MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

December 29, 2013

Sugar Bowl notebook

(Continued)

Wait and see

OU won’t have offensive linemen Tyrus Thompson or Adam Shead available Thursday. Both have been ruled out due to late season injuries.

Derek Farniok will start at left tackle for the second straight game. Shead’s absence mean Nila Kasitati and Bronson Irwin have to handle the guard duties instead of alternating at the right guard spot.

“I think we're doing good without them and they're good players,” right tackle Daryl Williams said Saturday. “Without them people probably think we'll be weaker but I think we've been just as good so far.”

Don’t ask

OU coach Bob Stoops always causes a stir when he says anything about the SEC. He’s refused to go down that path since OU received its Sugar Bowl bid Dec. 8.

Players are now staying mum on the topic, too.

“I think I’m going to stay out of that one,” OU defensive end Geneo Grissom said when asked about it Saturday.

Time to breathe

The Sooners will face an offense that huddles for just the second time in the last six games.

“I feel like that will play to our advantage because we mostly play against fast pace in the Big 12. It’ll help us because we’ll be able to focus even harder,” OU middle linebacker Frank Shannon said.

No word on the QB

OU coach Bob Stoops reiterated when the team arrived in New Orleans Friday he will not name a starting quarterback for the game.

“We intend to be unsettled about quarterback all the way up until the game. I wouldn’t say it’s unsettled, I would say that it’s purposeful,” he said.

Shepard gave no insight to the situation Saturday, but said getting both Trevor Knight and Blake Bell ready to play gives OU’s offense more options.

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