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No. 7 OU takes Bedlam for fifth straight year, will play for fifth straight Big 12 title next week vs. No. 9 Baylor

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Oklahoma almost always beats Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys rarely make it easy. It was pretty easy on Saturday night.

After surviving with scares of 62-52 and 48-47 in the past two years, the Sooner defense came to play this time, and as a result No. 7 Oklahoma left Stillwater with a 34-16 win over No. 21 Oklahoma State.

Obviously, disclaimers abound, as Oklahoma State was without starting quarterback Spencer Sanders and All-American wideout Tylan Wallace. This allowed Alex Grinch‘s defense to key on Doak Walker candidate Chuba Hubbard, and the result was predictable. Hubbard carried 24 times for 104 yards and a touchdown while catching three passes for 13 yards — numbers that were simultaneously admirable considering the circumstances and not nearly to keep up with OU’s attack.

A key moment came right at the end of the first half. Trailing 20-10, Oklahoma State had a chance to pull within three but, with eight seconds remaining and facing a 3rd-and-goal from the OU 7-yard line, the Cowboys had no better option than handing to Hubbard, and the run was stuffed. OSU settled for a 20-13 halftime deficit.

Then, trailing 34-16 with nine minutes to play, Oklahoma State (8-4, 5-4 Big 12) ran Hubbard on a 3rd-and-2 from its own 33 and gained one yard, then called Hubbard’s number again on 4th-and-1 but gained nothing, all but ending the comeback effort before it started.

Making just his second start of the season, graduate transfer Dru Brown started 8-of-9 with a drop but finished 22-of-32 for 207 yards with an interception.

In the meantime, Oklahoma put up Oklahoma numbers without breaking much of a sweat. Jalen Hurts completed 13-of-16 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown, rushed 16 times for 61 yards and a touchdown, and caught a 4-yard touchdown pass. Kennedy Brooks added 160 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, allowing the nation’s ninth-ranked rushing offense to top the 200-yard mark (283 on 44 carries) for the 10th time in 12 tries.

On defense, Parnell Motley notched a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception, as a defense that went five straight games without a takeaway has now registered five over its last three games.

The Sooners never trailed, rolling 78 yards in four plays to open the game and then, after an Oklahoma State answer, OU responded with a 42-yard Gabe Brkic field goal and a Nick Basquine Philly Special toss to Hurts to put the Sooners up 17-7 on the first play of the second quarter.

The win gives Oklahoma five straight in this series, seven of the last eight, 15 of the last 17, 44 of the last 52 and 89 total in 114 all-time meetings, the most lopsided of any annual intra-state rivalry in FBS.

The win allows Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) to remain in contention for its third College Football Playoff berth in as many seasons under Lincoln Riley and its fourth in the past five seasons, while next week they’ll play for five Big 12 titles in five seasons since Riley’s hiring and 13 overall.

Auburn’s Derrick Brown named Lott IMPACT Trophy winner

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Finally, one of the top defensive players in the nation has been recognized with a significant hardware win.

Sunday night, it was announced that Auburn’s Derrick Brown has been named as the winner of the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy.  This award, named for one of the game’s all-time greats, highlights a player’s performance on the field as well as off of it.

Not only does this award honor defensive excellence on the field but the player who most represents the qualities of the honor’s namesake, former USC All-American Ronnie Lott, off of it — Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Brown is the first-ever player from Auburn to win the award.  The defensive tackle is also the second-straight player from the SEC to claim it, with Kentucky’s Josh Allen serving as the 2018 winner.

In addition to Brown, the other finalists for this year’s Lott IMPACT Trophy were Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and Cal linebacker Evan Weaver.

Mizzou confirms Eli Drinkwitz will retain Brick Haley

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After a run on bringing in assistants from Boone, Eli Drinkwitz has gotten about the business of retention in Columbia.

In a press release, Missouri confirmed that Drinkwitz has decided to retain Brick Haley as part of his first coaching staff with the football program.  Haley wil continue on as the Tigers’ defensive line coach, and will carry the title of assistant head coach as well.

“In my short time of being around Brick I know him to be a man of high character who gets the most out of his players,” said Drinkwitz in a statement. “His wealth of knowledge with the defensive line is exactly what we’re looking for to motivate young men.”

Haley has spent the past three seasons with the Tigers.  Prior to that, he was the line coach at Texas (2015-16), LSU (2009-14) and Mississippi State (2004-06) at the collegiate level.

From 2007-08, Haley was the line coach for the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue at Mizzou and I’m excited to work with Coach Drink and his staff,” said Haley. “Our family loves Mizzou and being part of the Columbia community, so we’re thrilled to keep stakes in the ground here and I’m looking forward to getting to work on doing great things.”

Alex Hornibrook no longer with Florida State

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It seems Alex Hornibrook‘s college career is complete.

Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins said on Saturday that Hornibrook is no longer with the Seminoles as the club prepares for the Sun Bowl

He will join (former) teammate Cam Akers in that regard.

A graduate transfer from Wisconsin, Hornibrook appeared in five games this season. His peak as a Seminole came on Sept. 28, when he completed 29-of-40 passes for 316 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. For the year, Hornibrook hit 84-of-122 throws for 986 yards with seven scores versus two picks.

In three years at Wisconsin, Hornibrook threw for 5,438 yards and 47 touchdowns.

SMU WR Reggie Roberson, Jr., to return for senior season

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SMU wide receiver Reggie Roberson, Jr., will return for his senior season in 2020, he announced earlier this week.

Roberson did so through a statement that at first read as if he would leave the Hilltop. “In the past couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that I am able to forgo my senior year and enter the NFL draft. I want to thank Coach Dykes for giving me the opportunity to come to SMU, and play the game I love in my hometown in front of my family and friends,” it began.

However, like a a classic Roberson open field move, he quickly changed directions and sprinted toward opportunity. “I have decided to come back and play my senior year at SMU. There is a lot of unfinished business that I left on the field that I need to take care of next season.”

A native of DeSoto, Texas, just south of Dallas, Roberson was one of SMU’s top players before he was lost to a foot injury in October. He caught 11 passes for 180 yards in the Ponies’ opening week win over Arkansas State and hauled in eight passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 drubbing of Temple on Oct. 19.

For the year, Roberson caught 43 passes for 803 yards and six touchdowns over seven-plus games. Spread over a 13-game season, he was on pace to end the year in the neighborhood of 80 receptions for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Roberson originally signed with West Virginia out of high school.