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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Big 12 announces new COVID-19 testing partnership, 15-minute rapid tests

Joe Castiglione also revealed that since Oklahoma’s athletic department began testing its student-athletes and staff members, its expenses have exceeded $430,000 on kits and personal protective equipment.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, friends and fans!

The Big 12 has followed along in the Pac-12’s footsteps by partnering with Virtual Care for Families for antigen testing. This program uses Quidel Rapid Antigen tests, which will provide large samples of COVID-19 testing results in 15 minutes. This particular resource should be especially valuable for the Oklahoma Sooners and its fellow conference members on the day before game days.

Earlier on Friday morning, Toby Rowland spoke with OU AD Joe Castiglione, who confirmed that the team has made use of said antigen tests. He also revealed that since Oklahoma’s athletic department began testing its student-athletes and staff members, its expenses have exceeded $430,000 on kits and personal protective equipment.

Utilizing quicker, more reliable testing is a major game changer at this stage of the season, and not just for Big 12 football but collegiate athletics as a whole. While the cost of having this season is proving to be steeper than most in year’s past, the expected return on investment should ideally mitigate those losses if not tip the scales in favor of OU altogether.

Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! ‘Speed D’ enters the spotlight in Alex Grinch’s second season at Oklahoma, a previously injured defender is back and potentially better than before, another Game 7 in the NBA Playoffs is on deck and more!

OU Links

  • On Thursday, the Sooners announced their 2020 team captains, as voted on by the team itself. The players chosen to lead this year’s group are redshirt junior center Creed Humphrey and junior free safety Patrick Fields. Also of note — both starters are Oklahoma natives, with Humphrey being from Shawnee and Fields from Tulsa.
  • Alex Grinch isn’t resting on his laurels going into his second year as Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator. The improvement shown on that side of the ball was a welcomed sight in 2019, but there’s still plenty of room for growth and consistency.
  • According to the latest update from the oddsmakers at Westgate Las Vegas’ SuperBook, OU has the fourth-best odds to win this season’s national title behind Clemson, Alabama and Georgia. Also, those same oddsmakers give Spencer Rattler the third-best chance to win the Heisman Trophy behind Trevor Lawrence and D’Eriq King.
  • 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong recently wrote about true freshman left tackle Anton Harrison earning the Week One start according to the depth chart released by OU earlier this week. Not only does the youngster possess elite size for his age, he’s clearly shown a level of maturity in his game that Bill Bedenbaugh couldn’t ignore.
  • The Norman Transcript’s Joe Buettner recently looked into Tre Norwood’s return to the field after suffering a season-ending injury in August of 2019. Not only have his teammates have been impressed with his resilience, some are reporting that the redshirt junior DB has even ‘gained a step’. Big, if true.
  • Before you sit down to watch the game this weekend, make sure you check out my preview of OU’s bout against Missouri State. If watching Sooner Football wasn’t enough of a reason already, there are enough storylines going into this one to make it worth the price of PPV.

Around the Sports World

  • After a wild double-OT finish in their last meeting, the Toronto Raptors have pushed the Boston Celtics to the brink in a winner-take-all Game 7. Can the Raps continue to defend their NBA Championship from a season ago, or will it be the C’s who move on to the Eastern Conference Finals? Catch all the hoops drama tonight at 8 p.m. CT on TNT.

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