Woolfolk to stay busy Saturday


Friday, September 1st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


NORMAN, Okla.-Andre Woolfolk could be busy Saturday night when Oklahoma opens its season against Texas-El Paso.

Woolfolk, a sophomore, is listed No 1 on the depth chart at flanker. But he also will spend time in the defensive secondary.

"We're going to use him (at) both," coach Bob Stoops said. "Defensively, I'm hoping the he could play close to half the game."

That could wind up being as many as 75 or 80 snaps.

"Possibly," Stoops said. "We'll have to find out what he's capable of handling and work from there. But we don't want to take away from what he's able to do on either side of the ball by giving him too much."

Woolfolk played defensive back in high school. He had 10 interceptions his senior season.

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MIMIMIZE MISTAKES:@ The first weekend of the college football season provided Bob Stoops with plenty of examples to show his team as it prepared for its opener.

"You watch all the early games, you notice turnovers, you notice penalties, you notice busted assignments," Stoops said. "Those are the biggest factors you see in all those games that make a difference.

"It's usually that way throughout the year, but early on you need to be polished up and making sure you're good in those areas."

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WHAT HEAT?@ By kickoff at 6:38 p.m. Saturday, the sun will be headed behind the press box on the west side of Memorial Stadium. Coach Bob Stoops says the resulting shade will benefit the fans and the players, although he said the lingering heat wave hasn't affected his team.

"We haven't noticed. It hasn't bothered us a whole lot," he said.

Stoops said many suffered from dehydration and cramps when two-a-days began. So the Sooners began an hour earlier than planned in the morning and an hour later in the afternoon, "and that took care of that."

Since the start of school, practices have begun at 4 p.m. Stoops said there have been no problems.

"We had a strong camp in that we were in full pads a great number of practices," he said. "Very few were without being in full pads, and our players have held up to it really well."

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LESSONS LEARNED:@ UTEP coach Gary Nord says he may have learned more in his one season at Oklahoma than he has in any other year as a coach. And the lessons weren't just about watching what you say.

Nord got into trouble early in the 1995 season when, in a newspaper article, he called Oklahomans "hicks" and joked about their dental hygiene.

"I learned about football as much as I did about the off-the-field things," said Nord, who was offensive coordinator that year. "I learned that you just can't win with talent, because we had a lot of talent on that football team. But we didn't have the camaraderie of the football team, with the team or with the coaches and the team.

"It taught me that you better get a very tight-knit group of people, both players and staff, for you to have a chance to be successful at this level."

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THROWBACK:@ UTEP tight end Brian Natkin is a two-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection. He caught 59 passes for 648 yards a year ago.

Coach Gary Nord said Natkin's biggest contribution may come simply through the way he plays.

"His demeanor and mentality adds so much to this football team," Nord said. "He's a throwback kid. He's as hard-nosed and tough as any individual I've ever coached. Then he has enough ability to go along with that to be very, very successful."