Happy Hump Day, friends and fans!
On Wednesday, Oklahoma Sooners redshirt freshman QB Spencer Rattler was named to the 2020 Maxwell Award watch list. This honor is presented annually to the nation’s top college football player as voted on by a panel of sportscasters, sportswriters, head coaches and members of the Maxwell Football Club.
Through seven games into his first season as OU’s starting quarterback, Rattler has passed for 2,018 yards and 18 touchdowns while adding 101 yards and three more scores on the ground. He also leads the Big 12 Conference with 9.7 yards-per-attempt, a 67.8 completion percentage and a 172.1 passer rating.
Now onto today’s Hot Links! Oklahoma’s offense has a secret weapon, OU’s graduation success rate is soaring to new heights, NBA Draft night is here and more!
- Former Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra has been looking for a home since deciding to un-retire from football, but he has now found one with Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers. I know he’ll be a perfect fit in that offense, and we all wish nothing but success!
A year ago, I would’ve never pictured my life the way is it now. I don’t believe in bad situations, just opportunities for growth. I’m more than grateful for this past year, but even more excited for my future challenges. Thanks again Sooner Nation. #WarEagle pic.twitter.com/su891vUMx7— Grant Calcaterra (@grcalcaterra) November 18, 2020
- According to Pro Football Focus, redshirt sophomore OLB Nik Bonitto leads the nation in highest QB pressure percentage this season, and it’s not all that close. With his emergence in 2020, Oklahoma’s defensive front has found an identity creating havoc in opposing backfields.
Highest QB pressure % this season— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 17, 2020
1. Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma - 27%
2. Jordan Smith, UAB - 23%
3. Scott Patchan, Colorado St - 20%
4. Azeez Ojulari, Georgia - 19%
4. Kwity Paye, Michigan - 19% pic.twitter.com/AKSSh4Jcy5
- Speaking of defense, OU is well aware of the challenges that the Oklahoma State Cowboys present on defense. Not only is OSU talented at every level, they bring a host of experience to the equation as well, writes the Norman Transcript’s Joe Buettner.
- Lincoln Riley understands the quarterback position as well as any coach in the nation right now. That also means he knows how to maximize the talent with the players he has, including Spencer Rattler. Despite the learning curve, Riley’s connection with his first-year starter is evolving rapidly by the week. Parker Thune of SI Sooners has more.
- John Hoover of SI Sooners writes that while Oklahoma is surging right now, it would be wise for the team to stay humble and remember how this season started. Fortunately, the team is saying all the right things in that regard, using the past as a lesson but not dwelling on the downfalls.
- OU Daily’s Mason Young recently expounded on the significance of sophomore WR Jadon Haselwood’s return coming off a knee injury. As he returns to full strength, the Sooners’ offense gains a formidable weapon that could be the difference between reaching the Big 12 Championship and winning it.
- Pete Mundo of Heartland College Sports has signed, sealed and delivered his prediction for this weekend’s highly-anticipated Bedlam matchup. Does he see OU holding serve in this rivalry, or is he going with OSU and the underdog upset? Check out his preview and find out for yourself!
- Shortly after Kyler Murray completed a Hail Mary pass to lift his Arizona Cardinals to a win over the Buffalo Bills, Cody Ford, his former teammate, wasn’t buying the idea that K1’s crew should have won. This is great content between two outstanding competitors and friends.
- The class of student-athletes coming through the University of Oklahoma as of late have set the bar for academic excellence. With 2020 winding down, a look at the current GSR (Graduation Success Rate) indicates that this crop of Sooners is earning their degrees at an unprecedented clip. Whether it’s on the field of play or in the classroom, the level of commitment across the board is undeniable. Boomer!
Around the Sports World
- Sam Presti just keeps wheelin’ and dealin’, folks. The Oklahoma City Thunder GM has now turned recently-acquired Danny Green and the young Terrance Ferguson to the Philadelphia 76ers for Al Horford (and his contract, tonight’s No. 34 overall pick, a 2025 first-round pick and the rights to Serbian PG Vasilije Micic.
The Sixers are trading Al Horford and a first-round and second-round pick to the Thunder for Danny Green, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 18, 2020
The Sixers are also sending the rights to Serbian point guard Vasilije Micic to the Thunder, sources tell ESPN. Micic, 26, is considered one of Europe's top point guards. https://t.co/NXEzcdyoTH— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 18, 2020
- The 2020 NBA Draft is finally here, folks! On this Wednesday evening, 60 new names and faces will be announced into the NBA family. On the clock first are the Minnesota Timberwolves, followed by the Golden State Warriors. The festivities tip off tonight at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN.
- With so many conference games having already been canceled due to COVID-19, the Pac-12’s athletic directors have reversed course and are now in approval of adding non-conference games to their teams’ current schedules.
- It’s been 31 years since former Cincinnati Reds player/manager Pete Rose was blacklisted from the MLB for illegally gambling on games he participated in. Today, the 79-year-old admits that he still occasionally bets on baseball, but the difference now is that he only does so legally.
- Florida State Seminoles freshman QB Chubba Purdy will miss the remainder of the 2020 season after reaggravating a collarbone injury on Saturday. Former starter Jordan Travis is also on the mend and is questionable to return this weekend.
- Buffalo Bulls junior RB Jaret Patterson recorded the first individual three hundred yard rushing performance of the season as he ran for 301 yards and four touchdowns in Tuesday night’s 42-17 win over Bowling Green State. Wow, that’s a whole lot of MACtion.
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