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Back-to-School Edition 2009


James Lovett, sports edi editor itor • phone: ne: 325-7630 • fax: 325-6051 325 6051





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Title hungry Sooners shake off BCS loss, return to play under Bradford EDDIE RADOSEVICH The Oklahoma Daily

After winning its third consecutive Big 12 Conference title, it appeared as if OU was once again on top of the college football world in 2008. Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford had racked up perhaps one of the best seasons in recent years, while playing as the architect of college football’s most prolific offense. Averaging 51 points a year ago, the Sooners rolled into the Orange Bowl and the BCS National Championship game with national title No. 8 on many Oklahomans’ minds. Then it happened. Again. The Sooners suffered another disappointing BCS bowl loss. But with that perhaps came a silver lining for this year’s team. Last year, the 2008 Sooners were due for a much-needed wake-up call.

This year is no different. This is Oklahoma football. Each fall, OU fans expect the team to win championships. As for that silver lining? It came with the announcement that four key players would be returning to Norman. Heisman Trophy quarterback Sam Bradford, tight end Jermaine Gresham, offensive lineman Trent Williams and All-American defensive tackle Gerald McCoy would all be calling Norman home for another season. Suddenly, college football’s highest-scoring offense in the modern era was back. With those four returning, it brings back a lot of positives for head coach Bob Stoops, who enters his 11th season at the helm of what has been called by some as “the most prestigious program in the nation.” Bradford had 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns. The second-biggest player to return could come from Jermaine Gresham, who had 66 receptions for 950 yards and 14 touchdowns. FOOTBALL PREVIEW CONTINUES ON PAGE 2C



Back-to-School Edition 2009

WHICH SOONERS WILL BRING HOME HARDWARE? Each year, wild speculations range from who is going win what, to where each team is going to finish, before the season starts. The Daily’s Charles Ward offers his input on which awards Sooner players may bring home this season.



The 2009 Heisman Trophy race is shaping up to be the most interesting in recent memory with the two most recent winners back for another season, along with Texas QB Colt McCoy, last season’s runner-up. OU, Texas and Florida are all considered national championship contenders, so each Heisman candidate will get plenty of media exposure and press time. Bradford finished third in the nation in passing yardage last season, with two 1,000-yard rushers behind him. And, Tebow has won one Heisman and finished third last season, despite never being in the national top 20 in passing yards.


McCoy earned first first-team team All All-American American status from The Sporting News, and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award from the Dallas Morning News in 2008. Now, McCoy stands poised to claim some hardware with another dominant season. Defensive tackles don’t rack up gaudy tackling statistics at Oklahoma (he was 12th on the team last season), but they do get sacks (McCoy finished with 6.5 sacks, second behind Jeremy Beal). His ability to shed the inevitable double-teams he will draw will be crucial, as will his ability to continue to pressure opposing quarterbacks. JERMAINE GRESHAM THE JOHN MACKEY AWARD

Gresham spent last season establishing himself as one of OU’s best-ever tight ends, setting season-high marks for an Oklahoma tight end in touchdowns (14) and receiving yards (950). Now, The Sporting News All-American and Mackey Award finalist will set his sights on becoming not only a national award winner, but perhaps the unofficial title of becoming the best Sooner to ever catch a forward pass. With 2008 Mackey Award winner Chase Coffman and other finalist Brandon Pettigrew no longer in the college ranks, the Mackey is Gresham’s to lose. With Oklahoma breaking in a new offensive line, Bradford may look to Gresham even more often this season, allowing him to rack up more yards and receptions.


Lewis broke Brian BBosworth’s th’ ffreshman h recordd ffor ttackles kl iin a season (144) and tied his freshman mark for tackles in a game (19 against Texas). Now, he will try to take another step in the Boz’s shoes by winning the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker. The last two Butkus winners, Aaron Curry and James Laurinaitis, are now in the NFL, so the door is open for someone else to claim the award. The Associated Press, along with the San Antonio Express-News, Dallas Morning News and the Kansas City Star all listed Lewis on their first-team all-Big 12 rosters, and he was also tabbed by several sources as the Big 12’s defensive freshman or newcomer of the year.


The 2008 Sooner football team takes the field at the Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before the Nov. 22 game against Texas Tech. The Sooners crushed the then No. 1-ranked Red Raiders, 65-21.


This is important for a team that lost star receivers Juaquin Iglesias and Manuel Johnson to the NFL. However, even with the return of the “Big Four,” there are still some questions. With the departure of four offensive linemen, senior Trent Williams will look to move to the left side of the line while many young, talented players look to fill the mammoth holes left by Duke Robinson and Phil Loadholt. Ben Habern will look to replace center Jon Cooper, while Stephen Good, Brian Simmons and Cory Brandon will work to fill the shoes of others. While filling holes on the offensive line it should be mentioned that the schedule shapes up for a tough road to navigate if Pasadena, Calif., and the school’s eighth national title are on the horizon at the “Granddaddy of the Them All,” the Rose Bowl. But it could turn out to be a storybook ending for the Sooners – given that the national media doesn’t ridicule “Big Game Bob” and the team for losing numerous bowl games – if they are to get through a schedule that includes the ever-so-tough Big 12 South as well as tough, key non-conference games. And who could forget that it was the non-conference games that made it possible for them to have the opportunity against Florida only one season ago? Sorry Texas, but it could happen again this year. The non-conference slate is jammed pack. BYU, Tulsa and Miami (Fla.) all were bowl contestants a season ago, while the Big 12 South once again looks to be one of the hardest divisions in college football. Unlike in past years, it will be the strength of the defense that could be key for this bunch as they look to win their fourth consecutive Big 12 title. Sooners’ co-defensive coordinators Brent Venables and Bobby Jack Wright welcome back nine returning starters from last year’s squad. All-American Gerald McCoy anchors a defensive line – voted the best in the country by almost all pre-season publications – recorded 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss last season, and was an important reason why the Sooners ranked 20th against the run. Throw in Jer Jeremy Beal, Frank Alexander and Auston c English, who combined for 16.5 sacks last fall, and you fo trouble across the defensive front. The have a recipe for wh secondary, which was questioned at times last season, also welcomes back two cornerstones at a position that was certainly a huge question mark entering last season’s camp. Cornerback Cornerbacks Dominique Franks and Brian Jackson loo to once again make a tremendous imreturn and look sop pact, while sophomore Sam Proctor looks as if he will finally make an impact at the strong safety position. Ryan Reynol Reynolds is said to be 100 percent while returning from, once again, a devastating knee injury. If this Sooners Soone squad can get through its non-conference schedule unblemished and set up what could


These awards – and there are a ton of them – often go to the coach of the “surprise” team, as opposed to the coach of the best team. Last year, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham won the bulk of these awards. Still, if the Sooners break out to an 11 - 1 or 12 - 0 record and win the Big 12 yet again, Stoops’ name will be among those tossed around.

Charles Ward/The Daily


Florida quarterback Tim Tebow (15) tackles defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) during the 2008 BCS title game.

But it could be a storybook ending for the Sooners, if they are to get through a schedule that includes the ever-so-tough Big 12 South, as well as tough, key non-conference games. be one of the most anticipated OU-Texas games of alltime, they could be looking at a shot at the national title again. This year could be very special. But as we have learned in the past, it’s tough to win the national championship, and all the right cards must fall into place for this team to win its eighth title.


In this file photo, Reggie Smith (3) intercepts a Texas quarterback Colt McCoy pass at the 2007 OU-Texas game.

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KEYS TO THE SEASON The Sooners aren’t going to have an easy road to the championship title. There are several obstacles to overcome and variables that we may not know of yet. According to ESPN, the Sooners have the nation’s fourth most difficult schedule in NCAA Div. 1 football. The Daily’s Eddie Radosevich and Luke Atkinson give their keys for success for the 2009 Sooner season. WIN OUT IN THE REGULAR SEASON Don’t expect the national media to be banging down any doors for the Sooners if they are to lose any regular season games. The only way for this year’s Sooners to end up at the BCS National Championship on January 8 is to win consistently and decisively. The Sooners recent blunders in BCS games will surely linger in minds of pollsters and analysts should OU lose a game. However, running the table EDDIE will most certainly place the Sooners in the RADOSEVICH national championship.


The 2009 Sooner football team will feature some new faces this season. The Sooners lost eight starters to graduation and the NFL.

Sooners welcome fresh faces Team prepares for season with new players CHARLES WARD The Oklahoma Daily

The Sooners are stacked with returning talent at the offensive skill positions, along the defensive front seven and at the cornerback slots. There are holes to fill, however, especially along the offensive line, at both safety slots, and in the special teams. And, of course, not only do injuries happen, some veterans don’t always live up to expectations. With that in mind, these 14 new faces could play a big role in whatever success the Sooners will have on the field this season, and in years to come.

DREW ALLEN AND LANDRY JONES QUARTERBACKS Let’s not kid ourselves, neither of these guys has even an Idaho State’s chance of beating out Sam Bradford at quarterback this season. But, with another successful season, “Slingin’ Sammy B.” is very likely headed to the NFL, and either Allen or Jones will be expected to take up the slack. Bob Stoops, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel will watch how these guys perform during mop-up duty as they begin planning for life after Bradford. Allen might still redshirt, but he’s listed alongside Jones at No. 2 in the pre-fall depth chart. Jones is a former Parade Magazine All-American.

BRIAN LEPAK CENTER With four out of five starters from the BCS Championship Game gone, Brian Lepak, a former Claremore Zebra that transferred to Oklahoma from Colorado State, could see time not only at center behind freshman Ben Habern, but also in the rotation at the guard positions. Alex Williams’ dismissal from the team has left OU even thinner at guard than before, so finding depth at the three interior positions is crucial to the Sooners’ chances. Lepak is a junior in eligibility. He saw special-teams action in all 12 games his freshman season and played on the offensive line in a reserve role twice during his freshman year at CSU.

JARVIS JONES RIGHT TACKLE Jarvis Jones transferred from Louisiana State, and is a sophomore in eligibility. At LSU, he played in a backup role in seven games at both left tackle and right guard. An ability and willingness to play multiple slots will be very beneficial to his chances to see action along the offensive line in 2009. At 6-foot-7, Jones certainly has the height that college and NFL coaches love. listed Jones as one of the nation’s top 10 tackles when he played at Rosenburg, Texas High.

TYLER EVANS RIGHT GUARD Tyler Evans came in as the No. 2 right guard on the depth chart, so the true freshman seems to have impressed enough of the right people to at least earn a serious look during preseason workouts. As with all true freshmen, the chances remain good that Evans will end up redshirting this season. However, if there are even a couple of injuries, or if one or two guys underperform, then there’s a very good

chance that Evans will earn some time in the rotation along the offensive line. and each listed Evans in their respective top-55 offensive guards.

TOM WORT AND JAYDEN BIRD LINEBACKERS Wort certainly turned some heads at the spring Red and White game, recording two tackles, including one for a loss, and breaking up a pass., and Rivals. com all listed Wort in their national top 10 at either inside or weak-side linebacker, and the fact that he graduated from New Braunfels Texas High School a semester early in order to go through spring drills in Norman can only help his chances. It may be very difficult for Wort to see much significant playing time this season, given the high-quality, experienced depth the Sooners enjoy at linebacker. And, the fact that true freshman Jayden Bird, and not Wort, made the preseason depth chart two-deep does perhaps suggest a redshirt season is in order. Still, if Wort’s summer and fall workouts are as impressive as his spring game, Wort’s talent may just be too much to ignore. Bird will have the same troubles Wort will, in that the OU linebacking corps features three returning starters, along with experienced backups Mike Balogun and J.R. Bryant. Bird, however, is in both and national top 25 for middle and inside linebacker.

JAVON HARRIS AND JOSEPH IBILOYE SAFETIES The two holes Oklahoma’s defense needs to fill this season are at the safety slots. Both Nic Harris and Lendy Holmes have moved on to the NFL, leaving their positions, for the moment, in the hands of Quinton Carter and Sam Proctor. However, even if Carter and Proctor prove to be the starters, Oklahoma will have to use a lot of five and even six-defensive back sets, leaving plenty of room for Harris and Ibiloye to “nickel-and-dime” their way to playing time. Harris, a true freshman who may still redshirt, earned recognition from and as a national top20 safety, while SuperPrep named Harris a national top-25 defensive back. named Ibiloye the No. 10 safety in the country in 2007, with listing him as the 92nd-best player in the country that year.

Trying to earn playing time in a defensive end rotation that features Auston English, Jeremy Beal and Frank Alexander will be a difficult task, to be sure. However, David King is listed on the roster two-deep behind Beal, and, with English’s history of injury trouble, the coaching staff is going to want to establish as large of a rotation as it can, in order to keep every body as healthy as possible. Justin Chaisson’s recent legal troubles in Nevada (he pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts after prosecutors in Clark County dropped felony charges alleging Chaisson held a screwdriver to the neck of a 17-year-old girl and threatened her) can’t help his bid for playing time in 2009. As a national top15 defensive end by, and, Chiasson’s prep pedigree suggests that if he can stay out of trouble, he’ll be on the field, and maybe this season.

Eddie Radosevich/The Daily

USE RETURNING DEFENSE TO STOP OPPONENTS The Sooners only need to replace two starters, defensive backs Lendy Holmes and Nic Harris. With the rest of the defense returning for more action, the Sooners need to use this experience to shut down offenses. Last year’s crew had the second best defense in the Big 12 behind Texas. Let’s hope Gerald McCoy and crew can up the Horns and dominate with an iron curtain. If they don’t, the potentially powerful Big 12 offenses may LUKE ATKINSON take advantage of it. GET GRESHAM THE BALL We all know there are some question marks on the offensive line which puts fear into the hearts of Sooner fans, and maybe even Bradford’s arm. If the O-line can’t protect him long enough, why not give Jermaine Gresham the ball after a quick pass? We all know he can rumble, bumble and stumble down the field and maybe take out a few defenders too. Luke Atkinson/The Daily


Jermaine Gresham (18) flips in the air before being tackled during last season’s game against Nebraska.


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WHO WILL TAKE OVER THE KICKING GAME FOR THE SOONERS? Last year’s Sooners squad saw a kicking game that resembled something somewhat similar to a really good middle school’s. If you are competing for a national championship, this isn’t something you want to boast. Jimmy Stevens returns handling placekicking duties converting 8-of-11 field goals and 92-of-97 extra points a season ago, while Tress Way returns after handling kickoff duties. Look for hometown freshman walk-on Bryce Easley to press competition on both Stevens and Way. Without even stepping foot on campus, I’m going to give the nod to the Norman North product Easley.


The “get” of OU’s 2009 recruiting class, Jamarkus McFarland, a consensus top 55 national player and top 10 national defensive lineman, would seem to be the most likely of OU’s true freshmen to get on the field in a hurry. A quick glance at whom he’d have to beat out to play, however, tells another tale. Not only is All-American Gerald McCoy locked into one of the slots, but 14-game starter Adrian Taylor and former second-team All-Big 12 performer Demarcus Granger will rotate at the other. And let’s not forget Cordero Moore, who saw action in 10 games last season. Still, the Sooners rotated through five defensive tackles last season, and Granger suffered a back injury that kept him out of the BCS Championship Game and a foot injury that caused him to miss two others. McFarland’s skill may just be too much to keep him off the field.

Freshman offensive lineman Brian Lepak (51) gets into position at center during the Red and White game last Spring. Lepak is one of 14 new players to join the Sooner football ranks.

FIND SOMEONE TO THROW THE DEEP BALL TO Unlike most, I believe the biggest question on the offensive side of the ball will be a receiver, not on the offensive line. With the loss of Juauqin Iglesias and Manuel Johnson, Ryan Broyles will take over on the outside, not the slot where he played a year ago. Look for players like Brandon Caleb, Adron Tennell and Dejuan Miller to step up and have the opportunity to catch passes from the 2008 Heisman winner.

Jimmy Stevens, OU’s place kicker last season, is back. However, he hardly guaranteed himself a starting role with his effort last season, missing three field goals and five extra points. Way redshirted last season, and the former Oklahoma all-state performer from Tulsa’s Union High School will certainly push Stevens for the starting role. Way is also listed as the starting punter in the prefall two deep. Way struggled with kickoffs in the spring game, though, with his average kick reaching just the opposing 15-yard line. Easley will walk onto the team from Norman North High School, and may get called upon if neither Stevens, Way or returning kickoff man Matthew Moreland can kick with consistency.

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Back-to-School Edition 2009

Experienced squad looks to improve season Sooners had disappointing season in 2008, hope to use seniority to improve record CHARLES WARD The Oklahoma Daily

An inexperienced Oklahoma volleyball team struggled to a 12-16 record in 2008, and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005. Head coach Santiago Restrepo is looking to make last year’s struggles into learning experiences for the upcoming 2009 season. “It was very tough,” he said of the 2008 campaign. “But I think in the end, and in the long run, it’s going to be very beneficial to us.” All but one player will be back for 2009, including outside hitter Caitlin Higgins and setter Brianne Barker, both of whom

earned selection to the Big 12 All-Freshman team. “Brianne Barker, for the first time ever coming into college and setting right away, I thought she did a great job,” Restrepo said. In 2008, Higgins led the Sooners with 30 service aces and finished second in kills and points scored. She earned National Player of the Week honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association and The Collegiate Volleyball Update on Nov. 4. She also led OU in service and attacking errors. “Caitlin Higgins did a tremendous job,” Restrepo said. “We just need her to be a lot more consistent than what she was. But, I think overall she did a great job for a freshman in taking that role.” Right-side hitter Suzy B o u l av s ky i s t h e o t h e r t r u e freshman who started for much of 2008, and will continue to do so this season, Restrepo s a i d . Mi d d l e b l o c k e r Sa ra h

2009 SOONER VOLLEYBALL BIG 12 SCHEDULE Date Sept. 16 Sept. 19 Sept. 23 Sept. 26 Sept. 30 Oct. 3 Oct. 7 Oct. 10 Oct. 17 Oct. 21 Oct. 24 Oct. 28 Oct. 31 Nov. 4 Nov. 7 Nov. 11 Nov. 14 Nov. 18 Nov. 25 Nov. 28

Opponent Kansas State Missouri Kansas Colorado Nebraska Texas Tech Iowa State Texas Baylor Texas A&M Nebraska Colorado Kansas State Baylor Kansas Missouri Texas Tech Texas A&M Texas Iowa State

Location Manhattan, Kan. Norman Lawrence, Kan. Boulder, Colo. Norman Norman Norman Austin, Texas Norman College Station, Texas Lincoln, Neb. Norman Norman Waco, Texas Norman Columbia, Mo. Lubbock, Texas Norman Norman Ames, Iowa

F re u d e n r i c h t ra n s f e r re d t o Oklahoma from Arkansas prior to last season, making her the fourth newcomer Oklahoma broke into the lineup. “Obviously, to have a new setter, to have a new outside hitter, a new middle playing for the first time together with the rest of the team, it’s really hard, and it takes more time for them to gel and play with each other,” Restrepo said. Francie Ekwerekwu, now entering her junior season, tried to serve as the glue that held the young OU squad together. She led the Sooners in total points, kills and attacking percentage last season, and she’ll be back in her spot as the other middle blocker this year. Outside hitter Bridget Laplante, one of only two seniors in 2009, will round out Oklahoma’s attack. “That’s pretty much the [offensive] lineup we had last year, and until somebody comes and beats them out of those positions, that probably will continue to be the lineup,” Restrepo said. That leaves just one likely position open for battle coming into the season, that of libero, or defensive specialist. Lacy Barnes served as OU’s libero last season, but graduated. Rising sophomores Danielle Alva and Kylie Cowan backed Barnes up last season and saw some time on the court. Cowan even played some libero when the Sooners upset No. 3 Texas in Austin. Incoming freshmen Maria Escoto-Lopez and Alex Edwards also will challenge for the defensive specialist slot in the preseason. Escoto-Lopez served as team captain of Puerto Rico’s under-20 national team in 2007. “Well, I think we have a couple of defensive specialists right now that are fighting for that position,” Restrepo said. “We also

have a Puerto Rican libero that nternational experience, has international that is very good, that could fill that position osition also. I’m not worbout the libero position.” ried about Instead, Restrepo po will focus on ng his getting Sooners ers to ve their reimprove n five-set cord in matches. hes. OU pushed nine contests into a et, but finished fifth set, ust a 4-5 record i n with just those matches. hink with this “I think g ro u p, t h e y l o s t ny five-[set] so many hes that they matches earned how to deal have learned hose kind of games with those ome [back] with and come wins,” he said. It wasn’t all m and gloom for doom homa in 2008. Not Oklahoma id the Sooners knock off only did Texas in Austin for the first time ool history, they also colin school lected a win against Iowa State, which advanced to the NCAA’s ight. Elite Eight. “I think it gave us kind of a measurement of where we want to be,” Restrepo said of the win at Texas. “And also the understanding that we are capable of doing something like that.” Oklahoma opens this season at Rice, a team that beat the Sooners in straight sets in a spring tournament. “Rice beat us pretty easy in our first tournament, in our spring tournament,” Restrepo said. “But spring is when we’re trying different things, different stuff. So, it’s good that were starting with them and going to their place.” OU also takes part in the Best Western Shocker Classic Sept. 4, hosted by Wichita State University. Earlier this spring, the Sooners split a pair of matches

with the Shockers. “It’s going to be a very tough t match to play against [Wi [Wichita “They’re State],” Restrepo said. “Th probably going to be ran ranked in the top 20 in the preseason poll. They have also North Carolina Car going there, w which is another powerhouse. They are extremely extrem talented.” Oklahoma opens confercon ence play Sept. 16 at Kansas State, loo looking to improv improve on its 8-12 B Big 12 re c o rd f ro m last seaso season. “ [ Te x a s a n d Nebraska] wi will be tough,” Restrepo said. “They’ll probably be in the top 10. Texas will be up there, probp ably higher than Nebraska will be, because they didn’t lose as many people. But, that’s the beauty aabout being in our conference. Day in and day out, you have to play very tough, and be ready to play, period — against anybody.” Restrepo said Baylor and Texas A&M return several players from their squads last season, and could pose significant challenges in the Big 12. He singled out two main goals for the Sooners this season: a return to the NCAA tournament and increased attendance at volleyball matches. “We’re very excited about increasing our attendance, which has been great,” he said. “We averaged [nearly] 600 last year. We’re hoping to get close to 1,000 this year. The community has been very supportive. It needs to be better, but overall it has been better than previous years.”

Sooner soccer hope to continue spring success JAMES LOVETT The Oklahoma Daily

The OU soccer team suffered through a 3-15-1 record last year, but a strong spring season and a more experienced roster have the Sooners looking for bigger things in 2009. The Sooners finished their spring ng slate of games with a perfect 6-0 reecord, including four wins on the he road. Sophomore forward Kelsey ey Kraft led the team with seven goals ls during spring play. “I’m very happy with our devellopment and progress we made this is spring,” head coach Nicole Nelson on said. “I think [our spring success] was as a tribute to the work that we put into to teaching and the fact that a number er of young players got significant minnutes last fall. One of the things we struggled with last fall is that we were re so young. While we went through gh some growing pains, what that did id for us in the spring is that gave us players that had matured.” Bu t Ne l s o n s a i d s o m e o f t h e younger players will need to step p up as well. “I think that a number of [fresh-man] have the potential to come in n and have an impact the first year,” r,” she said. “Dria Hampton has played ed at a very high level, and she’s been on the national team since she was very ry young. The transition [to college]] I think will be easier for her since she’s been in a very competitive playing environment. I think because she’s

from Oklahoma too, the transition is a little easier with her family still close.” Junior forward Whitney Palmer provided the bulk of the Sooners offense last season, leading the team with eight goals. That total tied her for third on OU’s single-season scoring list, and earned her All-Big 12 Second Team honors. Nelson said Palmer should have another strong

season because of a new offensive lineup that will get her the ball closer to the goal. “I’m very excited about the

development we’ve seen in Whitney,” Nelson said. “The biggest difference this fall is that we have Dria Hampton that can play her the ball. A lot of times [last season] we had trouble playing Whitney the ball. The fact that we have what I consider one of the best passers passer in this age group in Dria Hampton should really benefit Whitney. The credit should go to Whitney though for her work rate aand the drive she has to be better.” The Sooners look to t rebound from a a 10-game losseason that included inclu resulted in only two ing streak, and re conference play. wins during confe “Our conference conferen is arguably one conferences of the most competitive comp Nelson said. “There’s in the nation,” Ne difference between first a very small differ place and fifth or o sixth place, and difference is between a generally the diffe tie or even a goal.” Nelson said she sh thinks the team motivated and focused this is more motivate forward to the year, and is looking look season. start of a new seas a lot of growth “I think we’ve seen s that we have,” Nelson in the players tha said. “The culture is much improved what our in that they understand und work standard is and kind of what our expectations aare, and they’ve adopted those to their th expectations as well. The girls have really raised the bar of expectations.”

2009 SOONER SOCCER SCHEDULE Date Aug. 14 Aug. 21 Aug. 23 Aug. 28 Aug. 30 Sept. 4 Sept. 6 Sept. 11 Sept. 18 Sept. 20 Sept. 25 Sept. 27 Oct. 2 Oct. 4 Oct. 9 Oct. 11 Oct. 16 Oct. 18 Oct. 23 Oct. 30

Opponent Arkansas (Exhibition) Missouri State Sam Houston State Oral Roberts Tulsa Middle Tennessee St. Vanderbilt LSU Lamar USC Texas Texas A&M Colorado Texas Tech Iowa State Nebraska Kansas Missouri Oklahoma State Baylor

Location Norman Norman Norman Norman Norman Murfreesboro, Tenn. Nashville, Tenn. Baton Rouge, La. Norman Norman Norman Norman Boulder, Colo. Lubbock, Texas Ames, Iowa Lincoln, Neb. Norman Norman Stillwater, Okla. Norman

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Take a look back with The Daily at the best albums of summer, including Grizzly Bear’s “Veckatimest.” Page 6C


Park dwellers swim and relax at Lake Thunderbird State Park in east Norman. Lake Thunderbird is one of many Norman spots people can go for outdoor entertainment.

Head out into Norman’s great outdoors MEGAN MORGAN The Oklahoma Daily

As the summer comes to a close and school starts up again, you can still recapture the adventurous spirit of summer by heading outdoors. Norman offers several different locations and many activities for those looking to postpone the fall semester, if only mentally. Sutton Wilderness, tucked away in east Norman off 12th Street, is a park that has something for everyone. Sutton has with beautiful wooded trails for hikers, as well as a small lake and a few ponds perfect for fishers. The many different trails connect to each other frequently, which makes it possible for hikers or adventurous walkers to see something new during almost every visit. Smaller trails branch off of larger ones, which can be explored by bicyclists or dog-walkers or those out for a quiet hike. And those who enjoy Sutton should check out Lake Thunderbird State Park. Larger than Sutton but quite a bit further away from campus, this park offers similar activities (biking, hiking, fishing) but on a much bigger scale. But in addition, there are also camping sites available and horseback riding at the Thunderbird Riding Stables. For $20, you can ride around the site’s trails at your own pace. Near Lake Thunderbird is the Little River Zoo, a non-profit


Ducks and geese swim at the duck pond on Lindsey Street. organization that is home to more than 400 animals, including kangaroos, lemurs and lynxes. Many of the animals at this zoo have been rescued. Little River Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and adult tickets cost $7. But there is also plenty to do outside close to campus. The OU duck pond, located right off Lindsey, has been a favorite place for students for generations. If you bring a picnic,

though, be on your guard – some of the geese are huge and if they sense bread, they will usually want it for themselves. Other parks in Norman include Andrews Park, home a skate park and basketball courts among other amenities, and Reeves Park, which has a large wooden playground and a lot of open space. Geocaching is a popular outdoor activity that involves a GPS receiver and is a lot like a worldwide treasure hunt. With the GPS, participants find coordinates where a geocache box is located. Inside the box, there are small trinkets that the finder can keep and there is a log that the finder can sign. Usually the finder puts new things in the box and puts it back or hides it in a new place and logs the coordinates. To geocache, check out Norman also has both varieties of golf. Disc golf courses are located at NE Lions Park and at Colonial Estates Park and the Jimmy Austin golf course offers a lower price to students. After all this activity, however, a little cooling off may be required. The OU outdoor pool is located south of the Huston Huffman Center and is free with your student ID during the school year. To use it for free before school starts, however, you must be enrolled in summer school. Westwood Pool and Water Park, 2400 Westport Drive, costs between $3-$6 depending on when you go, but this pool includes water slides and a sand volleyball court.


The Campus Activities Council is welcoming returning students and freshman with a big, hearty howdy. The first week of the fall semester is Howdy Week, an annual series of events hosted by the CAC. CAC President Kely van Eaton said that Howdy Week is one of two major events that the CAC organizes during the first few weeks of the school year. “Howdy Week, which happens all week long, is CAC's premier event meant to welcome all students to campus with some fun programming and free food,” van Eaton said. Van Eaton said that this year’s theme for Howdy Week is “Best Week Ever.” During this time of the year, freshmen are given many chances to meet lots of new people., he said “This is the best thing about the first few weeks of school,” van Eaton said. “[Freshmen] get an exciting look into campus activities and all the things they can get involved with over the next few years.” Van Eaton said that he hopes the CAC events will help freshmen ease into their new environment. “With a mixture of all the free food and events campuswide, we hope to provide loads of opportunities for them to make friends and become accustomed to life at OU,” van Eaton said. In addition to Howdy Week, the Big Red Rally is another CAC-planned event that takes place during the first few weeks of school. Scheduled for Sept.11, Big Red is the first pep rally of the semester. The event is traditionally attended by the OU spirit squads and the OU marching band, The Pride. Football head coach Bob Stoops has been in attendance in these past pep rallies. Jake Elliot, CAC member and Big Red Rally chairman, said he hopes that the Big Red Rally crowd and participants will come out in even larger numbers than in the past. “This year we are hoping to continue to expand upon the success of last year's rally and increase the attendance even


A student gets a wax mold of her hand made in the Union during Howdy Week’s “Nite at the Union” in August 2008. The event also included free food, a casino night and a free showing of the movie “Iron Man.” further,” Elliot said. The Big Red Rally is an event not just for freshman and students, he said. “We hope to create an event that everyone — including students, staff, faculty, alumni and families from the surrounding communities — will enjoy,” Elliot said. Van Eaton said that with these two events, the CAC has several goals. “Our goals as the Campus Activities Council are two-fold the first week of school,” he said. “Of course we want to throw

some great events and excite everyone to be back to campus, but we also want to make a great impression on the students who will want to get involved in CAC and carry on the torch for years to come.” Students can find other opportunities and events, such as the free movies shown in the Oklahoma Memorial Union’s Meacham Auditorium on Friday nights, by keeping an eye out for “This Week at Your University” emails and by checking posters around campus, as well as listings in The Daily’s campus calendar.r.


Check out a preview of some of the films hitting theaters this fall, including “Where here the Wild Things gs Are.” PAGE 6C

Now’s the time to start getting excited about concerts happening this fall around the state, including U2 coming to Norman in October. PAGE 7C





Hungry? Norman has plenty ty of restaurants to choose from, andd The Daily is here too guide you through your culinary options. ions. PAGE 8CC


Back-to-School Edition 2009


Let’s face it. You are in college now, and the Jonas Bros. and Miley Cyrus aren’t going to cut it anymore.

For those of you looking for some big-boy and big-girl music, here are some great summer releases to get familiar with. And for all of you music connoisseurs, there are also a few



PHOENIX —“WOLFGANG AMADEUS PHOENIX” This is a French-pop masterpiece that anyone can enjoy. Phoenix has released three stellar albums before “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” but this one proves to be just a bit better, with the two singles “Lisztomania” and “1901” simply putting it over the top. Phoenix is effortlessly cool, and the music comes across just the same. It’s chic, stylish guitar-pop that doesn’t leave out the substance.

TELEKINESIS! — “TELEKINESIS!” This debut is chock full of tunes that are very basic, but the simplicity comes off as beautiful and fun, as opposed to boring and drab. It feels a bit like a ’70’s pop record revamped for the new millennium. Power pop masterpieces like “Coast of Carolina” and the impeccable “Foreign Room” give way to delicate, acoustic heartwarmers such as “I Saw Lightning.” Revisit summer with this sunny burst of indie-pop.

MOS DEF —“THE ECSTATIC” “The Ecstatic” is soulful, conscious hip-hop that comes together as Mos Def’s most complete — and most interesting — release yet. Mos Def has long been believed as one of the best emcees around, but the beats on his previous releases seemed to hold him back. Well, on “The Ecstatic,” they aren’t hampering him anymore, and we see what Mos is capable of. The handclapping “Quiet Dog” and scratchy “Auditiorium” will have you nodding in no time. PASSION PIT — “MANNERS” This is the premiere indie dance release of the summer. This “MGMT meets The Go! Team” group has been buzzing all winter, and everything came together wonderfully with this debut LP. The songs shimmer like stars and have an otherworldly feel to them. Passion Pit burns up the dance floor with “The Reeling” and “Sleepyhead” before the cosmic anthem “Moth’s Wings.” Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.


4000 LEVEL: AFICIONADOS ONLY STARDEATH AND WHITE DWARFS — “THE BIRTH” This one isn’t for the faint of heart. Oklahoma’s own Stardeath and White Dwarfs released its major-label debut this summer, and it has proved to be one of the biggest surprises as well. Sure, some moments of the album get down right odd, but “Country Ballad” and “Keep Score” show it can do pretty, too. When it blends the odd with the gorgeous, that’s when things come out best, as seen in “I Can’t Get Away.” Sure, the album may be just a little strange, but what else would you expect when a Coyne is involved?

GRIZZLY BEAR —“VECKATIMEST” No one did much better than Grizzly Bear this summer. “Veckatimest” actively pursued perfection and didn’t fall too far short of it. The record paints a landscape of haunting peaks and majestic jags. The album soars off with “Southern Point” and plunges down a waterfall with “Cheerleader.” “Two Weeks” is simply the best single of the summer. Grandiose and regal, the lofty vocals drift over a punchy piano line. In fact, you might not even want to listen to this one; it might raise your expectations of others far too high. SUNSET RUBDOWN — “DRAGONSLAYER” This modern day Roman tragedy is quite epic. I mean, how could it not be with that title? “Dragonslayer” seems to have pretty modern aspirations though, and the ancient influences just help bring the drama. The rattling “Black Swan” and ruffled “Idiot Heart” come out fighting. The 10-minute musical journey “Dragon’s Lair” brings this epic to a close. What a story indeed.

that you might have missed. Consider this a course catalog in summer 2009’s music. For those of you new to the game, start with the basics. Those of you who are better educated can skip ahead a little.

DIRTY PROJECTORS — “BITTE ORCA” This may be Dirty Projectors’ tamest release yet, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. However, if it does connect to you, oh how wonderful it is. This is probably the prettiest thing Dirty Projectors has done. “Temecula Sunrise” and “The Bride” will tug at your heart strings. But the inventiveness of the band is still intact, and “Stillness Is The Move” best meshes that innovation with beauty in a song anyone can enjoy.

Know your movies: A look ahead to fall films The Daily’s Dusty Somers previews fall’s flicks “A SERIOUS MAN” “9” FEATURING THE VOICES OF ELIJAH WOOD, JENNIFER CONNELLY SEPT. 9 Based on an Academy Award-nominated short film, “9” is post-apocalyptic terror packaged in an animated movie. When all humans are destroyed thanks to a machine takeover, a small band of creatures, led by the timid 9 (Wood) must do whatever they can to save what’s left of the world. It’s hard not to get a little excited about more dark animation features, especially after this year’s acclaimed “Coraline.” The studio behind that tale, Focus Features, is also giving us “9,” so let’s take that as a good sign.

“THE INVENTION OF LYING” DIRECTED BY RICKY GERVAIS, MATTHEW ROBINSON STARRING GERVAIS, JONAH HILL, JASON BATEMAN, JENNIFER GARNER SEPT. 25 The superb Gervais stars as a guy living in a world where everyone always tells the truth when he discovers something — he’s figured out what it means to lie, and he’s the only one who can do it. I’ll be honest, the concept sounds rather stale and seems like it’ll get in the way of the comedy more than anything, but with a stacked cast that includes Hill, Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Tina Fey and Christopher Guest, there’s got to be something to like. Right?

“SHUTTER ISLAND” DIRECTED BY MARTIN SCORSESE STARRING LEONARDO DICAPRIO, MARK RUFFALO, EMILY MORTIMER OCT. 2 Alright, Marty. You finally got that Oscar for your last film, the good, not great, “The Departed.” Can you deliver something that hearkens back to the glory days? “Shutter Island” may or may not do that. but it looks like one hell of a ride, telling the story of a pair of U.S. Marshals (DiCaprio and Ruffalo) sent to investigate the escape of a convicted murderer (Mortimer) from a mental institution. Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River”), this spooky and intense-looking thriller certainly has good source material on its side.




The Coens appear to be diving back into underground territory with this dark comedy about a professor (Stuhlbarg) whose life begins to fall apart thanks to the presence of his dopey brother (the fantastic Kind.) With a cast of mostly unknowns, this feels like a Coen film for those of us who adore “Barton Fink.” Everyone who said “who?” probably won’t care too much.

Everyone excited about this film skipped directly to this entry, and everyone who couldn’t care less has already skipped past it. The “Twilight” franchise may be a love it or hate it kind of deal, and it’s unquestionably juvenile, but Stewart is an excellent actress (even in this kind of stuff) and her career certainly bears watching.





Based on Maurice Sendak ’s children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are” pretty much promises to be anything but your typical family film coming from the mind of Jonze, who’s finally following up 2002’s “Adaptation.” The story of a boy who creates his own world of wild creatures where he is king may have only been a few sentences long in its original incarnation, but the world of possibilities looms large.

“THE ROAD” DIRECTED BY JOHN HILLCOAT STARRING VIGGO MORTENSEN, CHARLIZE THERON OCT. 16 The release date for this one has been frustratingly delayed several times, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it got moved yet again before October rolls around. It’ll be interesting to see how Cormac McCarthy’s sparse Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is adapted for the big screen, but if this post-apocalyptic tale of a father and son trying to survive in a harsh world is half as good as the book, it’ll be well worth the ticket price.

“A CHRISTMAS CAROL” DIRECTED BY ROBERT ZEMECKIS STARRING JIM CARREY, GARY OLDMAN NOV. 6 Frankly, I find the motion-capture technology rather creepy, but Zemeckis keeps plugging away at it, this time adapting Dickens’ classic tale for the umpteenth time. I kind of doubt he has much new to bring to the story, but maybe, just maybe, Carrey will stop mugging for the camera long enough to turn in a memorable performance as Ebenezer Scrooge (oh, and the three ghosts he plays).

A musical remake of Fellini’s “8½” directed by the guy who helmed the excellent film adaptation of “Chicago?” Oh, and starring Daniel Day-Lewis? Yes, please.

“THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG” DEC. 11 Disney’s traditional animation output has been more frogs than princes lately; it hasn’t produced anything worthwhile since 2002’s delightful “Lilo and Stitch.” Computer animation’s another story — “Bolt” and “Meet the Robinsons” were both respectable. Re-teaming the minds behind “Aladdin,” Disney hopes to recapture the magic with this story of a princess living in New Orleans during the Jazz Age. It’s got potential; let’s hope they don’t screw it up.

“AVATAR” DIRECTED BY JAMES CAMERON STARRING SAM WORTHINGTON, SIGOURNEY WEAVER DEC. 18 It’s been a long time coming for Cameron’s first proper film since 1997’s “Titanic,” but he’s building buzz for this scifi adventure, which features a new kind of 3-D that required him to build his own cameras for the shoot. It may not do $600 million domestically, but this could be the vehicle for Cameron to come back in a big way.

“SHERLOCK HOLMES” DIRECTED BY GUY RITCHIE STARRING ROBERT DOWNEY JR., JUDE LAW DEC. 25 This go-around, Sherlock Holmes is a total badass. And how could he not be with Ritchie helming the film? This new take on the Holmes character looks to be an actionfilled blast infused with a significant dose of comedy. Sounds right up smooth, witty and debonair Downey’s alley. If nothing else, he ought to be massively entertaining.

Back-to-School Edition 2009


ROCK GIANTS LEAD FALL LIVE LINEUP With acts ranging from Airborne rborne Toxic Event to Willie Nelson, The Daily previewss this fall’s live music scene JOSHUA BOYDSTON The Oklahoma Daily

When you decide the typical barhopping rhopping or late night movie just won’t do, why not try and hit up a great eat concert? Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa all will play hosts to some stellar shows during the fall semester. Here are a few that caught ught our eye already. The talk of this fall will be the groundbreaking undbreaking performance of U2 on campus. The Irish legends will ill play Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Oct. 2, with people pleaser aser Black-Eyed Peas opening. This show is sure to become what hat everyone is talking about for days. You won’t have to venture too much further than OU stadium to see some really fun shows. The Opolis in Norman showcases all sorts of great national al and local acts. In the past, Vampire Weekend, Tokyo o Police Club and Rogue Wave have all played here, and nd odds are you’ll be able to catch some great up-and-coming nd-coming bands over the fall. The calendar for the falll isn’t up yet, but you can catch some talented locals Sept. t. 4 with Sherree Chamberlain and Jacob Abello playing. If you venture up I-35 to Oklahoma City, you’ll be CAIN’S BALLROOM, TULSA able to catch some phenomenal shows at the Diamond Ballroom, Conservatory and Ford Center. The Diamond Ballroom is a venue full of history, and you’ll be able to catch the Melvins (Aug. 25), the Dandy Warhols/ Spindrift (Sept. 5). Emopioneers The Get Up Kids PHOTO PROVIDED will be here outh Group with Pretty and Nice as well as Youth ATH will be (Oct. 1). Then on Oct. 27, MUTEMATH ing release, coming in support of their upcoming “Armistice.” They are notoriously known for their live shows so this isn’t one to miss. The Conservatory is Oklahomaa City’s k, indie premiere venue for metal, hard rock, n catch acts and locals. On Sept. 22, you can ental the avant-garde noise of Experimental Dental School along with the furiouss oneng of man-act El Paso Hot Button. Speaking which, his CD release will be Aug. 21 at the Conservatory as well, with locall flaentle vors The Pretty Black Chains and Gentle h the Ghost supporting. You can catch

thrash-pop stylings of The Intelligence on Oct. 4, aas well. The Ford Center will open back up after being be closed for renovations this summer and will celebrate their reopening reope when Kings of Leon and White Lies stop through Oct. 3. Com Come on out to scream, “This sex is on fire” without being arrested! If you are willing to wander a llittle further away from Norman to Tulsa, you may be well rewar rewarded with some great live acts. The BOK BO Center is quickly becoming the destination des for the biggest acts, and you yo will be able to catch Dave Matth Matthews Band with Willie Nelson (Oct. 2), 2 Taylor Swift (Sept. 27) and Britne Britney Spears (Sept. 15). You can catch some great alternative and pun punk concerts at the Marquee, such as Blindsid Blindside (Aug. 25), The Honorary Title (Sept. 5) and Owl City (Oct. 27). BOK CENTER, TULSA But by far the coole s t v e n u e i n Tu l s a (and probably all of Oklahoma) is the historic Cain’s Ballroom. It played host to the Sex Pistols in their only US Tour, and will be showcasing many stellar shows this fall as well. If you are craving a bit of ’90s nostalgia, you can catch Sugar Ray with Fastball on the Aug. 24. Another sure bet is Elvis Costello as he stops through Sept. 3. Alternative country balladeers, The Avett Brothers, play Sept. 26. The Airborne Toxic Event will be there with The Henr y Clay People and unPHOTO PROVIDED believable Red Cortez (Sept. 29) 29), as will MUTEMATH (Oct. 24) and The David C Crowder Band with Seabird and Danyew (Oct. 30). So as you can see, Oklahoma isn’t just a spot for country coun concerts, and you can catch many of you your favorite bands without going too far. You can look forward to many more concerts being announced in the coming mon months in what is shaping up to be a semeste full of great live music. semester



U2, OCT. 2










Who’s who in local music: The artists and bands you need to hear JOSH BOYDSTON Oklahoma Daily

Ali Harter: Her gorgeous, intimate indie-folk will melt your heart. For fans of: Regina Spektor, Rilo Kiley The Boom Bang: Sweaty, messy garage noise; the band name says it all! For fans of: The Black Lips, King Khan and BBQ Show Callupsie: Polished alternative rock that dashes between a big, orchestral feel and tight, intricate melodies. For fans of: Silversun Pickups, Arcade Fire The City Lives: Polished indie-pop that will satisfy the cravings of any music fan. For fans of: Brand New, Manchester Orchestra Crocodile: These bubbly synth hooks, courtesy of this husband-wife duo, are simply sunny. For fans of: The Ting Tings, Mates of State Dorian Small: Beautifully crafted acoustic songs, beefed up with a strong voice and sprinkled with electro loops. For fans of: Beck, Wilco El Paso Hot Button: A one-man band whose

raucous, vicious music sounds bigger than most five-pieces. For fans of: Queens of the Stone Age, Abe Vigoda Gentle Ghost: Slow-burning art noise that can light up at any second. For fans of: Deerhunter, No Age


Here Is There: Layered, experimental feedback bristling with vigorous instrumentation and howling vocals. For fans of: Mars Volta, Portugal the Man

Hush Hush, Commotion: Honest power-pop that sounds fresh and approachable. For fans of: Phantom Planet, The Format Jabee: Soulful beats and a smooth voice that leisurely cruise along. For fans of: DOOM, The Cool Kids Jacob Abello: An effortlessly rich voice over a warm, vintage backdrop. For fans of: Ben Kweller, Matt Costa

Mayola: Western-tinged rock ‘n’ roll played with unparalleled energy and stage presence. For fans of: Modest Mouse, TV on the Radio The Pretty Black Chains: Fuzzy garage rock that’s as catchy as it is relentless, making for one hell of a live show. For fans of: The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys The Non: Ambient, luscious landscapes that swell like a wave before crashing down. For fans of: Radiohead, Sigur Ros Sherree Chamberlain: Blossoming folk music that will take your breath away. For fans of: Feist, Cat Power Somerset West: Boisterous, churning guitars over the crash of cymbals, all while vocals roar with conviction. For fans of: Taking Back Sunday, Circa Survive Student Film: Hazy, inventive alternative rock that creeps underneath your skin. For fans of: Spoon, The Decemberists The Uglysuit: breezy indie-folk music crafted with pop basics resulting in something truly refreshing. For fans of: The Stills, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin


Back-to-School Edition 2009


Adam Smith prepares a pie at Hideaway Pizza on Campus Corner. Hideaway has been serving pizza since 1957 and is considered by some a staple of the college diet.

Where to eat: A guide to Sooners’ food JOSHUA BOYDSTON The Oklahoma Daily

VICTORIA’S PASTA SHOP Italian — $ Campus Corner A personal favorite, Victoria’s Pasta Shop is great destination for some light, tasty Italian food. With fresh ingredients and handmade pastas, the food is simply a delight. You can’t really go wrong with anything on the menu, but the lasagna rolls are a unique experience.

MISAL OF INDIA Indian — $$ 580 Ed Noble Pkwy Venturing down the road a little bit, you will find this Asian gem. Misal of India has the best selection of Indian food in the whole metro. Make sure to start off with an appetizer; the pakoras and samosas are both a pleasure. Also, you can catch the award winning lunch buffet each day from 11am-3pm.

PEPE DELGADO’S Mexican — $ Campus Corner


This local favorite is no Domino’s. The price is a bit higher than chain pizza places, but the taste is well worth the little extra. Try out the 50/50 appetizer (half mozzarella sticks, half fried mushrooms) and the Big Country pizza for something extra hearty.

LA LUNA Mexican — $$ Campus Corner Yet another Campus Corner hotspot for Mexican cuisine, La Luna is well known throughout the metro for their other location in Bricktown. They have a great patio as well as some good food. A great place to come enjoy a football game with tasty margaritas and nachos.

Vegetarian — $ Campus Corner

American — $ Campus Corner

If you are looking for something not dripping in grease and not 90 percent animal, then The Earth is a sure shot. Boasting a large number of vegetarian options to go along with their fresh meat sandwiches, this is a restaurant where everyone can find something to enjoy.

If you want a nice, relaxed atmosphere with music and sports on the TV, Louie’s is the place to go. A great spot to hang with friends, Louie’s doesn’t slouch on the food either. Thick sandwiches, burgers and the OU game on will fill your food and sports appetite.



Mexican — $$ 702 N. Porter

American/Mexican — $ Campus Corner Yet another great place to relax with friends, The Mont offers a great selection of drinks along with some truly delicious food. Equally great Mexican and American dishes, The Mont doesn’t disappoint. Make sure to try the chips and queso to go along with a Sooner Swirl.


Pizza — $$ Campus Corner



Italian — $$$ Campus Corner


You’ll see this quirky little restaurant on Main from way down the road. A brightly painted exterior to match the eclectic, earthy interior, Pink Elephant is a great place for those who eat with a conscious. They boast Fair Trade and hormone-free fare and will serve all of your organic needs.

Monique’s is one of the more unique dining locations in Norman. It’s one of the few places around where you can find authentic Island food cooked in true Caribbean style. The Jamaican Jerk Chicken is a tasty specialty, and scrumptious fried plantains and white rice are served with each dish.


This superb sushi stop on Campus Corner opened up not too long ago, but has already garnered a loyal following. For nice, fresh fish with a good price, this is the place to go in Norman.

American — $ 301 E. Main St.

Caribbean — $$ Campus Corner

This student favorite is well known for not only how delicious the food is, but also for its quality. Pepe’s avoids the heaviness of most Mexican cuisine. Instead, the food feels light and fresh without sacrificing flavor. On top of all of this, the prices are some of the best around and make Pepe’s the best value on Campus Corner.

Sushi — $ Campus Corner


For a nice, quiet date, Norman institution Othello’s is a great destination. They pride themselves on their aged steak and pastas, and in good reason. It’s a bit pricey, but when you are craving a romantic Italian evening, no other place will do.

FREEBIRD’S Tex-Mex — $ Campus Corner Before there was Chipotle and Qdoba, there was Freebird’s. Many claim those other chains come nowhere close to Freebird’s. It is the hotspot for football-sized burritos close to campus. The Monster promises to fill even the most insatiable appetite.

TURQUOISE BISTRO American — $$$ Campus Corner This may not be an everyday location on your college student budget, but if you are looking for modern food in a creative atmosphere, you could do a lot worse than Turqouise. Progressive dishes and a quaint environment might be the perfect refresher after late night study sessions.


Louie’s is a casual American-fare grill and pub. The restaurant’s Web site boasts nothing on the menu is over $10.



American — $ 502 S. Webster Ave

American — $ 213 E. Main St.

With a décor of old car parts and license plates, the fare at the Service Station will warp you right back to the ‘50s. There is the typical steakhouse and Tex-Mex food on the menu, but don’t let that distract you from what they do best, the burgers.

Recently featured on The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” this Main Street hole in the wall is a great place for breakfast and lunch. It’s a great place to get some pancakes and an omelet, or a burger for lunch; a nice little slice of Americana.

T.E.A. CAFÉ Asian — $$ Campus Corner Nice, tasty Asian cuisine with Japanese, Thai and Korean influences. The food manages to fill you up without feeling so heavy, and the bubble tea is a must have.

THE LIBRARY BAR AND GRILL American — $ 607 W. Boyd St. The place transforms into a bar at night, but during the day you can pick up some amazingly delicious food. The pizzas and nachos are a student favorite, and the music and mood makes for a hip atmosphere as well.

VAN’S PIG STAND Barbeque — $ 320 N. Porter Ave If you are hankering for a bit of Oklahoma BBQ, look no further than Van’s on Porter. Lit up with a neon pig, Van’s has some of the better barbeque in Norman, and you’d do yourself a disservice to not try the ribs. The burgers are great as well, just leave your inner vegetarian at home.

FANCY THAT Bakery — $ 215 E. Main St. Looking for a nice, light, airy lunch? Fancy That will suit you well. A variety of sandwiches, soups, salads and quiche will leave you with just enough room for dessert; being a bakery, you won’t want to skip it. Just get a Cake Dot and thank me later.

There is a reason why this is one of Norman’s favorites. The food is incredible; the tamales are some of the best around and the salsa verde will kick things up a notch. The service is unrivaled, and you will quickly want to come back again.

CAFÉ PLAID Deli — $ Campus Corner Café Plaid is a pleasant Campus Corner staple. With its relaxed, scholarly atmosphere, Café Plaid is a great place to study and grab a bite to eat. Light, tasty sandwiches and salads, great homemade cookies and a full coffee bar will make it hard to go anywhere else.

LEGEND’S RESTAURANT American — $$$ 1313 W. Lindsey One of the few fine-dining experiences Norman has to offer, Legend’s offers a broad menu ranging from salads and sandwiches to seafood and steak. It’s one of the priciest in Norman, but this expertly crafted food and gorgeous atmosphere is perfectly suited for a romantic evening with that very special someone.

PIZZA SHUTTLE Pizza — $ 1506 W. Lindsey, 1000 E. Alameda, 3205 W. Robinson If you want a nice, quick, cheap, good pizza, well Pizza Shuttle is the place for you. For the quality of the pizza, the price is a steal, and they promise to finish your pizza in fewer than 10 minutes. Not a bad deal at all!

The Oklahoma Daily  

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