NORMAN, Okla. — The Sooners enter the Big 12 Championship against Texas as the top seed, and they churned out the most All-Big 12 recipients this season in advance of it. Seven found their name called on the First Team, with another four on the Second Team.
They’re highlighted by the Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback Kyler Murray, Special Teams Player of the Year in kicker Austin Seibert and Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year in right guard Dru Samia. Wide receiver Marquise Brown, tight end Grant Calcaterra and offensive linemen Cody Ford and Ben Powers joined those three on the First Team. Fullback Carson Meier, offensive lineman Bobby Evans, kick returner Tre Brown and linebacker Kenneth Murray got the nod as Second Team members.
Murray, who’s thrown for nearly 3,700 yards and 37 touchdowns to only seven interceptions, while rushing for another 853 yards and 11 scores, has electrified the college football world. He’s the only player to ever average at least 300 passing yards (306.2) and at least 60 rushing yards (71.1) through the regular season.
The redshirt junior and former Texas A&M transfer from Allen, Texas, leads the country in yards per pass attempt (12.0) and per completion (17.0). He ranks second in total touchdowns (48), passing TDs (37), passing efficiency rating (206.8; higher than the NCAA single-season record of 198.9), points responsible for per game (24.0; leads Power Five players) and total offense (377.3 ypg; didn’t play in second half vs. Florida Atlantic or final 23:20 vs. Kansas State; OU only ran 40 plays vs. Army).
He leads the Big 12 this season in points (115) and has converted 12-of-14 field goals, with a long of 42 yards back in OU’s 37-27 victory at Iowa State. That includes only one miss inside of 50 yards. Seibert has made all but one of his extra points this year.
Additionally, he’s been exceptional in the kickoff department, racking up 80 touchbacks on 96 attempts. That has helped keep opponents’ return games at bay, and he’s only kicked one out of bounds all season.
In the punting game, Seibert is averaging 41.1 yards per boot. He’s smashed four of his 27 for 50 yards or longer and downed nine inside the 20.
Earlier this month, Seibert became OU’s and the Big 12 Conference’s career scoring record holder, where he currently stands at 476 points. That puts him third in NCAA career scoring among kickers. The Belleville, Ill., product holds the NCAA record for career extra-points made (302) and attempts (307).
Samia combines with former Sooner Orlando Brown for OU’s third straight Offensive Lineman of the Year. From Sacramento, Calif., the senior right guard has started 46 games, just four shy of the OU record at 50.
Along with Evans, Ford and Powers, the OU road graders have paved the way for a running game that leads the nation at 7.0 yards per rush and guarded a passing game that ranks second by averaging 11.6 yards per pass attempt. The Sooners average a would-be FBS-record 8.9 yards per play, have totaled 300 passing yards and 300 rushing yards in a game five times this season (all other Power Five teams have combined for three such performances) and are the only team in the country with at least 30 rushing touchdowns (39) and at least 30 passing TDs (38).
Hollywood Brown leads OU with 70 catches for 1,264 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s averaging 18.1 yards per catch and 105.3 receiving yards per game. That includes six 100-yard receiving games and a nation-leading seven receptions of at least 50 yards this season.
Calcaterra has registered 22 catches for 340 yards and four touchdowns. The Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., native is averaging 15.5 yards per reception.
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In his first full season as a regular starter, Meier has posted 269 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 15 receptions (17.9 average). Tre Brown ranks third in the conference with his 23.8 yards-per-return on kickoffs, including a career-long 86-yard return against UCLA.
Murray leads the Sooners with 133 total tackles in his 12 starts at middle linebacker. That makes for OU’s highest single-season total in 10 years, as he’s also recorded 11.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, plus three QB hurries and a couple of pass breakups.
Multiple other Sooners earned honorable mention recognition at their respective positions. They include the following: senior linebacker Curtis Bolton, Seibert (punter), redshirt junior defensive end Kenneth Mann, redshirt junior defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, junior defensive end Amani Bledsoe, junior defensive back Parnell Motley, sophomore wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, sophomore running back Trey Sermon, redshirt freshman running back Kennedy Brooks and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Creed Humphrey.