Frank Shannon

Oklahoma State will have to go to plan B at the quarterback position for a good portion of the season. According to Sam Mayes of 107.7 FM in Oklahoma City, redshirt junior quarterback J.W. Walsh will miss six to eight weeks after suffering a broken foot in the Cowboys’ win over Missouri State on Saturday. Walsh went down in the first quarter of the game and returned from the locker room with crutches. With Walsh out, redshirt junior Daxx Garman will be charged with leading an OSU team that had momentum despite a close season-opening loss to Florida State. Garman, a transfer from Arizona, threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns after Walsh went down last week.

Big 12 reprimands replay official

The replay official in this past Saturday’s game between Kansas State and Iowa State will serve a one-game suspension, following a missed video review, the conference announced Sunday. During the first conference game of the year, Kansas State completed a pass just short of the end zone late in the first half, which the conference said should have been reviewed. However, the next play went off without a review. Although video evidence was still inconclusive, the Big 12 said the replay official should have stopped play to review the catch. Kansas State went on to win 32-28.

Oklahoma court upholds Frank Shannon suspension

Oklahoma junior linebacker Frank Shannon will remain suspended for the year, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruled Monday. Shannon, who allegedly sexually assaulted a female student in January, had received a stay from the suspension from the Cleveland County District Court. However, the state’s supreme court ruled the district judge did not have the authority to issue the stay. Shannon was suspended by the University for a year, following a long investigation, but was not prosecuted in court. Shannon is one of three Sooners to have been suspended for the year.

Russell, Waters split Big 12 honor

After leading their teams to big wins, Baylor quarterback Seth Russell and Kansas State signal-caller Jake Waters were named Big 12 Co-Offensive Players of the Week. Russell, a redshirt sophomore starting in place of the injured redshirt senior Bryce Petty, tied the Baylor record with six touchdown passes and threw for 438 yards in the win over Northwestern State. Waters led the Wildcats to a 15-point comeback on the road against Iowa State. In addition to his 239 passing yards, the senior ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score with 90 seconds left in the game. The comeback was the program’s largest road comeback since 2010. Kansas fifth-year cornerback Dexter McDonald was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week and Jarvis West, Iowa State redshirt senior wide receiver, was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week.

Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon has been suspended after being accused of sexual assault.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Head coach Charlie Strong isn’t the only one pushing suspensions and dismissals in an effort to clean up a football program. While Texas surveys a team down eight players since last season, coaches and officials around the country work to hold teams to high standards as well.

Sooners linebacker suspended

Within the Big 12, the Oklahoma Sooners suspended junior linebacker Frank Shannon for one year — a decision that reached beyond the school campus, receiving backing from the Oklahoma State Supreme Court. Shannon, the Sooners’ leading tackler in 2013, was first reported accused of sexual assault in April. Although a Cleveland County District Court decision ruled that Shannon could stay at school during the appeal process, the state’s highest court reversed the ruling Monday. As a consequence for violating OU’s Title IX sexual misconduct policy, the school suspended Shannon from both the team and the roster for the remainder of the 2014-2015 season.

USC AD and coach reprimanded 

Misconduct reaches beyond the level of players, too. Coaches and athletic directors must take responsibility for their actions, as USC athletic director Pat Haden learned in Saturday’s contest against Stanford. Haden approached the officiating crew during the third quarter of the game after coach Steve Sarkisian received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. For his disruption, Haden was reprimanded by the Pac-12 and fined $25,000.

“The conduct by [Haden] was inappropriate,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “The actions fell short of our expectations of our head coaches and athletic directors as role models for our student-athletes and important leaders of our institutions.”

In addition to the conference rebukes, Haden self-imposed a two-game sideline penalty and issued an apology.

Penn State regains playoff eligibility

Not to despair, at least one institution is rebounding from a history of misconduct.

Penn State regained its playoff eligibility for this season Monday and most of its scholarship privileges for next season. The school has worked to rebuild the trust of NCAA officials since 2012, when former coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys, a felony that earned him 30-60 years in prison. NCAA officials believe the school is one step closer to clearance.

“Penn State has made remarkable progress over the past year,” said Harris Pastides, a member of the NCAA board of directors. “[This decision] allows the University and the association to continue to move toward a common goal of ensuring that educating, nurturing and protecting young people is a top priority.”

The Nittany Lions, who finished their two sanction seasons with 15 wins but no playoff eligibility, are 2-0 this season.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Blake Bell, Junior QB

All things start behind center for the Oklahoma offense and the signal-caller is Blake Bell, who has led to the Sooners to a 5-0 start this season. His efficiency has been a big reason for that success. The junior has passed for 835 yards and six touchdowns with a 69.2 completion percentage. These numbers are not gaudy but Bell gets the job done every time out with his crisp passing and ability to hit receivers when he needs to. The Longhorns have continued to have a tough time defending the deep ball, which plays directly into Bell’s hands. Look for Bell to challenge the Texas secondary and get them on their heels to open up the running game.

 

Brennan Clay, Senior RB

Although Oklahoma features a few capable backs, Brennan Clay has been the leader as far as rushing the football for the Sooners. In five games this season, Clay has rushed the ball 68 times for 450 yards and three touchdowns. His 6.6 yards per carry average should be something the Texas defense pays attention to as Clay can break off big runs every single play. At 5-foot-11 and 201 pounds, Clay is a compact back who can move the chains in short-yardage situations and break tackles for big gains. If Texas can tackle and force turnovers like they did against Iowa State, it will make it that much easier to keep Clay in check.

 

Frank Shannon, Sophomore LB

A player that many people probably have not heard of is one that the Texas offense should look out for this week. Shannon is the leading tackler on the Sooners defense and will do his best to disrupt the Texas run game. Shannon has racked up 34 tackles this season and has an interception. Shannon has the speed to get quickly from sideline to sideline and Texas will need to keep a hat on him to get the running game going against a tough Oklahoma defense.

 

Sterling Shepard, Sophomore WR

Another smaller receiver that can give the Longhorns trouble when he gets into the second level is Shepard, who has caught 21 passes for a team-high 266 yards and three touchdowns this season. He has the ability to increase these numbers significantly against the Longhorns. Shepard’s stats aren’t spectacular but he will likely have the biggest impact for Oklahoma. Texas needs to be aware of his presence on the field.