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Mid-Week Links and Info Dump: Air Force

There's nothing quite like a ton of links to read through, to help get you through the last couple days of the week. Try not to spend too much time at work reading up on the Sooners, though!

Let me start off with some interesting facts. I was reading through my Football Outsiders Almanac in order to get some insight on the Falcons. Last year, Air Force was deceptively good. They went 7-5, but 4 of those 5 losses came by a touchdown or less. They had the second most "run-heavy offense" in the country with only Navy posting a higher run to pass ratio. In fact, last year, the Falcons attempted 10 passes or less in half their games! The most amazing stat that I found was that they had a +22 turnover margin in 2009. Since they can limit the number of possessions in a game with ball-control option offense, turnover margin is key. The Sooners will have to take care of the ball.

A couple of quick items. Have you ever wondered where the 2000 national champions wound up? OU is running at about a 17 point favorite on most betting sites. Finally, we got this in an email and thought it would be good to post:

This season, Sooners fans have another reason to cheer for Patrick O’ Hara as each successful field goal and extra point at home games will generate money for the school’s general scholarship fund thanks to a new addition to Memorial Stadium – an Allstate "Good Hands" field goal net. During games at Memorial Stadium, Allstate will donate $300 for each field goal and $100 for each extra point successfully converted by the team.

Oklahoma joined 70 other colleges and universities participating in the "Good Hands" field goal net program. Since 2005, Allstate has donated more than $2 million to partner schools’ general scholarship funds.

Links after the jump.

Bartholomew becomes AFA punting weapon - The Denver Post
Air Force punter Keil Bartholomew had his own victory to savor Saturday in addition to his teams 35-14 Mountain West Conference win at Falcon Stadium.

Downfield blocking part of the job for Air Force linemen | Colorado Springs Gazette, CO
Oklahoma’s starting offensive linemen average about 301 pounds. You won’t see many of them running after cornerbacks and safeties against Air Force this week. Most college offensive linemen aren’t hustling into the secondary for blocks, but that’s sometimes part of the assignment for the athletic and mobile Falcons’ linemen.

Air Force notes: Clark, Tew dealing with injuries | Colorado Springs Gazette, CO
If fullback Jared Tew is unable to play Saturday – and as of Tuesday, his availability had not yet been determined – Air Force feels good about Tew’s replacement, Nathan Walker.

Mikel Hunter making an impact for Falcons | Colorado Springs Gazette, CO
The Falcons have called Hunter’s number four times this season. The sophomore has scored three long touchdowns. He probably won’t keep up that pace over a larger sample size, but Hunter has become an unlikely weapon for Air Force’s loaded offense.

Falcons’ Unique Style: The Norman Transcript
When Oklahoma’s 2010 schedule was released, the games against Florida State and Cincinnati drew the most attention. Those were the teams that carried national prestige. But OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables was telling anyone within ear shot there was a third team that should put the fear into the Sooners.

The Air Force Academy Official Athletic Site, partner of CBS College Sports. The most comprehensive coverage of Air Force Academy Athletics on the web.

Falcons get set for noise, Oklahoma - The Denver Post
The only levity Air Force coach Troy Calhoun allowed in discussing Saturdays game at No. 7 Oklahoma was to say he would have a horse-drawn Sooner wagon circling the practice field.

Triple Option Still A Threat |
Twenty-five years ago, the triple option offense ran rampant through the Big Eight Conference. Today, however, the triple option in an endangered species.

Sooners prepare for Air Force's option offense | Tulsa World
"It's totally different," said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. It's Air Force, and this isn't your daddy's Academy. The Falcons still run the option (boy, do they run the option). But the wishbone is a thing of the past.

Sooner Scouting Report: Air Force |
Air Force is flying high after a big win over conference rival BYU and comes into Norman this weekend with a perfect 2-0 record. The Sooners and Falcons kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday on Owen Field.

OU Football Notebook |
Turnovers are pivotal in every game but possibly more so when playing Air Force, which can use its option offense to milk the clock. Instead of 13 to 14 possessions a game, sometimes teams get only nine or 10.

Mountain West teams give Sooners trouble |
OU's record against the Mountain West Conference is 2-2. That's right. The Sooners have a .500 record against the league that formed in 1999.

History favors Sooners: The Norman Transcript
Oklahoma will face Air Force for the first time since 2001 Saturday. If history is an indication, it should be an easy win for the Sooners. They held the Falcons to 137 yards rushing (2.5 per carry) in a 44-3 rout at Colorado Springs.

Sooners in no rush to change preparation - The Denver Post
Even though Oklahoma plays Air Force this week and must prepare for the Falcons running game, coach Bob Stoops said the Sooners practices wont be different from any other week in the season.

AP: No. 7 Sooners don't want to fall behind Air Force
Here's a formula for victory for No. 7 Oklahoma: Receive the opening kickoff, go down and score, then never look back. [Editorial comment: "duh"] | Football team preparing for stiff defensive test
OU will face one of the better secondaries on its schedule when the Air Force Falcons visit the No. 7 Sooners on Saturday. Three starters return to the Falcon secondary after last season where the starting defensive backs accounted for 18 interceptions. 

Oklahoma's Alexander glad to be back | Ft. Worth Star Telegram
Defensive end Frank Alexander rejoined the rotation in last week's 47-17 victory over Florida State and made only two tackles -- but both went in the book as sacks. "It felt good to be back out there," said Alexander after missing the opening game because of a sprained ankle.

Enjoy Broyles While You Can | Tulsa World
Ryan Broyles is on his way to becoming the most prolific pass-catcher in Oklahoma history. He ranks third nationally with 21 catches, and is on pace to smash his own year-old school record of 89 for a season. He needs 66 more to pass Mark Clayton on the all-time receptions list. Shouldn't be a problem.

AP: Concussion keeps Sooners RB Clay Out
Oklahoma freshman running back Brennan Clay will be held out of Saturday's game against Air Force due to a concussion.

Brennan Clay's Pitch Convinced Tony Jefferson to follow him to Oklahoma |
When the envelope arrived, Tony Jefferson was surprised.

Fastest Offense He's Ever Seen |
"It was the fastest offense I've ever played in my whole life," Reid said, when asked what he learned from studying the Oklahoma game film. "The kind of mistakes I messed up on and the team messed up on, we can fix."

Florida State CB Greg Reid: I needed that – Seminoles Blog | Orlando Sentinel
Florida State cornerback Greg Reid has never lacked confidence. Turns out, maybe he lacked humility. Reid, along with the rest of his Florida State teammates, received a dose of that on Saturday during the Seminoles’ 47-17 loss at Oklahoma.