Being the preseason No. 1 team, Oklahoma was already facing some disappointment playing in the Insight Bowl against Iowa. Losing to the Hawkeyes would have been worse.
Instead, the Sooners salvaged a 10-win season by holding on against a fourth quarter Iowa rally to beat Bob Stoops‘ alma mater 31-14. Oklahoma failed to accumulate 300 yards on offense and freshman quarterback Blake Bell was the team’s leading rusher with 51 yards and 3 touchdowns — the final one came with under a minute to play to seal the game for good.
But the Sooners made enough stops defensively — ESPN’s skycam did it’s part to stop the Hawkeyes offense too — to win the game and cap off a season of injury and heartbreak. Tonight, as ESPN reminnded us today, would have been Austin Box‘s last game with the Sooners. Box, a linebacker for the Sooners, tragically passed away over the summer. Tony Jefferson wore Box’s jersey this evening.
It was also the last game for Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker, who will hang up the headset after 13 seasons with coach Kirk Ferentz and 44 seasons as a collegiate coach. Earlier this month, Parker was named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Assistant Coach of the Year.
The Sooners end the season at 10-3; Iowa falls to 7-6 to end a disappointing 2011 campaign.
Well here’s a bit of a shocker for you this morning. UCLA running back Myles Jack has reportedly withdrawn from UCLA and will prepare to enter the NFL Draft in 2016. The news was first reported, via Twitter, by Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated.
Jack has played linebacker and fullback for the Bruins, and his decision to turn pro now comes off feeling a bit strange. Head coach Jim Mora certainly questions the decision by Jack.
“I think it’s very risky to do this. There’s a lot of speculation to ….where he fits,” Mora explained, via Thamel. “I’ve been in 25 Draft rooms. I’ve never seen a guys taken off (two games of junior tape)… Myles’ talent is without question. I hope he’s put enough out there where they can get a true evaluation.”
Jack suffered a season-ending knee injury last month in a practice. The injury led USC Athletics Director Pat Haden to send him a letter wishing him well in a sign of good sportsmanship between conference and crosstown rivals. Perhaps the season-ending injury led Jack to consider the consequences of returning in 2016 in a UCLA uniform, with players not being compensated for their play. The question then becomes if Jack is a good enough talent to go in round one, or even round two, considering the latest injury situation for him.
Well, here is the instant opinion of our friend Josh Norris of Rotoworld and an NFL Draft analyst…
Jack was a two-time second team All-Pac-12 selection and Pac-12 Defensive and Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2013.
Virginia Tech has been playing just about the whole season without starting quarterback Michael Brewer after the Hokies signal-caller broke his collarbone in the first game of the season. Now, Brewer is on his way back to the field. Brewer has been medically cleared to return to practice in Blacksburg. It may still be another few weeks until he gets back in a game for Virginia Tech.
Brewer broke his collarbone in Virginia Tech’s season-opening loss to Ohio State. Once he left the game, it seemed the Hokies were unable to give the defending national champions much of a fight for a second straight season. He was originally expected to miss eight to 10 weeks of action, which would have meant a return for a Halloween game against Boston College as the earliest likely date. Virginia Tech has a bye week after the Boston College game, meaning Brewer could then be available for a Thursday night division game against Georgia Tech on November 12. Considering all of that, the chance Brewer might be available to play this Friday night against N.C. State is quite a pleasant surprise for a Virginia Tech team in need of some help after dropping to 2-3 after a second straight loss last weekend. Andy Bitter of The Roanoke Times says Brewer could be a gametime decision for Frank Beamer.
The outlook is not quite as possible for Hokies running back Marshawn Williams. Williams will be out for the rest of the season after reinjuring his left knee in practice in late September. It is the same knee that was surgically repaired last December. Williams can use this season as his redshirt season as he has not played in a game this season. He will still have three years of eligibility remaining when he returns to the team next fall.