Works gets high grades for poise

Friday, September 8th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla.--Oklahoma offensive coordinator Mark Mangino says he was somewhat surprised by Renaldo Works' impressive debut last week against Texas-El Paso. But he had no doubts about whether Works would be ready.

Mangino recalled that he was reviewing his game plan early Saturday when Works stopped by.

"The door swings open and it's Renaldo," Mangino said. "I thought he came in to get a jump on breakfast. He said, 'Coach, let's go over these run plays again. Let's go through these pass protections, my steps, my assignments.'

"We had a little talk, just between he and I. I looked in his eyes and said to myself, 'This kid is not your average true freshman.' "

Works proceeded to run for 98 yards and score three touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 24 yards.

"I thought he was going to be a young guy that we were going to groom along and by midseason maybe would have some big runs and big plays," Mangino said. "He did it in the first night."


FOND MEMORIES:@ The last meeting between Oklahoma and Arkansas State was a Sooner feast.

In the 1992 home opener, Oklahoma rolled up 532 yards and held Arkansas State to 73 in a 61-0 victory. It was Arkansas State's first game after moving up from NCAA Division I-AA.

Perhaps the weekly ASU football release summed it up best: "The game was not a pretty sight for Indian fans."


NO STAT MAN:@ At halftime of their game against Texas-El Paso, the Sooners had been outgained 216-198, had two fewer first downs than UTEP and had kept the ball nearly eight minutes less than the Miners. All of which meant little to coach Bob Stoops.

"So much of the time, people make a big deal out of statistics and time of possession," he said. "We're ahead 27-7 was the only statistic I cared about."

Stoops noted that Oklahoma had 11 possessions during the game that started no more than 55 yards from the UTEP end zone. A shorter field usually means less possession time.

"If you're scoring points and keeping people out of the end zone, ultimately that's all that matters."


MARSHALL PLAN:@ Linebacker Torrance Marshall sat out the opening game for breaking a team rule. After the game, Stoops said in passing that Marshall might have a hard time getting his job back because his replacements played so well.

Stoops was asked this week how serious he was when he said it.

"Not real serious," he said, drawing a big laugh. "But it's good to know we'll probably be OK if something were to happen."