OU's Granger out 4-6 wks, may miss rest of season
This is good news for the rest of Div 1-A programs in the hunt for the national title. The Sooners are a strong team and may vie for the title. Any weakness will help open possibilities for teams such as Florida and Georgia who play a much tougher conference schedule. ... Yes, the Big-12 is getting tougher, but not to the extent of the SEC... Let's face it, it will more than likely be USC against someone else... But who?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
[size=7][b]Foot injury puts OU's Granger out 4-6 weeks, may miss rest of season[/b][/size]
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger will be out at least four weeks and could miss the rest of the season because of a left foot injury.
Coach Bob Stoops said Wednesday night that Granger and doctors were determining whether to insert a pin, which would take him out of action for an extended period.
"I know it's been reported that he's done for the year. That isn't the case yet," Stoops said after practice. "If he gets it pinned and if that's the option that they go with, then obviously he would be. If he doesn't, he could be back in -- who knows -- maybe four, maybe five weeks, something like that."
Granger, a 300-pound junior, has a reputation for being one of the second-ranked Sooners' top run-stuffers but had slipped to the second team after being sidelined by a back injury in preseason camp. After he had been sent home following a shoplifting arrest in Arizona, the Sooners gave up 349 yards rushing -- the highest total in Stoops' tenure -- to high-powered West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl in January. That was the only game he didn't play in over the last two seasons.
Of his 35 tackles last season, 8½ went for a loss, including 3½ sacks.
"We've got to keep going. It's simple as that: Got to keep on pushing," fellow defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "Yeah, he's a great player but we've still got to keep on going. In a season, things happen, life moves on and this is just part of life."
Granger was hurt in the second quarter of Oklahoma's 55-14 victory at Washington on Saturday. One play after he was flagged for a personal foul for shoving down an offensive linemen after the whistle, three Huskies linemen teamed up to push Granger to the ground and pile on top of him. After being helped off the field, he returned to the sideline on crutches.
"The play before was just football. The guy moved, Granger jumped the ball. That's what we're taught to do. That's what he did," said McCoy, who lined up next to Granger on the plays. "They took it personal. That's just how they took it. How they responded to it is just how they responded to it. I'm not going to speak on that."
Stoops has said the Sooners won't be "whining" about the triple-team that resulted in Granger's injury.
"Those things happen in football. That's been going on for years in football, especially when you have two lines colliding," said defensive line coach Jackie Shipp, a former linebacker. "That's been happening for the longest of long times. It goes on at every level -- in high school, pro, college. Those things happen. In this game, you've got to learn how to take care of yourself."
Starters Adrian Taylor and McCoy figure to get extra playing time, along with backup Cory Bennett, while Granger is out and Shipp said junior Cordero Moore will now move into the four-man rotation. He said freshmen Stacy McGee and Casey Walker will not be brought out of their redshirt years.
"It impacts us but we've got to move on. I'm not going to say we're not going to miss Granger being out there but we're a whole defense. One of our brothers went down. We've just got to keep on pushing," McCoy said.
"We can't let one person stop us from getting where we need to be, even a person that important to us."
Oklahoma initially called the injury a sprained foot but Stoops said the diagnosis was more complicated than that -- involving a tendon and a bone. Although the Sooners are off until hosting TCU on Sept. 27, Stoops said the decision on Granger's surgery wouldn't wait until next week.
"If it's going to happen, we're going to have to do it here fairly soon," Stoops said.