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Oklahoma Sooners Football Press Conference Notes: Jalen Hurts is sick from all the rat poison

It’s Kansas Week, which means there weren’t many questions about the Jayhawks.

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

The No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners opened Big 12 play on Saturday with a 55-16 clinic over Texas Tech. Now OU is preparing for this season’s first conference road game against Kansas. On Monday, Lincoln Riley, junior LB Kenneth Murray, redshirt sophomore FB Jeremiah Hall and senior QB Jalen Hurts caught up with the media to answer questions in the weekly presser.

Speaking of Hurts, the Heisman Trophy candidate began his time at the podium by sharing some unexpected news on his health status. It’s nothing major, but it turns out he’s feeling a bit under the weather.

By my assessment, it seems as though he’s slowly coming out of his shell in front of the media as the season rolls along. This isn’t a knock on him by any means, but he’ll probably never reach Baker Mayfield levels in that regard. Really, he may not even reach Kyler Murray’s, but in his own unique way, he’s beginning to show a bit more of his playful side.

By the way, you should totally buy this shirt!

At the end of the day (s/o Bob Stoops), the Sooners are back to business as they prep for the road trip to KU. Lincoln Riley addressed questions from the media during this week’s Monday press conference.

Riley on if the defense has been truly tested

Oklahoma’s defense has shown remarkable improvement on the field from both a statistical standpoint and the old fashioned eye test. For some, there’s a natural reluctance or hesitance to believe in the results due to the level of competition up to this point. Riley shared his thoughts on that and offered his counter-take.

“We’ve played some teams I think that have some very good offensive players. Will we play better offenses going forward? Yes, but we’re planning on getting better too.”

Riley on Adrian Ealy’s absence

Starting right tackle Adrian Ealy was a notable scratch from Saturday’s game against Texas Tech. Right guard Tyrese Robinson moved over to the edge with Brey Walker stepping up to fill the vacant guard spot. Without disclosing the nature of his absence, Riley addressed Ealy’s status going forward.

“Ealy is still day-to-day, week-to-week. I think it’s a possibility for this week, but it’s not a certainty right now.”

Riley on Kennedy Brooks’ injury status

Redshirt sophomore RB Kennedy Brooks was on the receiving end of a nasty and illegal hit against Texas Tech that left him down and clutching his knee for a period of time. He eventually walked off the field under his own power, but he never returned to the game after that point. Riley was straight to the point with an update for the star running back.

“[Brooks] is doing good, yeah all good. He’ll play this week.”

Riley on the starting kicker competition

Gabe Brkic received the start at placekicker for Oklahoma against the Red Raiders after starter Calum Sutherland was apparently benched following a public intoxication arrest. Riley was asked if that change would continue this week or if the kicking competition has re-opened altogether.

“As far as re-opening it, I mean to me it’s kind of always open. If you think somebody’s doing a better job than the person you’re playing with at any position we’re going to make that change. Obviously this situation presented Gabe an opportunity, and Gabe did well with it. There’s no question about it. We’ll evaluate it as we go through the week, and just put the best guy out there that we think’s ready to help us beat Kansas.”

Full press conference links

Kenneth Murray

Oklahoma’s starting MIKE LB was the preseason pick for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, and through four games he has not disappointed in that aspect. In Alex Grinch’s hyper-aggressive defense, K9 has been able to attack opposing offenses in a multitude of ways, particularly in the backfield.

Jeremiah Hall

In a similar mould to Trey Millard and Dimitri Flowers, Jeremiah Hall has steadily risen to playmaker status in the Sooners’ offense as a do-it-all fullback. He spoke about those past greats at the position and what his goals are for continuing to tradition of the unique role in his own way.

Jalen Hurts

Having a bye after only three games was unusual for the majority of the team, especially Jalen Hurts. The senior QB talked about how the team used the off week to get better, and while he wasn’t completely singing their praises, he did acknowledge the positives that translated onto the field against Texas Tech.

Lincoln Riley

Not only is this whole experience at Oklahoma new for Jalen Hurts given he hasn’t been in Norman for even 10 months, it’s also uncommon for Lincoln Riley, who typically has multiple years to groom his QBs. So far, the quick connection has worked seamlessly, and is only continuing to strengthen by the week.

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