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Oklahoma football near panic time in Norman

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Now that I have had one full week to digest the 2014 Oklahoma Sooners football regular season, I have come up with several items head coach Bob Stoops must address in the offseason if OU is to ever get back to being a national title contender under his watch.

Ever since the Sooners were stunningly upset in the annual Bedlam game against bitter in-state rival Oklahoma State, Oklahoma fans across the state, nation and even the world are up in arms at what has happened to their beloved football program.

Expectations at OU are simple – compete for a national championship every year. Every year the Sooners don’t win a national title, it’s a disappointing season. If Oklahoma has a season where they go 10-2 and go to a big bowl game and beat a big-name program, Sooner nation will forgive you for not winning the national championship (i.e. last year), but going 8-4 in a year the Sooners were expected to heavily contend for the title is flat out not going to cut it.

OU fans are getting sick and tired of hearing the same old answers whenever Stoops is grilled hard by the press during his press conferences. Stoops likes to bring up his past success with Oklahoma and all the Big 12 titles they have won since he’s been the man in Norman. He will also become sullen and snobby toward the media if they question him or one of his assistant coaches.BEDLAM (OU Chuka Ndulue)

The fact of the matter is, Stoops’ leeway has expired. The 2000 national championship is 14 years old and his last outright Big 12 championship was four years ago in 2010. The bottom line is that Stoops is on his last breath with the Sooners.

If Oklahoma has another year next season like the one it had this year, then it could indeed be Stoops’ swan song out of Norman.

For all the OU fans who are calling for that to happen right now, hold on to your britches a little bit. That is not the answer just yet. If we are sitting in the same position 365 days from now, then you’ll have a valid argument, but Stoops deserves another year to prove he can return to the glory days when he first arrived on scene.

There are three things Stoops and the OU football program need to do in this offseason to bring them back to the forefront of college football. No, the answer is not recruit better. Oklahoma has a talented roster, enough talent to compete for a national championship, but player development is a big problem with the Sooners right now.

It’s not necessarily that OU’s players can’t do it, they just look like they have no clue what they are doing, and that goes back to coaching.

So the first thing that needs to happen is Stoops needs to address his brother and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. Everyone, including me, thought when Mike Stoops came back into the picture at OU, the defense would go back to being a dominant unit and a defense that opposing offenses would fear.

Instead, the opposite has happened. Oklahoma switched to the 3-4 scheme on defense hoping their problems would be solved, but they have only gotten worse under Mike Stoops. The problem is, Mike Stoops is trying to coach the defensive backs and coordinate the defense at the same time.

Bob Stoops needs to bring in a defensive backs coach that will coach these young DBs how to match up and be physical at the line of scrimmage. Oklahoma used to be feared in the secondary. Now, teams can’t wait to face the Sooners.

The second thing that needs to happen is Bob Stoops needs to fire Josh Heupel. I know Heupel quarterbacked his team to his only national championship, but he is not going to coordinate the offense to a national championship.

Heupel simply does not know what he’s doing with the offense. He will go in spurts of throwing the ball all over the field trying to be like Oregon, but then he will go back to running the football. There is no balance, no rhythm with Heupel’s play-calling.

Heupel excelled as a quarterbacks coach, but when it comes to coordinating the offense, he just doesn’t have it. It’s time for someone else outside of the program to get their shot.

The third thing Bob Stoops needs to do is figure out what the offensive identity is going to be and stick with it. I’m sick and tired of hearing the word balance when it comes to Oklahoma’s offense. Was OU balanced when they won the national title 14 years ago? No.

They threw the ball all over the field. Yes, they had Quinton Griffin, but he did not run the ball all that much in the national title season. He actually made a lot of plays in the passing game for the Sooners.

Am I saying OU needs to go back to a Mike Leach style of offense and forget the run game? Absolutely not. When you have Samaje Perine on your roster and Joe Mixon coming next year, going to a pass-happy offense would be dumb.

Oklahoma should go to a pro-set style of offense where power running and play-action passing is the focal point. Bob Stoops needs to go out and find an offensive coordinator that knows and understands how to run that style of offense.

As poor as OU’s season was, if Bob Stoops would put aside his stubbornness for one second and do those three things, the Sooners could get back to being what Sooner nation believes they should be every year, a national title contender.

If not, well then, Bob Stoops’ tenure with Oklahoma will come to an abrupt end much sooner than expected.

Mustang man remembers Pearl Harbor

By Matt Montgomery

editor@mustangnews.info

Harvey Mercer holds up a newspaper after Japan surrendered in 1945, at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

Harvey Mercer holds up a newspaper at Pearl Harbor, after Japan surrendered in 1945.

The day after Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, the United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt, in a speech to Congress, stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor is “A date which will live in infamy.”

Many Americans who were alive in 1941 will never forgot that day, Dec. 7, especially Mustang resident Harvey Mercer, who was stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1944.

Mercer became known as a “paper warrior,” and was given “top secret” clearance. A man with exceptional typing skills, Mercer was assigned to serve some of the most influential leaders from WWII. Most notably, Mercer was assigned to U.S. Navy fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz’ Pearl Harbor headquarters.

At that time, the Navy was looking for high school graduates with good typing skills and recruited Mercer in the process.

“When I graduated from Mustang High School in 1941, there were a lot of comments about the world situation at that time,” Mercer said. “Little did we realize the conflict which was coming up and to what extent we would become involved in it.”

Roosevelt was in office and had already served more than one term as president when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Mercer said he recalled Roosevelt making a comment that no American troops would set foot on foreign soil. That all changed after Dec. 7, 1941.

“When Japan did attack Pearl Harbor, it really caused a great sway of people wanting to help,” he said. “This put the fear in me for what I wanted to do.”

In 1942, the country was mobilizing and turning to wartime efforts, Mercer said. He said practically everyone in the country was involved in preparing soldiers for war.

“This incident brought the American public into the whole atmosphere of the situation,” Mercer said. “They were drafting thousands of people every month and a lot of them were volunteering.”

After reading an advertisement in a local paper, calling for typists to join the Navy, Mercer said he knew he wanted to be a part of the effort. Mercer was enlisted and given a petty officer, third class rating.

“Everybody had a role to play and everybody played their parts,” he said. “The morale of the American people was extremely good back then. I came in contact with a lot of people before I went to Pearl Harbor and worked on Nimitiz’ staff. There was a lot of apprehension but the people were behind it.”

Harvey Mercer

Harvey Mercer

Mercer will turn 91 years old this Sunday, Dec. 7, the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

City projects funded

By Matt Montgomery

editor@mustangnews.info

The Mustang city council voted unanimously to approve funding for three city projects, including the widening of Mustang Road south of SH 152, wastewater plant treatment upgrades and groundwater treatment for arsenic removal and water re-use.

The three projects came to the council for approval of funds, after the city learned its Series 2013 Note for $7.895 million will mature Dec. 1, 2018.

The city will use $4.5 million for the street widening project, $1 million for the wastewater treatment upgrades and $2.395 million for arsenic removal.

By approving funding, there will be no increase in the amount of annual debt payment. Debt payments will be extended out 11 and 1/2 years.

Mustang Mayor Jay Adams said these projects will be a tremendous benefit to the city and its residents.

“The Mustang road improvements around the high school are going to be critical for our future,” he said. “The arsenic removal systems to the water are also going to be critical for our future as well as the wastewater plant treatment upgrades.”

The city council also approved a resolution for the city to apply for a Programming Surface Transportation Program Fund for the Mustang Road widening project.

Assistant City Manager Justin Battles said this resolution includes utility relocation within the project. That alone will cost $300,000. He said ODOT doesn’t provide funding for this aspect of the project.

“This is going to be a different project than we’ve done before,” Adams said. “We resurfaced South Czech Hall Road for $300,000 and here we’re talking about just moving utilities for $300,000. It’s a whole different ballgame but it’s something that is going to be very important to our future.”

City Manager Tim Rooney said the wastewater treatment plant project and the arsenic removal will be the first projects the city begins. He said the road widening project will take some time, but didn’t put a timetable on it.

West side closing gap on east side powers

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When I was the ripe young age of 10 years old, I was sitting in the bleachers at then Lewis Field in Stillwater at OSU watching Rocky Calmus’ Jenks Trojans slaughter Yukon 56-8 in the 1997 state championship game.

I remember thinking to myself, there is no way Jenks will ever lose a football game, ever. Obviously, I was young and naïve to actually believe that, but after seeing that kind of domination, it was all I could think.

Fast forward, 17 years later, I still fully believe that 1997 Jenks team is the best high school football team I have ever seen, and I don’t believe that will ever change in my lifetime.

Well, Jenks has lost since that day in ’97, but the east side dominance has been a real thing since 1996. The last 18 state championships have been won by Jenks or Tulsa Union, with the two other east-side powers, Owasso and Broken Arrow on their heels.

Back then, the gap between the east and west side was as big as Texas, as it looked like the east dominance would control the state in Class 6A forever, but 17 years later, the gap has been narrowed heavily.

The proof came in the pudding last Friday night when Mustang took on Owasso on the road in a district matchup between the Broncos and Rams.

Anyone who saw that game in person or watched it on the Internet, saw who clearly was the best team.

Mustang was by far the better team over Owasso. The Rams were considered to be one of the few teams in the state that could realistically challenge Tulsa Union for the 6A-1 state title this season, but after Friday night, Mustang joined that list.

I went into that game thinking if the Broncos could just hold their own on the line of scrimmage, they would have a shot to pull off the upset. Boy was I wrong. Not only did Mustang hold its own against Owasso, they dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

In fact, by the second half, the Broncos’ smaller, athletic offensive line was blowing holes in the bigger Ram defensive front that semi-trailers could drive through.

Last year in the quarterfinal round of the postseason, Mustang hosted Broken Arrow in one of the worst weather nights I’ve ever seen a football game played. Amidst below freezing temperatures and freezing rain and ice falling from the sky, the Broncos played the Tigers tough, and would have had a great chance of winning the game had it not been for the weather conditions.

The west side has sent teams in the past like Westmoore, Edmond Santa Fe, Norman North, Southmoore and Mustang from the mid-2000s to contest Jenks or Union for the state title, but none of those teams have been able to get the job done.

This Bronco team this year can do it. They have an opportunity Friday night at home against No.1 Tulsa Union to make a statement.

The statement doesn’t need to come in a win, but it needs to come on the line of scrimmage against the Redskins.

Yes, a win over the state’s No.1 team would be a win for the ages for the Bronco football program, but if Mustang can play the way it did last Friday night on the line of scrimmage and eliminate the silly mistakes, they will show the Redskins they have more than just Jenks to worry about come playoff time.

This version of Mustang just might be what the doctor ordered for the west side in its hope of pulling the gold ball away from the east side.

Waiting for a miracle: Mustang man on list for new kidney

By Matt Montgomery

Mustang resident Colin Meeks is waiting on something that holds his life in the balance: a new kidney.

Earlier this year, Meeks was sick but didn’t know what was wrong with him until he found out in March he had renal kidney failure.

“Last February, I went in to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack,” Meeks said. “Woke my wife up in the middle of the night, mom and dad came up to watch the kids, and we rushed to the hospital. They were shocked to see me walking in the building with my blood pressure as high as it was.”

Matt Montgomery/Mustang News Mustang resident Colin Meeks looks to the sky last week in front of the Mustang water tower. He is on the waiting list for a new kidney.

Matt Montgomery/Mustang News
Mustang resident Colin Meeks looks to the sky last week in front of the Mustang water tower. He is on the waiting list for a new kidney.

Meeks said his high blood pressure overtime, “killed” his kidneys.

He eventually saw a few doctors during his two-week stint in the hospital and a couple of them didn’t give him a bright outlook like Dr. Thompson did. He said Dr. Thompson gave him a glimmer of hope, that he could survive this; he just needed to be on the transplant list.

Meeks was released from the hospital and was doing dialysis three days per week, four hours per session. He eventually got a call from the doctor telling him he was done with dialysis and they needed to see him the next day. He said he was ready for some good news, but the doctor told him he was in renal kidney failure and would need a kidney transplant.

“It was a little shocking and a lot to handle,” he said. “I’m 36 years old, I’ve got two young kids. We were right in the middle of basketball season when all of this happened. It was kind of tough missing that kind of stuff.”

Meeks is a youth basketball and baseball coach in Mustang and since he found out he has renal kidney failure, he’s had to give that up for now.

He was placed on the kidney transplant list and all he can do is wait. He is officially on the list, but the wait time is about five years, Meeks said.

However, he is currently seeking a living donor. He said his sisters have signed up to see if they are matches, as well as a few of his close friends. Meeks said if one of them is a match, they will give up one of their kidneys to save his life.

Even though Meeks is going through a life-changing time, and uncertain of the future, his spirits are high and he said he is truly grateful to all of the support from the community of Mustang and from his friends and family.

“It means a lot that people are willing to do that,” he said. “They’re giving up something that they might need later.”

Meeks said he has kept his mouth shut about his condition for a long time because when he got pulled off dialysis, he left it at that.

“I’ve always looked at it like there are always people with a lot more problems than me,” he said. “I don’t like to burden other people with my problems.”

On Nov. 15, there will be a silent auction held for Meeks at Mustang High School. Also, his sister, who owns Orange Leaf in Mustang, is hosting a fundraiser day from noon to 9 p.m., Oct. 21 at her restaurant for her brother.

There will also be a garage sale on Oct. 24 and 25 at 12717 Sw 53rd in Mustang.
Meeks works for the bonds and construction department of the Mustang school district.
He said he actually feels good, aside from the swelling in his ankles.

“I could sit at home and feel sorry for myself, but it’s not going to do anybody any good,” Meeks said.

Mustang’s dominance over Yukon is no mistake

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When it comes to rivalries, Mustang and Yukon are on the top of the list in the state of Oklahoma.

Every time these two Canadian County giants collide in an athletic event, you never know what you are going to get.

In past years, the Broncos and the Millers have done their fair share of winning against each other. Mustang would take down Yukon in one sport, but the Millers would handle the Broncos in another sport.Team One

However, this academic year has seen a complete and utter domination by Mustang over Yukon in every sport thus far.

Yes, we are only in the month of October, but there is no questioning the dominance Mustang has held over its Miller opponents this fall semester.

It all started back in early September when the Mustang cross country team took on Yukon in the annual Mustang/Yukon scrimmage race on the day of the big football game between the two rivals.

With the football game being played in Yukon this year, the cross country race took place on the campus of Yukon High School.

I’m betting the Millers were glad it was just a scrimmage as the Bronco cross country team dismantled the Yukon harriers on both the boys and girls sides of the course.

The race seemed like a stampede of Mustang runners with one Miller runner sprinkled into the mix every now and then.

Following the cross country annihilation of Yukon came the football game everyone in the two communities waits for every year. The annual rivalry game between Mustang and Yukon took place at Miller Stadium.

Looking at the two teams as they warmed up, I knew this one was over before it began. Mustang put the pedal to the metal against the Millers and wouldn’t let up as they went on to crush Yukon 41-14.

The game reminded me of an OU/Texas game where the Sooners are beating the Longhorns so badly, one half of the stadium is completely empty by the fourth quarter. That’s exactly how it was in Miller Stadium that night. The Yukon side of the stadium was bare and the Mustang side was screaming at the top of their lungs until the clock struck zero.

The Mustang volleyball team had a tough year in 2014, but they got one thing right, and that was beating Yukon in both matches they played the Millers this fall. In fact, neither match was close as the Lady Broncos throttled Yukon three games to none both times.

The last time Mustang and Yukon met in an athletic forum was the final game of the regular season for the Lady Broncos softball team and the Millerettes softball team.

This one was also over before it began as Mustang is one of the top teams in the state of Oklahoma. The Broncos run-ruled the Millers in five innings by a score of 11-0, as the Millers couldn’t come close to touching Mustang’s all-star pitcher Jayden Chestnut.

Fireworks erupted early in the game when the Yukon pitcher beaned Chestnut in the ear-hole of her helmet in the first inning. I’m not saying it was on purpose, but after learning what this rivalry is all about, I’m not saying it wasn’t on purpose either.

Chestnut responded with a piercing look in her eyes, as she would dominate the rest of the game, both in the circle and in the batter’s box.

So now the question becomes, what is behind the domination Mustang has enjoyed over Yukon this year?

Yukon seems to think that just because you build “really nice” facilities, you will win big, but unfortunately for the Millers, it takes more than deep pockets to win in high school sports.

Right now, Mustang has the better coaches and the better athletes across the board. They have an administration that understands the importance of athletics and what it takes to be successful on the athletic field.

I know things can change in a hurry, especially when you are talking about high school sports, but right now, Mustang is head and shoulders above Yukon when it comes to athletics.

Time to get out and support our future Mustang

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Mustang is one of the fastest-growing areas in the state of Oklahoma.

The Mustang Public School District is the fifth largest in the state and if it continues to grow at the rate it has, the district will be the third largest in five years.

The community and town of Mustang are growing as well. Perhaps not with the rapid pace of the school district, but nevertheless, the entire area of Mustang is growing from a small town to a thriving city.

That is undoubtedly the reason people from all over the state and this area of the country are moving to the Mustang area to live.

As the area and specifically the school district continue to grow and evolve into an empire, the extracurricular activities will continue to expand as well.

School activities such as athletics, band, cheer, pom, FFA, music, drama, and many more are getting bigger and bigger by the minute as the school increases in size and population.

The amount of after-school events that take place is off the charts, and for the community to be expected to come out and support their children at every afternoon or evening activity would be far too much to expect.

However, I do believe we as a community can and should do a better job of getting out to the different events to support our Broncos.

Of course, all of the parents and families and close friends will go see their son, daughter, relative or friend participate in whatever activity they enjoy, but the entire community should do the same.

These kids put in an incredible amount of work on top of going to school and getting a good education.

They wake up at hours when the sun doesn’t even think about coming up just so they can practice their craft.

Sometimes they will stay after the final bell an extra four or five hours working to be as good as they can be in their activity.

I understand everyone has busy lives and sometimes the last thing any of us want to do is go to a football game or a drama play in the evenings when we could plop on the couch and watch TV, but it means the world to these kids when they see their community supporting them the way they deserve.

Imagine coming out onto the stage or running onto the field and seeing people in the crowd other than your parents, relatives or friends. I’m not saying having your family and friends there to watch you is not important because it is.

However, when your entire community is backing you up, the drive to succeed is far greater than if they aren’t.

As Mustang continues to grow, evolve and develop, let’s not forget the true meaning of community. Let’s not forget the foundation this great town was built on.

These children are our future, and if they know they have our support as a community, they will grow and develop with confidence to take the wonderful town of Mustang to even greater heights when they are the leaders.

OSU will start strong, but struggle down stretch in 2014

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Here is my game-by-game prediction for the 2014 Oklahoma State football season:

Week one: Florida State (Arlington), loss, 34-24 (0-1)

Everyone in and around college football is picking Florida State to come into Arlington and wipe the turf with Oklahoma State this coming Saturday night.OSU COTTON (David Glidden)

At first glance, it’s easy to understand why. However, if I have learned one thing when it comes to picking games, it’s whatever looks like a sure thing, isn’t a sure thing.

This isn’t the OSU of old. The Cowboys are now a good program, not just a good team every four or five years. Mike Gundy, while being a man, is also a pretty darn good football coach.

The Pokes will keep this close for three quarters, but eventually the defending national champion Seminoles will break away to win by double digits.

Week two: Missouri State, win, 45-21 (1-1)

The Cowboys will have a slight hangover from the opening week game against Florida State, but they will eventually wake up to win this game with ease.

Look for MO State to keep it close for a quarter or maybe even a half, but the Pokes will eventually pull away in the second half and go on to get their first win of 2014 as they coast by the Bears.

Week three: University of Texas San Antonio, win, 37-24 (2-1)

Oklahoma State’s young and inexperienced defense will have a lot of growing up to do early in the season and this is one of those learning games for OSU.

The young D will be pumped up to play against FSU and even motivated to play the home opener against Missouri State, but in week three against another opponent that doesn’t match up physically, the raw defense will show its youth.

UTSA will keep this game close for the majority of the contest until the OSU offense can find a way to pull away in the second half to win by double digits, but this game will be in doubt for three quarters.

Week four: Texas Tech, win, 31-28, (3-1)

For the exact same reason I am picking the UTSA game to be a close one, I like the Cowboys against Red Raiders in Stillwater in this matchup.

The young and inexperienced Oklahoma State defense will be motivated and pumped up to play in the Big 12 home opener and come out with a lot of intensity.

OSU’s offense will be able to muster enough points and go on a game-winning drive capped off by the football sailing through the uprights as time expires for a Pokes victory.

It is worth noting, however, if this game was being played in Lubbock, it wouldn’t even be close.

Week five: Iowa State, win, 41-24 (4-1)

Simply put, Iowa State is not a very good football team outside of Ames.

The Cowboys shouldn’t have much problem at all with the Cyclones in Stillwater unless the youth comes out, but by week five, youth won’t be much of an excuse anymore.

Look for the Oklahoma State offense to start getting in sync and start to put points on the board, relieving pressure from the young Oklahoma State defense.

Week six: At Kansas, win, 35-10 (5-1)

I’m not sure why Kansas even plays football anymore to be honest. I think the Jayhawks would have a better chance at winning football games in the Big 12 if they rolled their basketball team on the field.

The mid-season bye for the Cowboys won’t be much of a game from start to finish, and the Pokes will remain unbeaten in conference play as they prepare to head into the gauntlet of their schedule.

Week seven: At TCU, loss, 21-17 (5-2)

I tossed and turned trying to come up with a reason Oklahoma State would go into Fort Worth and take down the Horned Frogs, but I simply could not come up with a viable one.

The Cowboys will struggle offensively against a stout TCU defense. The young but talented defense will keep the Pokes in the game, but the lack of offense in this game will be too much to overcome for Gundy and his staff.

The Frogs will hand the Orange and Black their second loss of the season and first in Big 12 play.

Week eight: West Virginia, win, 34-31 (6-2)

What a better way to bounce back after your first Big 12 Conference loss than to do it against former OSU offensive coordinator Dana Holgerson.

This game simply came down to who was playing at home. If this matchup was taking place in Morgantown, I would have picked the Mountaineers to take it 34-31, but since this game is staying in the great state of Oklahoma, I’m going to go with the Pokes in a close one.

Gundy will top Holgerson after WVU shocked OSU a year ago on their home field.

Week nine: At Kansas State, loss, 35-21 (6-3)

This was one of the easiest picks of the schedule for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys simply will not have the experience to go into the Little Apple and take down Bill Snyder and his beloved Wildcats.

It wouldn’t matter where this game was being played, I would pick KSU 1,000 times again. Kansas State will be more fundamentally sound and have more composure than the young Pokes, and that’s a bad way to be against Snyder and Co.

The ‘Cats will dominate this game from start to finish.

Week 10: Texas, win, 27-21 (7-3)

I just couldn’t pick Texas.

Will Texas be more talented than Oklahoma State? Yes. Will Texas be tougher physically and mentally with Charlie Strong as their head coach than in years past? Yes. Does that mean they will come into Stilly and get a W? No.

The Cowboys defense will show up in the game following the dismantling at the hands of K-State. The offense will do enough to get by Strong’s defense and give the Pokes the rare win over the Longhorns in Stillwater.

Week 11: At Baylor, loss, 45-14 (7-4)

This one will be the major clunker of the season for Oklahoma State. Baylor is going to have one of, if not the best and most powerful offenses in the nation in 2014, so to expect the Cowboys to take a young defense into Waco and compete is going to be a tall task.

Both the offense and the defense will struggle big time in this game and the Pokes will suffer a beating at the hands of the Bears.

Week 12: At Oklahoma, loss, 33-14 (7-5)

The annual Bedlam clash between the Sooners and the Cowboys will once again be exciting to watch.

Last year’s version had everyone in the state on the edge of their seats with Oklahoma fans getting the last laugh over the Cowboy faithful in the Sooners’ shocking comeback win.

OSU will fight tooth and nail to stay in this game against the powerful OU team, who will have their sights set on the college football playoffs.

PIGSKIN PREVIEW: Season prediction game-by-game

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Here is my game-by-game prediction of the 2014 Mustang varsity football schedule:

Week one: At Yukon, win, 35-13 (1-0)

When these two schools get together in any event, it is arguably the nastiest rivalry in all of Oklahoma. However, when that event is football, every cop in the county needs to be in attendance, because you never know what might happen.

This year’s version of the rivalry is at Yukon, but Mustang has far better talent across the board this season than the Millers possess. Look for the Broncos to come out strong early and keep the pedal floored.

This one will be all Mustang in a dominating fashion.

Week two: Stillwater, win, 41-14 (2-0)

Sometimes in sports, a team just has another team’s number. I think that is the case when talking about the matchups between Stillwater and Mustang.

Two years ago, the Pioneers came into Bronco Stadium undefeated with a stout defense, but the Broncos had their way with Stillwater. Last year, Mustang made the trip up there with thoughts of the Pioneers wanting revenge on the Broncos, but it wasn’t meant to be as MHS steamrolled Stillwater for the second straight year.

This season, either Stillwater is due to come in and put a beating on Mustang or the Broncos will keep the trend going against the Pioneers. I favor the latter.

Week three: At Edmond Memorial, win, 27-21 (3-0)

Mustang’s first true test of the year will take place in week three when the Broncos travel to Edmond to take on the Edmond Memorial Bulldogs at UCO’s stadium.

Memorial has proven in the past several years to have Mustang’s number on the gridiron, but I believe the Broncos will turn the tide this season and steal one away from the Bulldogs on a late game-winning touchdown drive led by MHS junior quarterback Chandler Garrett.

Week four: At Edmond North, win, 31-17 (4-0)

This one was a hard game to predict at first, but after doing the research and thinking long and hard about it, I had to go with the Broncos.

Edmond North will indeed be fired up to play their former coach Jeremy Dombek, who now strolls the sidelines for Mustang, but the Huskies won’t be able to hold off the hot and fired up MHS squad coming off their thrilling victory on the same field a week earlier.

Edmond North will jump out early and even look like they might pull away in the game because of the emotion they will play with facing their former coach, but emotion can only take you so far.

Mustang will ride out the storm and eventually gain control of the ballgame and eventually take over in a dominating way for a double-digit victory.

Week five: Putnam City North, win, 49-21 (5-0)

This is not the old Putnam City North football program when it was competing for state titles and making life miserable for its opponents. This PC North team will be a doormat for many 6A teams this season, and one of those teams includes Mustang.

The Broncos will jump out early and be able to rest their starters for most of the second half against the Panthers, which will come at a nice time with Norman North on the horizon the next week.

Week six: At Norman North, loss, 27-24 (5-1)

Norman North will be fired up for this one after what happened in the first round of the playoffs a year ago on its home field.

The Broncos went into Norman last year and upset the Timberwolves, ending their season. There is no doubt Norman North will have this game circled on their schedule.

Mustang and the T-Wolves will go back and forth throughout the contest, but Norman North will go on a game-winning drive and kick a field goal for the victory, handing the Broncos their first loss of the season.

Week seven: Southmoore, win, 34-24 (6-1)

This game could be a trap game for the Broncos as it sits between Norman North and Owasso.

Mustang will be coming off its first loss of the season at Norman North the week prior and with Owasso on their minds, Southmoore could sneak into Bronco Stadium and steal one away from MHS.

However, with how detailed and prepared this coaching staff is, I don’t see the letdown happening. Mustang will be ready to play this game and after a slow start, they will take control of the game and take down the Sabercats heading into the home stretch.

Week eight: At Owasso, loss, 31-24 (6-2)

Does Mustang have the talent level to go up to Owasso and beat the Rams on their home field? Yes. Will they? I’m going to have to go with no.

The Broncos will give the Rams all they want, but Owasso will be too strong on the line of scrimmage for Mustang. The Broncos offense will struggle to get going throughout the night and the defense will hold as long as they can before Owasso breaks out for several long touchdown drives to put the game away.

Week nine: Tulsa Union, loss, 35-17 (6-3)

Until someone across the state proves they can physically beat Union and Jenks other than them beating themselves, I will not pick anyone to beat those two schools.

If Mustang can hold its own on the line of scrimmage against the Redskins, they have a chance to pull off the upset at home, but if they cannot, then Union will have its way with the Broncos.

Week 10: Moore, win, 45-14 (7-3)

Following their two defeats to Owasso and Tulsa Union, Mustang will be angry and who better than to come in for a final regular season game than Moore?

The Lions were a once proud football program, but those days are long gone and the Broncos will exploit that to the highest degree.

Mustang will dominate the game on senior night at Bronco Stadium from the opening kick and close out the season with a win and capturing its second consecutive playoff berth.

OU will be unbeaten on gridiron in regular season

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Here is my game-by-game prediction for the 2014 University of Oklahoma football season:

Game one: Louisiana Tech, win, 45-7 (1-0)

Head coach Bob Stoops and the Sooners have rarely started the season off with a game that will make anyone in Sooner Nation sweat.

This year will be no different as Louisiana Tech will roll into Norman for an opening-week beat-down at the hands of an OU team, who many experts believe is a shoe-in for the four-team playoff at the end of this season.

The only benefit for La Tech to come here and get throttled by the Sooners is that nice little check their university will get to cash following the game.

Game two: At Tulsa, win, 42-13 (2-0)

If Oklahoma State is the red-headed stepchild to OU, then Tulsa is the annoying little brother that won’t shut up or leave the Sooners alone.

The Golden Hurricane have a knack for giving Oklahoma fits, even when the game is in Norman, which this year is not the case.

TU will hang around early in the game as they play with a “David and Goliath” like mentality, but the Sooners will eventually pull away for a relatively easy win.

Don’t be surprised if Chapman Stadium in Tulsa has more crimson than blue in the stands during that game.

Game three: Tennessee, win, 31-17 (3-0)

You better believe the Volunteers have this game circled on their schedule, folks. Tennessee would love nothing more than to come into Norman and knock off Stoops and the Sooners.

Of course, you have the conference rivalry between the SEC and the Big 12, but Tennessee is trying to get back to being one of the elite programs in college football. A win in Norman would be a huge step in that process.

However, the Volunteers aren’t ready for what the Sooners are going to throw at them. Oklahoma has more talent, is better coached and has more experience than Tennessee and that will show in this game.

Game four: At West Virginia, win, 41-21 (4-0)

When I first looked at the Sooners schedule, this game popped out at me as a trap game for Oklahoma. OU will be sitting at 3-0 and coming off a good win against Tennessee.

West Virginia will have a potent offense as usual as Dana Holgerson continues to man the sidelines for the Mountaineers.

However, the WVU defense is constantly one of the worst defenses in the nation, and OU will exploit that in Morgantown. Sooners will win this one big.

Game five: At TCU, win, 31-10 (5-0)

The Horned Frogs will be a much improved team from last season, but they still will not be able to contend with the big boys of the Big 12 Conference.

TCU is learning why playing in a major conference is a lot more difficult than they thought it was going to be. You have to bring it every week. There are no weeks off in a big-time conference.

The Sooners will dominate this game from start to finish and move on to prepare for Texas the following the week.

Game six: Texas, win, 34-20 (6-0)

The annual Red River Showdown in Dallas is the best rivalry in all of college sports. The split of crimson and burnt orange down the middle of the stadium is truly the coolest sight in sports.

Last season, the Sooners rolled into the Cotton Bowl undefeated and were expected to drill the weary Longhorns, but Mack Brown had one more trick up his sleeve, which was simply to take the football and pound it right down Stoops and the Sooners’ throats.

In a strange way, that woke up Oklahoma and made them realize where they needed to make the most improvement in the winter and summer. OU has developed more size in the interior of its defense, so don’t look for Texas to be able to do what they did to the Sooners a year ago.

OU takes this game and stays undefeated as they enter the last half of their season.

Game seven: Kansas State, win, 27-17 (7-0)

Stoops is undefeated in games before and after Texas, so there is no reason to think that will not be the case this year when the Sooners host the Wildcats.

Bill Snyder will always give Stoops fits no matter where he plays them, but especially in Norman. K-State will stick around early in this game, but Oklahoma will find a way to pull away late and get the win.

Game eight: At Iowa State, win, 49-10 (8-0)

The Texas hangover will officially be over and the Sooners will start rolling heading into Ames. OU will open a can of you know what against the Cyclones and look like the best team in the country doing it.

ISU will be outmatched at every position and Oklahoma will put the hammer down early and often as the rout will be on for the Sooners.

Game nine: Baylor, win, 38-17 (9-0)

One thing is for certain with Stoops, if you beat him and beat him bad, you better watch out next year because he will get his revenge.

The Bears put a beating on the Sooners on national television last season in Waco. OU will be going for the same outcome, but reversed this year in Norman.

Oklahoma will get what they are looking for as the crowd will be crazy and the Sooners will run wild on BU, keeping their undefeated season alive.

Game 10: At Texas Tech, win, 27-12 (10-0)

This is the game right here. If Oklahoma can go down to Lubbock and get a big road win against the pesky Red Raiders, they will go undefeated in the regular season and go on to play in the college football playoff.

If this Sooner defense is going to be as good as the OU coaching staff thinks it’s going to be, then this is the game where they will shine.

Look for the OU D to suffocate the Texas Tech offense and make life miserable for Kingsbury and Company. OU walks out of Lubbock still unblemished.

Game 11: Kansas, win, 56-0 (11-0)

The Kansas Jayhawks should just cancel their football program and put all of their money into their basketball team, but ladies and gentlemen, they are just awful.

I think Mustang High School might give the Sooners a better contest than KU will. It would sure be more entertaining to watch, that’s for sure.

Game 12: Oklahoma State, win, 33-14 (12-0)

Bedlam is always an exciting atmosphere in this state. The Sooners are the much better team across the board this season, but this game is one of the most unpredictable games across the country.

OSU will keep the game close for the majority of the game, but OU will break away late and secure a slot in the first ever Division I college football playoffs.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.