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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Ruffin McNeill no stranger to his role, Dimitri Flowers signed to Jaguars practice squad, and more!

Also, Bob Diaco is a “wild tiger”.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Oklahoma
Oct 28, 2017; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners assistant head coach Ruffin McNeill during the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

So there have been rumors and reports of players being frustrated with what was transpiring on the defensive side of the ball, but whether that was in regards to their own particular role or what they were asked to do remains unclear. That said, what has started to come to light is that some players didn’t appear to exactly see eye-to-eye with former Oklahoma Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.

The tweet has since been deleted, but Brendan Radley-Hiles posted this, saying, “It’s different when you love the coach you playin for...” followed by a happy birthday to Ruffin McNeill.

Now we don’t want to generalize and assume that the entire defense necessarily felt this way, but this seems telling.

As many have predicted, Bookie — and probably the rest of the team — will likely hear from Lincoln Riley if they haven’t already, just as sort of a “Hey, let’s keep whatever has happened in-house, in-house”. It should serve as a teachable moment for a young player to learn a valuable lesson. Like Herm Edwards says, “Don’t press send!”.

Now on to today’s Hot Links! Ruffin McNeill is beginning to take over the defense, Bob Diaco is a “wild tiger” at practice, college football should stop counting sack yardage against rushing stats and more!

OU Links

  • Ruffin McNeill is ready for the challenge of being Oklahoma’s interim defensive coordinator precisely because he already has real experience with situations like this. His goal is to get the players to focus more on fundamentals, and for them to think less and play faster.
  • Now that McNeill is working on designing a game plan for the defense as a whole, Calvin Thibodeaux is in charge of all positions along the defensive line.
  • Meanwhile, Bob Diaco is now handling coaching duties for outside linebackers, and early reports from McNeill are that he’s been making quite an impression.
  • Two days after the official announcement of his dismissal, Mike Stoops will join Dusty Dvoracek on the Sports Animal Wednesday at 12:25 p.m. to presumably discuss the decision and his status moving forward.
  • Following the Red River Showdown, Mike Stoops apologized to Lincoln Riley for his defense’s performance. That was the beginning of the end that was to come in the next 36 hours.
  • Even after a loss, Kyler Murray is still third on ESPN’s Heisman Experts Poll. Aside from two costly turnovers, the dual-threat QB had another stat-stuffing outing and nearly led the Sooners to a monumental comeback win.
  • Out of the five schools that saw their starting QBs selected in first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Oklahoma has clearly had the best fortune with the replacement in Kyler Murray.
  • Marquise Brown has picked up where he left off from last season’s torrid finish, and currently he’s showing that he brings more than elite speed to the equation. His hands are among the very best in the nation, according to Pro Football Focus.
  • Speaking of Hollywood, if you recall, he was taken off the field on the final kickoff against Texas. If you are still wondering why, the reason was about a rule that prohibits players from laying down on the field, and treats them as an injured player instead. Since it was a touchback, it didn’t really matter much as far the outcome of the game, but how cool would that have been if some sort of trick play worked from that? Sigh.
  • Lon Kruger has a number of coaching accolades to his name, and now he can add another prestigious title to his mantelpiece, as he has been named the recipient of the 2019 John R. Wooden Award’s Legends of Coaching honor. He will be officially presented with the honor this coming April at ESPN’s College Basketball Awards ceremony.

Around the Sports World

  • The NFL doesn’t count the yardage lost from sacks against a player or team’s rushing stats, but for some reason college football has yet to catch up with that line of thinking. It’s time for a change in how sacks against rushing stats are recorded.
  • Three-star cornerback Shilo Sanders, son of the one and only ‘Primetime’ Deion Sanders, has received an offer from his father’s alma mater, Florida State.
  • Did James Harden travel on this play? He wasn’t called for it, but if you slow it down and understand the nuances to the rules, it turns out this is actually a legal move for the reigning MVP.
  • Ever wonder how television broadcast teams find those iconic fan reaction shots when dealing with crowds of thousands of people? Here’s a little insight into what it takes to capture those meme-worthy moments.
  • ‘Backyard Baseball’ is a throwback classic even for those who didn’t play video games growing up. Something about its simplistic nature drew a cult-like following. And no matter what, you know you needed Pablo Sanchez on your team.

Stick to Sports!

  • If predictions hold up, Hurricane Michael could be in the running for the strongest storm to reach the United States in over a decade. Currently, the category 4 hurricane is in the Gulf and is migrating northeast towards Panama City, Fla. Residents in the Florida panhandle and surrounding areas have been instructed to evacuate. For how to track the storm’s path and more information on its status, follow along here for live updates from the Weather Channel. If you happen to live in the area and haven’t evacuated, please stay safe!

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