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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Jalen Hurts still a Heisman candidate, Nicole Mendes suffers setback, and more

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Also, Lincoln Riley discussed his usage of the running backs during OU’s loss at Kansas State.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, friends and fans!

The Oklahoma Sooners have reportedly added a home game against the Illinois State Redbirds to the 2023 non-conference schedule. It’s currently the second known out-of-conference game OU has scheduled for said season, with a home bout versus the Georgia Bulldogs also lined up.

ISU is a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference in the FCS, and is expected to receive a payment of $625K to play this game against Oklahoma. It’s not the kind of contest that will excite most fans, but given the fact that UGA is also coming to Norman that season, it could serve as a timely tune-up for what could very well be a top-10 matchup.

Now onto today’s Hot Links! Jalen Hurts is still a Heisman contender, softball senior Nicole Mendes suffers a setback, Russell Westbrook takes on his old team and more!

OU Links

  • Despite a losing effort, Jalen Hurts put up eye-popping numbers once again this past weekend and maintained his second-place ranking in ESPN’s Heisman Watch. For now, LSU’s Joe Burrow looks like that dude.
  • The Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey wrote about Lincoln Riley’s explanation for why the running backs’ usage has been so low at times this season and other newsworthy notes surrounding the program.
  • According to OU softball head coach Patty Gasso, senior utility player Nicole Mendes has suffered a torn ACL and will likely miss at least part of the 2020 season. For a team that was already looking to replace prolific starters like Sydney Romero, Shay Knighten, Caleigh Clifton and Fale Aviu, Mendes was a prime candidate to take that next step prior to this injury.
  • The OU men’s basketball team hits the hardwood tonight in an exhibition match against Southeastern Oklahoma State. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised on FOX Sports OK. I’m interested to see what Lon Kruger’s squad looks like in his ninth season coaching the Sooners.
  • In case you missed it, read up on Allen’s piece about how Kansas State used Alex Grinch’s aggressive defense against him. Also, now that the blueprint is out on how to attack the Sooners, how much more of the Wildcats’ game plan should OU expect to face moving forward?
  • Make sure you check out the latest episode of the Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast with Jack and Kamiar. This week is all about processing OU’s loss to Kansas State and where the Sooners go from here. All is not lost, but there’s plenty of work to be done in-house. If you’re a new listener, don’t forget to leave that five star rating to help the OBP reach a wider audience. As usual, there is some NSFW language on the pod.

Around the Sports World

  • Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is still recovering from an ankle surgery he underwent last week, but recently Nick Saban announced that he will attempt to practice this week to evaluate where the junior QB is in this process. The Crimson Tide host the LSU Tigers on Nov. 9.
  • On Tuesday, the NCAA is meeting in Atlanta to formally discuss the prospects of allowing student-athletes to profit off of their names, image and likenesses. The state of California is already on board, and Florida lawmakers are on record of moving towards that direction as well.
  • Tonight at 7 p.m. CT, the 3-2 leading Houston Astros will host the Washington Nationals in Game 6 of the 2019 World Series. If the ‘Stros prevail, this will be the club’s second championship in three seasons. Don’t miss any of the action on FOX.
  • On Monday night, Russell Westbrook and James Harden did damage in a hard-fought game against their former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the end, the Houston Rockets held on for the 116-112 victory.

Stick to Sports!

  • James Holzhauer, the professional sports gambler who went viral for lighting up his game show competition, is returning to the stage to compete in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. Earlier this year he made history with his high-stakes strategy, and in his 32-game winning streak he nearly surpassed Ken Jennings for the most total earnings in a single run. You can watch him work in the first round of the tournament on Nov 6.

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