma State

Dillon Gabriel threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns to lead host Oklahoma to a 28-13 win over No. 22 Oklahoma State on Saturday in Norman, Okla.

The Sooners jumped out to a big lead early, with four first-quarter touchdowns, to reach bowl eligibility for the 24th consecutive season.

Oklahoma’s active bowl streak is the second longest in college football, behind only Georgia.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Sooners (6-5, 3-5 Big 12).

The Cowboys (7-4, 4-4) have dropped three of their last four games.

Oklahoma needed less than 90 seconds to get on the board, with a quick 75-yard touchdown drive to start the game.

After a quick three-and-out by Oklahoma State, the Sooners once again quickly drove down the field, with Gabriel hitting Jalil Farooq for a 30-yard touchdown.

The Sooners’ defense also came up big in the fast start, intercepting Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders three times in the game’s first 20 minutes.

But only one of those interceptions — Jonah Laulu’s 26-yard return to the Oklahoma State 4 — turned into points.

The Sooners outgained the Cowboys 299-61 in the first quarter. It was the second-most yards in a quarter in Oklahoma history.

After that, things slowed considerably for the Sooners’ offense, as they had just 135 yards of offense in the final three quarters.

Gabriel didn’t complete a pass in the second half until less than nine minutes remained in the game.

Eric Gray narrowly missed what would’ve been his fifth consecutive 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 20 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown.

Drake Stoops had six catches for 89 yards and a score.

Sanders finished 36 of 67 for 381 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions for the Cowboys. Brennan Presley had nine catches for 118 yards and Braydon Johnson notched seven catches for 109 yards.

Oklahoma State outgained the Sooners 484-434.

Oklahoma finished just 1 of 14 on third down.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Baylor Bears safety Devin Lemear (20) returns an interception as Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Drake Stoops (12) chases during the first half at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor knocks off Oklahoma on road for third-straight win

Baylor’s Craig Williams ran for a career-high 192 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bears to a 38-35 win over Oklahoma Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma.

Williams could’ve scored again, breaking away for what would’ve been a 50-yard touchdown, but instead he took a knee at the 7 and Baylor ran the clock out.

Slightly before Williams’ long run, Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen completed a critical third-down pass to keep possession. The Bears were 4 of 13 on third downs, but converted three times on fourth down.

It was the Bears’ second win in Norman, with the other coming in 2013.

Baylor (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) secured bowl eligibility and stretched its winning streak to three games.

The Sooners (5-4, 2-4) had their two-game winning streak snapped and have lost multiple home games for the first time since 2014.

Williams had 209 rushing yards entering the game.

Baylor ran for 281 yards and five touchdowns.

Baylor’s defense made life difficult on Sooners’ quarterback Dillon Gabriel.

In the first half, turnovers fueled Baylor’s defense.

The Bears intercepted Gabriel three times before halftime — all on tipped passes — leading to 10 points as Baylor build a 24-21 lead heading into halftime.

Gabriel had thrown one interception on 201 passes entering the game.

Gabriel finished 22 of 34 for 261 yards and two touchdowns while Eric Gray ran for 106 yards and two scores.

Gray’s last touchdown, a 1-yard run with 4:05 remaining, pulled the Sooners to within three, but the drive took more than five minutes and Oklahoma didn’t regain possession.

The Sooners outgained Baylor 499-413, but the turnover difference in the first half was ultimately the difference.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears head coach Dave Aranda cheers for this team during the first quarter against the Albany Great Danes at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Familiarity all around when Baylor meets Oklahoma

Oklahoma coach Brent Venables has plenty of familiarity with his Baylor counterpart, Dave Aranda.

During their time as up-and-coming defensive coordinators, the pair spent time talking defensive philosophies.

But Venables said their relationship really grew when Aranda was the defensive coordinator at LSU and recruited Venables’ son, Jake.

When decision time arrived, Jake Venables picked Clemson.

“His mama won the recruiting battle,” Venables said. “Dave didn’t make the cut.”

On Saturday, Aranda’s Bears (5-3, 3-2 Big 12) will take on Venables’ Sooners (5-3, 2-3) at Norman, Okla.

Aranda not only has experience with Oklahoma’s coach, he knows the Sooners’ offense as well.

The Bears played Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl to end last season, beating the Rebels 21-7. Ole Miss’ offensive coordinator was Jeff Lebby, who now is in the same position with the Sooners.

“I think the tempo is familiar,” Aranda said of the similarities. “I think there are less spread-out sets. At least here lately, there’s been more of a focus on the run game. There’s a fair amount of runs that you remember back from OU a year ago to two years ago kind of showing up.”

The run game figures to be key Saturday.

Both teams are among the top rushing teams in the Big 12, averaging better than 200 yards per game. Baylor is 24th in the nation at 201.5 yards, while Oklahoma is 16th at 217.5.

The defenses, though, have been markedly different.

Baylor leads the conference in rush defense, allowing just 113.2 yards per game, while the Sooners are last at 189.8.

“They’re really stout inside,” Lebby said of Baylor’s defensive line. “I think for us, it’s about being really efficient, being really good on first down.”

A year ago, Baylor’s defense mauled Oklahoma, holding the Sooners to 260 yards of total offense, their lowest total since 2014. Baylor pulled out a 27-14 victory.

Venables said the matchup on the other side — his defensive line against the Bears’ offensive front — would go a long way toward deciding the outcome.

The Sooners held Iowa State to 66 rushing yards in a 27-13 win last week to run their modest winning streak to two games following a 49-0 defeat to Texas.

“It’s going to be, to me, the matchup, to be honest with you,” Venables said. “It’s a great, great challenge, and our guys know that.”

Baylor also carries momentum into Saturday’s game off a 45-17 road win over Texas Tech.

Last year, Baylor victory’s over Oklahoma snapped a seven-game Sooners’ winning streak in the series. Baylor has beaten the Sooners only once at Norman, 48-14 in 2014.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma Sooners running back Eric Gray (0) runs with the ball as Kansas Jayhawks safety Marvin Grant (4) chases during the first half at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma finds its offense, takes down No. 19 Kansas

Dillon Gabriel threw for 403 yards and two touchdowns, Eric Gray ran for 176 yards and two scores and Oklahoma powered its way to a 52-42 victory over No. 19 Kansas on Saturday at Norman, Okla.

The win snapped the Sooners’ three-game losing streak, their longest since 1998.

Oklahoma (4-3, 1-3 Big 12) earned its 18th consecutive victory over the Jayhawks.

Kansas (5-2, 2-2) failed to secure bowl eligibility for the first time since 2008, dropping its second consecutive game after starting 5-0.

It didn’t take long for the Sooners’ offense to show more life than it did at any time in their 49-0 loss to Texas last week.

Three plays into the game, Gabriel had more passing yards (49) than Oklahoma had all last week when they finished with 39. Gabriel was out against the Longhorns because of a head injury.

Oklahoma’s Jovantae Barnes scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 1-yard run to cap off the initial drive.

After the teams traded touchdowns on the first four drives, the Sooners finally came up with a stop before holding the Jayhawks’ offense on four consecutive drives.

Oklahoma took the lead for good at 21-14 on Barnes’ 6-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and the Sooners eventually stretched the lead to 35-14 by late in the second quarter.

After collecting 550 yards combined over the last two games, the Sooners finished with 701 yards Saturday. It was Oklahoma’s most total yards against an FBS opponent since 2018.

The 487 yards Oklahoma posted in the first half were the second-most in a half in school history.

Marvin Mims led Oklahoma with nine catches for 106 yards while tight end Brayden Willis had five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown in his first career game with more than 100 receiving yards.

Kansas quarterback Jason Bean, starting in place of the injured Jalon Daniels (shoulder), was 16 of 27 for 265 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Bean also ran for 41 yards.

Kansas’ Mason Fairchild and Lawrence Arnold each caught two touchdown passes, with Fairchild finishing with six catches for 106 yards and Arnold making five catches for 113 yards.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA;  Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables greets Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Gentry Williams (24) before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Brent Venables guides No. 6 Oklahoma vs. alma mater K-State

Soon after his team’s win over Nebraska last week, Oklahoma coach Brent Venables had plenty of activity on his phone.

“Great job getting No. 3,” the text message from legendary former Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. “Now go get No. 4.”

An hour later, Venables’ phone buzzed again.

“Except not this week,” Snyder said.

Venables and the No. 6 Sooners (3-0) open Big 12 play Saturday against visiting Kansas State (2-1) at Norman, Okla., trying to finish off win “No. 4.”

Venables was a walk-on linebacker for Kansas State in the early 1990s and carved out a role with the Wildcats, then began his coaching career there before joining Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma staff after the 1998 season.

Venables has coached against his alma mater multiple times, but Saturday’s game will be his first against Kansas State as head coach. He said he will treat it like any other game.

The Sooners come into the game undefeated, having rolled through opponents by a combined 127-30 in nonconference play.

The Wildcats come in off a 17-10 home loss to Tulane.

“It’s not panic time,” Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said. “But we know we need to improve.”

The Wildcats’ offense struggled against the Green Wave, with just 336 total yards.

Kansas State has performed well against the Sooners in recent years, winning two of the last three meetings. Oklahoma won last year’s meeting 37-31.

Wildcats quarterback Adrian Martinez also has had success against the Sooners.

Martinez was Nebraska’s quarterback last season in a 23-16 loss at Oklahoma, throwing for 289 yards and a touchdown with one interception and ran for 34 yards and a score.

Venables said he showed his team clips of Martinez’s performance against the Sooners.

“This is a dude now,” said Venables, the defensive coordinator at Clemson last season. “One of the best players in the Big Ten and, systematically, fits their system. He’s a little different than the quarterback they had a year ago.”

Both teams rank in the top 15 nationally in rushing yards, with Kansas State’s Deuce Vaughn rushing for 352 yards and three touchdowns through the first three games.

Vaughn rushed for 51 yards on 15 carries and added 10 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown receiving against the Sooners last season.

“You can have him dead to rights and he makes plays,” Venables said.

Vaughn had eight catches against Tulane last week but averaged less than four yards per reception.

Eric Gray has rushed for 286 yards and two touchdowns for Oklahoma while Marcus Major has four touchdowns on the ground.

Kansas State has forced seven turnovers — all interceptions.

The Sooners have turned the ball over just once and have yet to throw an interception.

“He has to continue to trend that way,” Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby said of quarterback Dillon Gabriel. “It’s all about the ball. It’s going to start and end there. We have to take care of it. They’ve done a great job of creating turnovers. … Dillon has to continue to take care of the rock.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jalil Farooq (3) scores a touchdown against Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive back Tommi Hill (0) during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Oklahoma tramples Nebraska

Dillon Gabriel threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score as No. 6 Oklahoma blew out Nebraska 49-14 on Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska.

It was the Sooners’ biggest scoring output ever in Lincoln.

After Oklahoma struggled early on both sides, the Sooners (3-0) took control and dominated the rest of the way in a renewal of the longtime Big Eight rivalry.

The Mickey Joseph era could not have gotten off to a much better start at the outset of the game.

Joseph was named the Cornhuskers’ interim head coach earlier in the week after Scott Frost was fired.

The Cornhuskers forced the Sooners to punt on the game’s first drive, then needed less than two minutes to drive 77 yards to take an early 7-0 lead on Casey Thompson’s 32-yard pass to Trey Palmer.

Oklahoma faced third-and-seven from its own 39 on its second drive, and got a strong rush. But Gabriel eluded the would-be tacklers and found plenty of room to run, going 61 yards for a touchdown.

Beginning with Gabriel’s career-long run, the Sooners scored touchdowns on seven of nine possessions.

After that early touchdown, things turned sour for Nebraska’s offense as well.

The Cornhuskers (1-3) had just 76 yards in the first half after the initial drive, being outgained 355-148 before half.

Eric Gray ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns for the Sooners for his second 100-yard game this season.

Thompson was 14 of 20 for 129 yards and a touchdown for Nebraska, but the Sooners sacked him four times in the first half.

Thompson, whose father, Charles, was a star quarterback for the Sooners, started against Oklahoma for the second time in two seasons after playing for Texas last season.

Oklahoma outgained Nebraska 580-327, with the Sooners rushing for 315 yards. The Sooners came into the game struggling on third down but went 10 for 16 on third.

The Sooners turned the ball over for the first time this season late in the game, but won the turnover battle 2-1.

Oklahoma turned to some trickery early in the second quarter when tight end Brayden Willis took a lateral, then found Marcus Major downfield for a 24-yard touchdown reception.

–Field Level Media

Sep 13, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, US; Nebraska Cornhuskers interim head coach Mickey Joseph speaks to the media during a press conference at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Oklahoma offers no respite for regrouping Huskers

Mickey Joseph once was the center of a recruiting war between Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Now he’ll begin his Division I head coaching career for Nebraska (1-2) against the sixth-ranked Sooners (2-0) when the teams face off Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.

Joseph ultimately chose the Cornhuskers over the Sooners.

But in the wake of Scott Frost being fired following Nebraska’s 45-42 loss to Georgia Southern last week, Joseph took over as the interim head coach this week, 10 months since arriving from LSU to become the Cornhuskers’ associate head coach and passing game coordinator.

Joseph said Nebraska’s players have responded well to the week of change: “They handled it like champs.”

After Frost was fired, Cornhuskers edge rusher Ochaun Mathis told the Lincoln Journal Star there was a “losing culture” around the program that needed to change.

Joseph pushed back against that characterization Tuesday.

“We haven’t been winning, OK, but I wouldn’t say it’s a losing culture,” Joseph said. “A losing culture are kids who don’t come to work. These kids have played in a lot of tight games. Now we’ve got to figure out a way to get them over the hump.”

Nebraska went 5-22 in one-score games during Frost’s tenure, including last season’s 23-16 loss to the Sooners in Norman, Okla.

When Joseph played for the Cornhuskers, Nebraska-Oklahoma was one of the top rivalries in college football, regularly determining the Big Eight winner while often serving as something of an elimination game among national championship contenders.

In 17 of the 31 seasons from 1971 through 2001, both teams were ranked in the top 10 when they squared off.

But when the Big Eight became the Big 12, the teams landed in separate divisions, and the game became less frequent. And with Nebraska’s 2011 move to the Big Ten, the teams stopped playing until last year’s 23-16 Oklahoma victory.

This home-and-home series was set up to commemorate the 1971 “Game of the Century” between the teams.

Saturday’s meeting doesn’t have that kind of importance, but with Nebraska going through the coaching transition and No. 6 Oklahoma looking to bolster its hopes for a College Football Playoff appearance, there’s still plenty to play for on both sides.

Sooners coach Brent Venables is plenty familiar with Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson.

Thompson’s father, Charles, was a quarterback for the Sooners in the 1980s and was around the Oklahoma program during Venables’ stint as the defensive coordinator there from 1999 to 2011.

Venables tried to get Casey Thompson to follow in his father’s footsteps this past offseason when Thompson entered the transfer portal from Texas.

“Really pulling for him,” Venables said. “Except this week.”

The Sooners instead added Central Florida transfer Dillon Gabriel at quarterback after Caleb Williams left for USC. Through two games, Gabriel has completed 70 percent of his passes for 529 yards and has five touchdowns with no interceptions.

Oklahoma has yet to commit a turnover, the first time since at least 1936 that the team hasn’t turned the ball over through the first two games of a season.

“Continuing to take care of the rock, again, that’s where it’s all going to start for us,” Sooners offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby said of Gabriel. “Proud of him from that standpoint. We’ve created some explosive (plays). The biggest thing is making sure we’re not taking unnecessary sacks.”

On the other side, the Sooners have allowed just 16 points through two games, handling UTEP 45-13 and Kent State 33-3.

Their level of competition will take a leap on Saturday. Even though the Cornhuskers have dropped games to Northwestern and Georgia Southern, the offense has still been potent, averaging 36 points a game.

–Field Level Media

OU football coach Brent Venables speaks during media day Tuesday morning at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman.

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Coach Brent Venables puts No. 9 Oklahoma up against UTEP

Nearly 30 years after his coaching career began, Brent Venables will make his head-coaching debut Saturday when No. 9 Oklahoma hosts UTEP in Norman, Okla.

“It’s finally here,” Venables said, referring more to the past nine months since he took over from Lincoln Riley as the Sooners’ head coach. “It’s game week and … this doesn’t ever get old. The excitement, the anticipation is real. This is what you work for.”

Venables, 51, is plenty familiar with his counterpart, UTEP’s Dana Dimel.

When Venables played at Kansas State in 1991-92, Dimel was the Wildcats’ offensive line coach.

“(Former Kansas State coach) Bill Snyder’s one of the best offensive minds in the history of college football, in my opinion, and Dana, that’s his root system,” Venables said. “He’s done a nice job wherever he’s been. He’s got his guys believing.”

The Sooners, finished 11-2 last season under Riley, who now the head coach at Southern California. Now, they will debut new systems on both sides of the ball and will have a fair share of new players as well, led by quarterback Dillon Gabriel, a Central Florida transfer.

At Oklahoma, Gabriel has reunited with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, who was UCF’s offensive coordinator in 2019. That was Gabriel’s standout season as a freshman.

“I think what we’re about to do on offense is going to be really exciting and definitely going to be aggressive,” Gabriel said. “That’s something we pride ourselves on too is setting the tempo of the game.”

Though Ted Roof is the Sooners’ defensive coordinator, the defense will take on Venables’ character.

During his long stint as a defensive coordinator with the Sooners, and then a decade in the same role at Clemson, Venables gave his defenses a reputation for their aggressive, varied attack.

“Now it’s just time to go out there and prove it,” Oklahoma defensive end Reggie Grimes said. “Can’t wait to see the fans again, can’t wait to just see all my guys make big plays, and I can’t wait to feel the electricity in Norman, Oklahoma, again.”

All of the change with the Sooners has made preparations a bit more difficult for the Miners.

“Brent will have a lot of influence on the defense (and) what we’re expecting to prepare for is Clemson’s offense,” Dimel said. “Their offensive coordinator was at Ole Miss, so we’re studying Ole Miss’ offense. Their special teams coordinator (Jay Nunez) was at Eastern Michigan, so there’s a lot of film that has to be gathered.

“And we watched a bunch of game tape from Oklahoma last year to evaluate their talent, the skill set of each player coming back. So this is an unusual preparation for us.”

While the game is the season opener for the Sooners, UTEP already has played.

The Miners are coming off a 31-13 loss to North Texas last week and are looking for their first win over a ranked opponent since 2009.

Oklahoma has won five consecutive openers and hasn’t lost a home opener since 2005.

–Field Level Media

OU safety Pat Fields (10) returns an interception against Texas Tech on Oct. 30 in Norman.

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Interim coaches take spotlight for Oklahoma, Oregon in Alamo Bowl

There aren’t a lot of areas where Bryan McClendon’s experience matches Bob Stoops’.

But heading into the Alamo Bowl, between McClendon’s Oregon squad and Stoops’ Oklahoma one, McClendon has Stoops beat in experience serving as an interim head coach.

McClendon served as interim head coach for Georgia’s TaxSlayer Bowl victory following the 2015 season.

The Ducks’ passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach gets another chance after Mario Cristobal took over at Miami earlier this month.

“Knowing they trust me to be able to do that, it means a lot,” said McClendon.

While McClendon at least expected to be coaching in a bowl game, Stoops did not.

But when Lincoln Riley left for USC, Stoops left the golf course to reassume the spot he held from 1999-2016 before stepping down in the summer of 2017, clearing the way for Riley to be elevated into the role.

Several players remain after Stoops recruited them before leaving the Sooners.

Oklahoma safety Pat Fields is one.

Fields and several other players said playing for Stoops in the game adds to the motivation.

“Being able to play for him, especially my last game, it’s almost a movie-type moment,” Fields said. “Especially with everything that’s gone on. So it’s gonna be huge. I’m gonna love doing it.”

It’ll also give Stoops a chance to coach his son, Drake, a redshirt junior receiver for the Sooners, and work alongside his other son, Isaac, who is a student assistant.

Both teams have had several players opt out of the Dec. 29 game in San Antonio.

For Oregon, star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, wide receiver Devon Williams and cornerback Mykael Wright decided to begin preparations for the NFL Draft after the Ducks’ Pac-12 Championship Game loss to Utah.

Oklahoma has lost four defensive starters — linebackers Nik Bonitto and Brian Asamoah and defensive linemen Isaiah Thomas and Perrion Winfrey.

It has been difficult for Oregon to prepare for the Sooners, given all of Oklahoma’s personnel changes among the defensive front seven.

“You do your best assuming as possible, right?” McClenson said. “They’re going through the same stuff that we’re going through, and that a lot of teams right now are going through in college football.”

The Sooners also lost backup quarterback Spencer Rattler, receiver Jadon Haselwood and tight end Austin Stogner to transfer. Oregon lost wide receiver Mycah Pittman to transfer.

After the game, Stoops will give way to Brent Venables, a former long-time Oklahoma assistant who spent the last decade as Clemson’s defensive coordinator.

Oregon hired Dan Lanning, who spent the last four seasons at Georgia, the last three as defensive coordinator.

The Sooners are making their first Alamo Bowl appearance. Oregon is 1-1 in the bowl.

Oklahoma leads the all-time series between the programs, 6-1, including a 17-14 win in the 2005 Holiday Bowl.

The teams’ last meeting came in 2006, a controversial 34-33 Ducks’ home win that turned on a pair of replay reviews that went against the Sooners in the final two minutes and resulted in a one-game suspension of both the on-field officials and the replay official.

–Field Level Media