Sooners return injured players

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Coming off its win over Texas, No. 6 Oklahoma is readily welcoming a bye week.

“It’s a really good time to have it, simply to rest and regroup and get ready for the second half of the season,” said head coach Bob Stoops. “It works out well this year.”

While rest is important, the Sooners will also be reincorporating once injured players return to practice. Running backs Roy Finch and Brennan Clay, linebacker Austin Box and cornerback Jamell Fleming are all returning from injuries.

Injured since August, Finch has been recovering from a hairline ankle fracture, while Box has been dealing with a painful disc in his back.

The only player still on the injured list for Oklahoma is defensive tackle Casey Walker, who sprained his ankle against Cincinnati on Sept. 25.

“Everyone would have been ready to go this week except Casey,” Stoops said. “Casey has at least four weeks coming.”

The Sooners practice today and early Thursday. They will take the remainder of the week off.

Baylor set to take on Texas Tech

In a second week of Big 12 matchups, the Cotton Bowl will play host to Saturday’s Baylor-Texas Tech game. Both teams are looking for another win to tack on to their season records.

For the first time since 2005, the Bears have started the season 4-1 (1-0 Big 12). Meanwhile, Texas Tech, 2-2 (0-2 Big 12), has experienced a tough start to its season.

“It’s just one win on one Saturday. We’re certainly experienced enough to understand that as a staff and as a team,” said Baylor head coach Art Briles. “We’ll be judged at the end of the season, by the complete season, but right now we’re just trying to break it down and play one game one week and focus on the small picture.”

In the past two seasons, the Red Raiders have beaten the Bears by just a touchdown each time.

“It’s a new team. I know everybody wants to talk about the past few years against Tech and how close we’ve been, but it’s a new team,” said quarterback Robert Griffin. “They have a new coach and we have a new mindset as a team here at Baylor. We’re going out there trying to play our best to get another win and get us closer to our goal.”

Aggies elevate their defense

New defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter has done wonders for the Aggies’ defense. Ranked among one of the nation’s worst last year, Texas A&M defenders have taken everything down in stride. Everything, that is, except sacks.

The Aggies’ defense has four sacks through four games this season.

“You’d like to see your sack numbers go up,” DeRuyter said. “It’s been a little bit of a function of who we’ve been playing — our first three opponents got rid of the ball real quick. We didn’t see much of a vertical game.”

On Saturday, Texas A&M meets No. 11 Arkansas, which ranks third nationally with 15 sacks while the Aggies rank 95th.

“This week, we’re going to see some vertical passing, and I’d like to see our sack numbers go up,” DeRuyter said.