Happy Tuesday, friends and fans!
Multiple outlets, including OUInsider and SoonerScoop, have reported that Oklahoma Sooners sophomore WR Jadon Haselwood has not traveled with the team for this Wednesday’s Cotton Bowl game. His absence is not believed to be related to a connection with the transfer portal, rather it is more about the former five-star receiver’s personal decision as he continues to recover from the knee injury he originally sustained in the spring.
As much as OU would like to have Haselwood’s services this week, this appears to be an understandable move for the guy going forward. After being sidelined for the first six games of the season, he made his 2020 debut against the Kansas Jayhawks. In total, the talented pass catcher participated in three games, hauling in four receptions for 65 yards.
While the Sooners certainly won’t be quite at full strength in their final showing of the year, the majority of the roster will be available (see the first bullet below), and there remains plenty of talent and experience to field a formidable group capable of concluding this unique campaign on a high note.
Now on to today’s Hot Links! All Sooner student-athletes are currently COVID-free, Florida’s depth chart is expected to be extremely depleted against Oklahoma, a pair of Big 12 teams are set to represent the league in bowl games tonight and more!
- According to the latest COVID-19 data released by the OU Athletic Department, out of 173 student-athletes and 70 staff members tested between Dec. 20-26, only one result came back positive. Furthermore, there are currently no active cases among student-athletes at Oklahoma. Given the time of year, this is an extremely good sign for the Sooners.
- On Tuesday, Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen revealed that his team will only have about 60 scholarship players available come kick-off.
Dan Mullen on Florida player availability for Cotton Bowl: "We have about 60 scholarship guys playing in the game."#Sooners— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) December 29, 2020
- Lincoln Riley announced on Tuesday that Ryan Dougherty will be taking over Shane Beamer’s responsibilities as OU’s primary special teams coach as well as leading the tight ends and H-backs group, writes SI Sooners’ John Hoover.
- For as impressive as Spencer Rattler’s first season as a starter was this year, it could have been even more prolific if he didn’t lead the nation in having the most passes dropped in the end zone. Hopefully his receivers help him out a bit more in 2021.
QBs with the most dropped endzone passes— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 29, 2020
1. Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma - 9
2. Phil Jurkovec, BC - 5
2. Austin Aune, N Texas - 5 pic.twitter.com/0F3uYPAPb2
- Speaking of Rattler, his growth from the start of the season to now is incredibly apparent, from how he operates on the field to how he conducts himself everywhere else. His maturity is part of what brought Oklahoma to another Big 12 title, and he understands it’s on him to see that it eventually takes OU even further. Sooner Scoop’s Bob Przybylo has more.
- Being from the Sunshine State, redshirt sophomore RUSH LB Nik Bonitto grew up rooting for the Gators, but ever since he committed to Oklahoma, he’s been all about the Sooners. Now he has a chance to play against his former favorite team. OU Daily’s Mason Young has more.
Around the Sports World
- Right after OSU and the ‘Canes square off, the Valero Alamo Bowl between the No. 20 Texas Longhorns and the Colorado Buffaloes will get underway at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN. UT’s Tom Herman won’t have to worry about his job status in the short term win or lose tonight, but the offseason will be that much more uncomfortable for him if he doesn’t find a way to win this one.
- Alabama Crimson Tide WR DeVonta Smith has been named AP Player of the Year, becoming the first receiver to earn the honor in the award’s history.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly planning to rest QB Ben Roethlisberger and are set to start Mason Rudolph this weekend in the regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns.
- Cleveland Cavaliers veteran forward Kevin Love has reportedly reaggravated a calf strain injury and will be sidelined for the next three to four weeks as he continues to be evaluated.
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