Happy Friday, friends and fans!
Yesterday, Rodney Anderson announced the decision to wrap up his collegiate career with the Oklahoma Sooners and declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. That was hardly a surprise, given his terribly unlucky history with injuries since he arrived in Norman. Myself and OU fans everywhere wish him nothing but the best of fortune as he turns the page in his football life.
And just before Anderson’s declaration announcement, it was revealed that another running Sooner back, Marcelias Sutton, was lost for the season with a broken leg suffered earlier this week.
Since suffering a minor injury against Iowa State, Sutton had mostly been operating as the Sooners’ third or fourth running back in the rotation, behind Trey Sermon, Kennedy Brooks and T.J. Pledger. With the emergence of Brooks over the past two weeks, plus a rising true freshman in Pledger, depth at that position is thinner than it was at the start of the season, but the position is strong nevertheless. That said, things could become a bit troublesome if any more backs have to miss significant time from here on out.
This is a really tough break for Sutton, who was really hitting his stride before injuries derailed his senior season.
Now on to this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links… Oklahoma showed flashes in its exhibition game, the 2019 Sooner baseball schedule is finalized, Kentucky’s patience with Mark Stoops is finally paying off and more!
- First stop on the Championship November Train is in Lubbock tomorrow. This is the time of the season when Oklahoma handles its business, so it’s time for the Sooners to go out there and take it all.
- The Sooners dominated Pittsburgh State in the preseason’s lone exhibition match, 92-58. Oklahoma was dominant on the boards, and freshman point guard Jamal Bieniemy looked impressive in his first collegiate action.
- Everybody and their dog knows Kyler Murray is going to play baseball, but there’s plenty of evidence that says he could succeed in the NFL. Lincoln Riley and Kliff Kingsbury are two coaches who see his potential as a quarterback at the next level, and what he’s done and on the field speaks for itself.
- Lincoln Riley and Ruffin McNeill have a relationship that can’t be described by a single term. Both have worked for one another, shared life-changing experiences together, and learned from each other. It’s no wonder why they have consistently found success when partnered up, no matter the situation.
- Speaking of McNeill, Oklahoma’s defense has looked much more improved from the first half of the season, but this Saturday’s test in Lubbock will show just how much growth has or hasn’t happened in the Sooners’ secondary under this new regime.
- In case you missed it, make sure to check out Allen Kenney’s look into Texas Tech’s improved defense under David Gibbs, and why the Red Raiders still might not be able to put up much resistance against Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma offense.
- Remember Graham? Our old contributor came back to relive the weird night in Lubbock, so you should check it out!
- Lee Morris began his career as a walk-on and pretty much does nothing but score touchdowns. The scoring machine was recognized by the AP’s Cliff Brunt among other former walk-ons for the climb it took to reach this point in their careers.
- Adrian Peterson is currently fifth in the NFL in rushing yards with 587, and he’s doing this at a seasoned 33 years of age. He’s already going to be recognized as one of the best running backs the game has ever seen for when he was in his prime, but he could also become the greatest “old-guy running back” in NFL history with the historic pace he’s on.
- Oklahoma baseball’s full 2019 schedule has been released. Something that’ll be very cool this upcoming season is how the Sooners are playing Oklahoma State four times in four different settings — Stillwater, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Norman. That’ll give fans all over the state ample opportunity to catch some Bedlam action.
- Mark Stoops is in his sixth season as head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats, and after the first three seasons he had, most coaches at other schools would have been sent packing. If you ever want to argue why it’s better to be a little more patient with a coach, what’s happening in Lexington is a great example to cite.
- The NBA season is only a few weeks old and some teams look like they are already revving up the tanking gears. Which six teams are already throwing in the towel and putting their chips into next year’s lottery?
- Ole Miss football has been operating under self-imposed penalties following the fallout from the Hugh Freeze scandal, but recently an NCAA appeals committee has lifted a recruiting sanction that will now allow the Rebels to accept unofficial visits. However, the team is still banned from postseason play through this season.
- Bill Connelly has an idea as to how college football’s targeting penalty can be improved, because an automatic ejection is just too egregious in a lot of cases.
- Oregon’s 7’2” phenom Bol Bol — yes, the son of Manute Bol — is going to be a nightmare matchup for anyone he plays against during this college basketball season. Between he and Duke’s Zion Williamson, I don’t know who would be tougher to guard.
- In the 92nd edition of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, one of the giant balloons that will be making its debut is Goku from the 34-year-old “Dragon Ball” franchise. The average parade balloon is roughly 60-feet long, but this floating iteration of the most iconic Saiyan is 70 feet long, 36 feet wide and 56 feet tall.
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