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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: OU assisting Missouri State with COVID-19 testing, Theo Howard recovering well, and more!

Also, the OU basketball teams have reported back to campus and will begin workouts this coming Monday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 23 TCU at Oklahoma Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Friday, friends and fans!

In just 50 days from today, the Oklahoma Sooners are scheduled to open the 2020 college football season against Missouri State. While there have been ongoing discussions for possibly moving that game up by a week, no official word on such a decision has been made. However, there is a bit of news regarding this matchup. According to AD Joe Castiglione, MSU will use a portion of OU’s COVID-19 testing kits for their own football team, in addition to having access to OU’s testing labs leading up to the season opener.

Athletic programs from the FCS and smaller Divisions within the NCAA are the ones most affected due to the coronavirus pandemic. The six-to-seven figure pay teams like Missouri State receive from playing teams like Oklahoma provide those athletic departments with much of the funds necessary to sustain their respective sports year in and out. Because of the financial hit that’s been dealt over the last four months and counting, it’s a fairly big deal that OU is using its wealth and resources to assist MSU during this unprecedented period.

Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! A couple Sooners are moving right along on the comeback trail, K1 is pretty salty about his Madden rating, Mike Leach continues to be a national treasure and more!

OU Links

  • On Friday, sophomore TE Austin Stogner was named to the 2020 John Mackey Award watch list. The young pass-catcher played in all 14 games in 2019, hauling in seven receptions for 66 yards and a pair of touchdowns. If he has a monster season this fall, he could potentially join Mark Andrews (‘17) as the only Sooners to receive the honor.
  • On Thursday, redshirt junior WR Charleston Rambo was named to the 2020 Fred Biletnikoff Award watch list. Coming off a 743-yard, five TD campaign last season, Rambo looks poised for an even bigger year as potentially the top target for Spencer Rattler. In the 27-year history of the honor, Dede Westbrook (‘16) is the only Sooner to be named its recipient.
  • Speaking of wide receivers, UCLA Bruins grad transfer Theo Howard appears to be moving around well and looking strong after suffering an Achilles injury in January. With CeeDee Lamb in the NFL along with a couple other key departures from last year’s receiving corps, Howard’s availability this fall cannot be overstated.
  • Out of the top ten highest paid coaches in college football, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh are the only two who have taken pay cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • OU Daily’s Chandler Engelbrecht put together this enlightening piece on redshirt junior CB Tre Norwood and how he’s used the support of his family to recover from a season-ending ACL injury he sustained last August.
  • The OU men and women’s basketball teams are set to return to the programs’ facilities on Monday, July 20. Here are a list of guidelines and protocols in place to monitor the health of the student-athletes and limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
  • 2018 Heisman Trophy winner and 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray has supreme confidence in his football abilities, and for good reason. However, the folks over at Madden ‘21 aren’t buying a ton of stock in the Arizona Cardinals QB just yet, as they gave him an overall rating of 77 out of a possible 99. That’s pretty low if you ask me, and from K1’s reaction to the perplexing score on ESPN’s First Take, he’s none too pleased as well.
  • ‘Round these parts, everybody knows Toby Rowland as the Voice of OU Football. The play-by-play super star has many talents, one of which is apparently writing! Check out the release of his new children’s book, ‘Unhitch the Wagon: The Story of Boomer and Sooner’ that is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

Around the Sports World

  • Tennessee Vols senior defensive lineman and former ‘Last Chance U’ subject Emmit Gooden has been dismissed from the football team after being arrested for aggravated assault charges.
  • Milwaukee Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently unable to join his team in Orlando with the NBA restart looming. After a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, he should be able to enter the bubble assuming he makes a full recovery.
  • The NHL season restart is set to commence at the end of this month in two separate locations, however, one of those venues — Rogers Place in Edmonton — has sustained flooding damage due to a recent storm in the area.
  • Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach was asked about what he wanted to do before he grew up, and once again the man did not disappoint. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

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