The Oklahoma Sooners offensive line has taken a beating this 2012 season when it comes to injuries. When true freshman Ty Darlington was asked to step up last week for center Gabe Ikard, who was out due to a concussion, he did just that.
It was Darlington’s first college start and the coaches took notice. He was mentioned by head coach Bob Stoops as the offensive player of the game. Apparently Darlington was given the good news of his start by Ikard, via text on the Thursday before the game.
The Sooners have not had the best of luck when it comes to guards; Ben Habern had to retire before the season began due to an ongoing injury, Tyler Evans blew out his knee the first week of practice and not to mention Adam Shead and Lane Johnson have also been playing through injuries. Ikard was the latest in what seems to be an offensive line curse.
Sooners QB Landry Jones had nothing but high-praise on Darlington’s performance:
You can’t say enough about the job that Ty did and the offensive line. He did a great job of calling everything out, directing traffic up there and those guys did a great job of keeping me clean on Saturday night. That one sack, I held onto the ball a little bit longer than I should have.
Ikard should be back on the line for the game this weekend, but Darlington gives him all credit for being able to handle the challenge of stepping up:
Gabe was like my personal coach for the week because he wasn’t even dressed out a couple of days. He was coaching me up on every little thing, giving me tips on how to block this or that and asking me some questions about IDs and everything.
The Sooners defensive line will need to be ready this coming weekend and as healthy as they can get when they travel to Morgantown to play the West Virginia Mountaineers.