Happy Monday, friends and fans!
A pair of Oklahoma Sooners were each named semifinalists for national college football awards. Redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler was named a semifinalist for the 2020 Davey O’Brien Award, and sophomore placekicker Gabe Brkic was named a semifinalist for the 2020 Lou Groza Award.
Rattler is one of 17 QBs in the running for the O’Brien — an honor reserved for the nation’s top signal caller. In the award’s 39-year history, a Sooner has been recognized as its recipient a total of five times (Jason White in ‘03 and ‘04, Sam Bradford in ‘08, Baker Mayfield in ‘17, and Kyler Murray in ‘18).
In the 28 years since the Groza was introduced, no OU kicker has ever brought home the coveted hardware. Brkic was a semifinalist for the award last season as well. In his career, the Chardon, Ohio native is 33 for 38 on field goal attempts.
The three finalists for each award will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 22. You can participate in the fan voting section for both Rattler and Brkic through these respective links: Davey O’Brien fan vote. Lou Groza fan vote.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Baker goes bananas, AD continues to produce, Meyer passes on Texas and more!
- Plain and simple, the Sooners are playing defense at a level that hasn’t been seen around Norman in quite some time. The best part is that there is still plenty of room for improvement. Props to Alex Grinch and company for the remarkable transformation in just two seasons.
- After tight ends and H-backs assistant Shane Beamer was announced as the next head coach for the South Carolina Gamecocks, it was also confirmed that he will remain on Oklahoma’s staff through the Big 12 Championship Game before transitioning to Columbia full-time.
I can confirm now that new Gamecock coach Shane Beamer will be flying back to Oklahoma tomorrow and intends on coaching through the Big 12 Championship, which is scheduled to be played on Dec. 19 @wachfox— Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) December 7, 2020
Here’s one of the many reasons why Shane Beamer will be successful as a head coach. On finishing the season at Oklahoma: pic.twitter.com/IfNWc53XiM— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) December 7, 2020
- On Sunday, Baker Mayfield was sensational for the Cleveland Browns, especially in the first half against the Tennessee Titans. Overall, the magic man completed 25 of 33 pass attempts for 334 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in the 41-35 road win. The Browns are now 9-3 on the season and are sitting comfortably in third place in the AFC.
- Speaking of Mayfield, check out this awesome mentality he’s adopted in his third year as a pro. In all honesty, wiser words have likely never been spoken. Dwight K. Schrute is a great role model.
Baker Mayfield, asked what's different with him vs. last year: "Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' And if they would, then I don't do that." #Browns @rainnwilson @theofficetv pic.twitter.com/pHepwAivzW— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) December 6, 2020
- Los Angeles Chargers rookie LB Kenneth Murray recorded the first sack of his young career against the New England Patriots. Unfortunately for L.A., the Pats would go on to shut them out, 45-0.
- Jalen Hurts replaced Carson Wentz on Sunday and completed this beautiful 32-yard TD pass on fourth down to Greg Ward. Ultimately, the Green Bay wound up prevailing over Philadelphia, 38-16. Going forward, it’ll be interesting to see if Hurts earns his first career start over the struggling Wentz.
- Adrian Peterson ran for two scores in the Detroit Lions’ 34-30 win over the Chicago Bears. AD now has 117 rushing touchdowns in his career, and needs just six more to tie Marcus Allen for the third-best all-time mark.
- Former Sooner and current ESPN commentator Dusty Dvoracek has confirmed that he (and Mark Jones) will be on the broadcast team this weekend to call OU’s game at West Virginia. For those of us who have had to suffer through Tim Brando on FOX and Greg McElroy on ESPN, we thank the television gods for this news.
Around the Sports World
- According to a report from Horns 247 reporter Chip Brown, the Texas Longhorns’ potential pursuit of Urban Meyer has apparently been shut down after the three-time national championship winning head coach cited health reasons as the determining factor for not returning to the sideline. For now, it appears that Tom Herman will remain on the Forty Acres through at least the 2021 season.
- John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats fell to 1-3 — the team’s worst start to a season in 20 years — after falling to Georgia Tech, 79-62 inside Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.
- New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will reportedly enter the 2020-21 NBA season without a minutes restriction, and considering how he looked in his team’s initial practice, the former No. 1 overall pick is in the best shape of his young pro career.
- On Sunday, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for his 400th career passing touchdown in a 30-16 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. In doing so, Rodgers accomplished the feat in record time, needing only 193 games to reach the historic milestone.
- Undefeated boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather has agreed to fight renowned YouTuber Logan Paul in a special exhibition bout on Feb. 20, 2021. Paul’s brother, Jake Paul, recently knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson ahead of the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. match. Yes, the times we live in are surely strange indeed.
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