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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Curtis Bolton clears the air, offensive line earns recognition, and more!

Also, Gary Patterson once saw Lincoln Riley as a potential safety.

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Hump Day!

Last season, the Oklahoma Sooners felt snubbed when their offensive line did not make the list of three finalists for the Joe Moore Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding O-line unit. This season, Bill Bedenbaugh’s bunch has made the mid-season honor roll, which includes units from 14 schools.

Tackles Bobby Evans and Cody Ford have been solid bookends, then factor in Ben Powers and Dru Samia’s veteran savvy and tough, physical natures. That leaves the man in the middle — Creed Humphrey. The redshirt freshman is a rising star at center, and an absolute road grater in the running game. The unit hasn’t been perfect — the run blocking has left a bit to be desired at times — after an offseason of position shifts, but the overall performance has been satisfactory and should improve as the season goes along.

Semi-finalists for the award will be announced on November 20th, and the finalists will be revealed two weeks after that. If Oklahoma’s offensive line continues to give Kyler Murray clean pockets and finds a way to consistently open up lanes in the running game, the Sooners group could very well find itself among the nation’s top three units, if not named the recipient by season’s end.

Now it’s time for the rest of today’s Hot Links! Curtis Bolton puts some rumors to bed, Gary Patterson saw a safety in a young Lincoln Riley, the Warriors’ rings are about as creative as they come and more!

OU Links

  • A lot will be made of how Ruffin McNeill conducts the defense in the second half of the season, but Kyler Murray’s play will have more to do with how far Oklahoma can go.
  • The Sooners have struggled forcing turnovers in 2018. Takeaways for this team would be particularly impactful considering the offense that would be coming on the field following those changes of possession.
  • Once upon a time, Lincoln Riley was recruited by TCU’s Gary Patterson to play safety out of Muleshoe High. I’m not sure how serious that recruitment actually was, but it’s definitely an interesting tidbit (and also provides some perspective on how young OU’s head coach happens to be).
  • Speaking of Gary Patterson, he said TCU could elect to go with a QB rotation against Oklahoma this Saturday for the first time this season. Shawn Robinson has struggled with accuracy and turning the ball over, and the Horned Frogs like what they’ve seen in backup Michael Collins, a transfer from the Ivy League’s Penn.
  • Don’t forget to check out Allen Kenney’s list of possible defensive coordinator candidates to consider for Oklahoma’s coaching search. Many Sooner fans have been high on Ohio State’s Alex Grinch, but there are other options out there who could potentially be good fits.

Around the Sports World

  • The Golden State Warriors were presented with their championship rings on Tuesday night. These bad boys have a reversible feature that honestly just gives me anxiety. Are we going to hear about one of the players losing part of their ring in the future? I hope not.
  • Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid balled out on the court in a losing effort to the vaunted Boston Celtics. What was his secret preparation technique? Watching ‘Rick and Morty’, of course.
  • There are several big name first year head coaches who have struggled in 2018, but historically there are plenty of examples of coaches who bounced back from bad first seasons to have successful careers.
  • Tony Kemp looked like he was a receiver standing in the end zone waiting for the Hail Mary to drop. He timed his jump just right and made a huge catch against the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS.
  • Speaking of the Houston Astros, have they been preemptively spying on other teams all season long, and if so, is that cheating? Baseball can make men do some crazy things.

Stick to Sports!

  • ‘Big Bird’ and ‘Oscar the Grouch’ puppeteer Caroll Spinney is retiring from his iconic ‘Sesame Street’ roles after manning them for nearly half a century. Spinney was part of the original group that brought the characters on Sesame Street to life in the first episode that aired in 1969. Much like the biggest bird on television, Spinney’s life and career is too tall to be short.

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