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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: The return of Austin Kendall, Lincoln Riley named to Dodd Trophy midseason watch list, and more!

On Thursday, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown announced that former OU QB Austin Kendall will play barring setbacks.

NCAA Football: Texas at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, friends and fans!

On Thursday, West Virginia’s Neal Brown informed local media that former Oklahoma Sooners QB Austin Kendall would receive the start against his previous team after his status was listed as questionable coming into the week. The transfer signal caller suffered a chest muscle injury in the opening stages of last Saturday’s loss against Iowa State, but it appears he’s healthy enough for the homecoming.

Although Kendall’s three year career as a Sooner was limited, it’ll be best remembered for a couple unique moments. Here’s a timeline of events surrounding AK at OU.

  • 2016 — Became Lincoln Riley’s first quarterback signee. Backed up Baker Mayfield as a true freshman. Called Ohio State’s defense “basic” and said Mayfield will “light them up.” Ugly 45-24 loss ensued.
  • 2017 — Redshirted.
  • 2018 — Backed up Kyler Murray.
  • 2019 — Shortly after his redshirt sophomore season concluded, Kendall elected to transfer to West Virginia. Riley did not initially approve of moving in-conference with immediate eligibility, but soon thereafter changed his stance.
  • 2019 — Kendall wins the preseason competition to become the Mountaineers’ starting QB.

While backing up Mayfield in ‘16 and Murray in ‘18, Kendall completed 28 of 39 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Through six starts this fall, Kendall has connected on 126 of his 191 passes (66 percent) for a total of 1,247 yards, nine TDs and seven INTs.

Numbers aside, Kendall’s been an adequate signal caller overall for WVU, but the old stomping grounds he’s returning to are going to look a lot different than the last time he was around. Alex Grinch’s defense is humming right now, and both sides of the ball will undoubtedly be fired up to welcome an ex-teammate.

Having said that, I hope Kendall gets a nice ovation when he runs out onto Owen Field this Saturday.

For a bit more on Kendall and the Mountaineers, check out this week’s Q&A with The Smoking Musket.

Now on to this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Lincoln Riley makes the Dodd Trophy midseason watch list, Brady Manek makes ‘The Mailman’ Award watch list, Pat Mahomes goes down in Denver and more.

OU Links

  • In case you missed it, Jack and Kamiar linked up earlier this week on the Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast to talk about OU’s win over Texas. After thoroughly reviewing the highlights from that epic contest, the guys were joined by The Smoking Musket’s Bart Keeler to preview Saturday’s matchup against West Virginia. As usual word of warning, there is some NSFW language used on the pod. Also, don’t forget to leave a five-star rating!
  • On Thursday, Lincoln Riley was named to the 2019 Dodd Trophy midseason watch list for the nation’s head coach of the year. First-year coaches are not eligible, so that is why you don’t see someone like Ohio State’s Ryan Day in contention.
  • Speaking of Riley, OU Athletics’ Jessica Coody caught up with the man himself to talk about the next step for the improving defense, the continuity on the offensive line and the challenges this new-look West Virginia team presents.
  • FOX College Football’s Joel Klatt talked about what he learned from Oklahoma following the win over Texas last weekend, and he also gave a special shoutout to potential Butkus Award winner Kenneth Murray.
  • OU Insider’s RJ Young wrote about how Jalen Hurts and Austin Kendall are linked in more ways than one dating back to before their days at Oklahoma.
  • CeeDee Lamb is tied for the nation’s most receiving touchdowns with 10 total scoring grabs, and the chemistry he’s created with Hurts dates back to January when the two built a bond from the ground up, writes Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World.
  • Rhamondre Stevenson has been a revelation in an already loaded running back room, and if you knew what kinds of obstacles he had to overcome just to make it to this level, you’d have a better understanding of why his journey is truly so amazing, writes The OU Daily’s Caleb McCourry.
  • Junior forward Brady Manek was named to the Karl Malone Award preseason watch list. Last season, the Harrah, Oklahoma native averaged 12.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and shot 47% from the field in 34 starts.
  • Allen and ‘The Skinny’ are back at it again with their Week 8 gambling picks on the Blatant Homerism Podcast. There are some intriguing matchups on this weekend’s docket that include Baylor-Oklahoma State, Michigan-Penn State and more! If you want a leg up on the ins and outs of how this next wave of college football games is going to unfold, give these guys a listen, and please don’t forget to leave that five-star rating!

Around the Sports World

  • New Orleans Pelicans rookie forward Zion Williamson is dealing with a knee injury and is being monitored closely as the start of the season looms. I really hope it’s nothing serious.
  • With the NBA regular season tipping off next week, make sure you read up on your favorite team’s season preview courtesy of the SB Nation hoops staff. Plus, you can find a whole lot more takes and breakdowns of the revamped association for what should be an unpredictable year.
  • New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia may have stepped off the mound for the final time in Game Four of the ALCS against the Houston Astros. If this was indeed the last time we’ll see him in a game, it was one hell of a career.
  • Shaquille O’Neal donated an Atlanta home to a family whose 16-year-old son was shot and paralyzed at a high school football game. It’s a terrible turn of events, but at least people like Shaq and the community around this family are coming together to make life a bit easier amidst unthinkable times.

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