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Update: Kyler Murray will not start for Oklahoma vs. Baylor; Austin Kendall gets first start

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UPDATE: Austin Kendall will get the start for Oklahoma today. Kendall’s mother, via Twitter, spilled the beans with a message on what has turned to a private account saying “Austin’s first collegiate start is today against Baylor!

You have to love the college football rumor mill. It may be something, or it could lead to absolutely nothing. Either way, when a rumor surrounding the playing status of a potential Heisman Trophy candidate playing for a power conference favorite and playoff contender surfaces hours before kickoff, it is difficult to avoid entirely.

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray is the subject of some recent rumors popping up over the last 24 hours, with speculation he may not start for the Sooners today in a Big 12 home game against Baylor. The reason for any potential suspension appears to be something as minor as showing up late for practice. Dean Blevins of OKC-KWTV in Oklahoma noted the recent rumors about the starting quarterback and Heisman hopeful on Twitter late last night.

If that is indeed the offense and Murray is stripped of the chance to start, do not expect Lincoln Riley to keep Murray out of action for very long. Not starting is not the same punishment as not playing, as Murray could come on the field as early as the second snap from scrimmage or the second series of the game.

Unless there is more to the story, Murray should be available fairly early at the very worst for Oklahoma. The Sooners host Baylor at 3:30 p.m. ET today.

UPDATE: Austin Kendall will get the start for Oklahoma today. Kendall’s mother, via Twitter, spilled the beans with a message on what has turned to a private account saying “Austin’s first collegiate start is today against Baylor!

No. 5 Oklahoma avoids massive upset with overtime win over Army

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If you woke up this morning and thought there was any chance Army (2-2) was going to come away with a win on the road against No. 5 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), then you are probably the most optimistic of Army football fans there may be. Army did not pull off a major upset of the Sooners, but boy did they come closer than anyone realistically could have imagined.

Oklahoma avoided being upset at home by Army with a 28-21 victory in overtime Saturday night. The game got off to a wild start with the two teams exchanging touchdown drives on the first five possessions of the game, with Oklahoma holding a 21-14 lead by the time the first punt was made by Army in the second quarter.

Army’s valiant effort in the second half to force the game to reach overtime was highlighted by the defensive effort to stand tall in times of need. Army intercepted a pass by Kyler Murray on Oklahoma’s first possession after halftime and capitalized with a 19-play drive covering 85 yards and ending with a short touchdown run by Andy Davidson to draw the game even at 21-21. The defense again made a big play with a fourth down stop on the goal line on Oklahoma’s ensuing possessions. The Sooners had three plays run from the five-yard line and in, but were stuffed on fourth down to give Army a chance.

Army managed to run out away from the shadows of their own end zone but was unable to take its first lead of the ballgame. With one final chance to avoid overtime, Oklahoma missed a 33-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.

Unfortunately for Army, the dream of a colossal upset that would shake up the College Football Playoff picture quickly disintegrated in overtime. Murray completed a touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb on the second play of overtime to give Oklahoma a touchdown lead, and Army’s Kelvin Hopkins Jr. had a fourth-down pass picked off by Parnell Motley to seal the win for Oklahoma.

Enough cannot be said about the effort shown by Army. It is not often a service academy gets a chance to take a highly ranked team and a playoff contender the distance, but Like the original Rocky movie, Oklahoma had just a little more to score the decision in their favor. Army dominated the time of possession with their offensive style gobbling up nearly three full quarters of the clock with 339 rushing yards and 26 first downs. Oklahoma was just too efficient early on with their offense and Army was unable to get an early stop.

Oklahoma will take a 4-0 record back into Big 12 play for the remainder of their regular season, beginning next week at home against Baylor. The Bears are 3-1 after their Big 12 opener victory against Kansas, snapping a two-game winning streak for the Jayhawks.

Army will be back on the road next week to play Buffalo. The MAC program is 4-0 after their demolishing of Rutgers on the road earlier in the day.

Army may have lost, but this is a game that will not soon be forgotten by Army fans around the country and the world.

No. 5 Oklahoma holds off Iowa State in Big 12 opener

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No. 5 Oklahoma (3-0, 1-0 Big 12) was finally given a stiff test after two easy wins to start the year, but Iowa State (0-2, 0-1 Big 12) was unable to pull a second straight upset over the Sooners. Kyler Murray passed for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 77 yards to help Oklahoma stay ahead of the Cyclones, 37-27, in the Big 12 opener for both schools.

Iowa State cut Oklahoma’s lead to 34-27 with a field goal at the end of an 83-yard drive in the fourth quarter. Murray then got to work on leading an important drive for Oklahoma, beginning with a 15-yard run and running for 15 yards once again two plays later. Although the drive did not end with a touchdown, a 42-yard field goal was essentially the final nail in the coffin for Iowa State’s upset bid on this day. Iowa State quarterback Zeb Noland had a pass picked off on the ensuing drive, which allowed Oklahoma to run out the bulk of the remaining 1:11 in the game.

Noland completed 25 of 36 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns, and Hakeem Butler was a breakout star for the Cyclones with five catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns. But it was not enough to overcome Murray’s performance. Sooners receiver Marquise Brown caught nine passes for 191 yards and a touchdown as well.

Playing their first game without standout running back Rodney Anderson, who suffered a season-ending injury last week, the Sooners found the production they needed with Murray and running backs Trey Sermon and Marcelias Sutton. The two running backs charged the offense on their second possession of the third quarter with Sutton hurdling a defender for some extra yardage and Sermon breaking loose from some poor tackling by Iowa State’s defense for a touchdown. Sutton had left the game at one point with what looked like it might be a serious leg injury, but he returned to the game later despite needing assistance off the field.

Oklahoma returns home next week for one last non-conference game on their schedule. The Sooners host Army in what will be the first meeting with the service academy since 1961. Oklahoma returns to Big 12 play the following weekend at home against Baylor.

Iowa State also jumps back to non-conference play next week with a home game against Akron. It is the second game of a home-and-home series that started last year with Iowa State winning 41-14 at Akron.

Kyler Murray tosses 3 first-half TDs as Sooners take 14-point lead on Iowa State

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The first two weeks were a breeze for Oklahoma, but the Big 12 opener on the road against Iowa State is proving to be a bit more of a contest. Oklahoma leads Iowa State 24-10 at halftime in Ames, with the Sooners looking to score revenge against the only team to hand them a loss in the regular season a year ago. Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has been locked in by completing 13-of-17 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. The third touchdown pass came in the final seconds of the half to Myles Tease to pad the lead right before the break.

Oklahoma took early control of the game with a 10-0 advantage after the first quarter. The highlight of the first quarter was a 75-yard touchdown pass from Murray to Marquise Brown, who used speed to get by two Iowa State defenders and race to the end zone on a catch deep over the middle.

It took a couple of drives for Iowa State to get things going, but a recovered fumble on Oklahoma’s first play after the Cyclones got on the board early in the second quarter with a field goal, immediately led to a tie ballgame. After Murray completed a catch to a wide-open Grant Calcaterra, Calcaterra ran a few more yards down the field but fumbled the football away around midfield. Richard Bowens III picked up the loose ball sitting on the ground and Zeb Noland connected with Hakeem Butler on Iowa State’s first play from scrimmage after the turnover. Butler broke a few tackles to keep the play alive and he ended up in the end zone as a result of the fantastic effort.

Oklahoma starting linebacker Curtis Bolton left the game in the second quarter for an injury. But he was not out for long. Bolton returned to the game after missing just one play on defense.

The Sooners are playing their first game without running back Rodney Anderson (season-ending injury last week). Murray ha sled the Oklahoma running game with 43 rushing yards, while sophomore Trey Sermon has rushed for 30 yards so far. But, the passing game has been working quite well for Oklahoma.

No. 6 Oklahoma cruises past UCLA, but Rodney Anderson injury could be a tough blow

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No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0) had little trouble for the second straight week at home, defeating UCLA (0-2) 49-21 on Saturday afternoon, but the loss of running back Rodney Anderson could be troubling in the long run. Anderson left the game at the end of the first quarter with what appeared to be a serious knee injury that required medical attention in the locker room, and his return to the sideline in street clothes and a leg brace was not a promising sight for Sooners fans.

Anderson had just six rushing attempts for 19 yards before clutching his right knee at the end of a first-quarter run. By the time the game came back from commercial between the first and second quarter, Anderson was on his way to the locker room with trainers, walking under his own power but noticeably limping.

Kyler Murray continued to keep the Oklahoma offense moving with 306 passing yards and three touchdowns and a game-high 67 rushing yards with another rushing touchdown. UCLA’s defense had some good moments at times, but the Sooners were simply far too much for the Bruins to challenge throughout the game. Murray continues to shine in the offense designed by Lincoln Riley and that helped Baker Mayfield win a Heisman Trophy last season. It has only been two games, but Murray has looked every bit as ready to make a Heisman Trophy push for the Big 12 favorites.

Oklahoma will play their first road game of the year next week when they open Big 12 play against Iowa State. The Cyclones stunned the Sooners last year, so this is a rare revenge game for Oklahoma (although the loss didn’t hold Oklahoma from reaching the College Football Playoff). UCLA will continue its search for the first win under new head coach Chip Kelly next week when they host Fresno State of the Mountain West Conference.