Bill Haisten: Football finally arrives with interesting TU-OSU and UTEP-OU telecasts

August 31, 2017

On July 17, Oklahoma print and electronic reporters convened in Frisco, Texas, for the Big 12 Media Days event.

Finally, after 46 days of reading about and hearing about preseason football, fans finally can savor games played in Stillwater on Thursday, as the University of Tulsa challenges 10th-ranked Oklahoma State (6:30 p.m., FS1); and in Norman on Saturday, as Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley era opens with the seventh-ranked Sooners hosting UTEP (2:30 p.m., FOX23).

Because Fox Sports has the rights to both games, talent personnel are the same in Stillwater and Norman: Joe Davis, former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and Bruce Feldman.

The 29-year-old Davis has the distinction of having succeeded the great and recently retired Vin Scully as the television play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

What to watch: An OSU All-American offensive tackle in 2004, Sam Mayes now is an afternoon host for The Franchise 107.9.

Since Mason Rudolph became the Cowboys’ starting quarterback, he has been sacked 69 times. During the Tulsa game, Mayes says he’ll be focused on the execution of OSU’s blockers.

“If the offensive line is moving bodies off of the line of scrimmage, and if they are able to man-protect in the passing game, I’ll be a believer,” Mayes said. “It’s really that simple for me. Everything else is there.”

Carey Murdock of the Oklahoma City Sports Animal enters his 17th season of OU football coverage.

On Sept. 9, the Sooners play at Ohio State. During the UTEP game Saturday, Murdock says, “I have to see OU not getting gashed in the run game while on defense. I need to see turnovers created on defense.

“I need to see Baker Mayfield throw for a bunch of yards with this receiving corps. The receivers are the biggest position of concern on offense or defense.”

Football radio: OU, OSU and TU are standing pat with their Tulsa radio relationships and broadcast voices.

KMOD 97.1 remains the home of Sooner Sports Network broadcasts (Toby Rowland, Merv Johnson, Teddy Lehman, Chris Plank).

With Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb and Robert Allen together for their 13th season as the OSU radio team, Cowboy broadcasts are carried on KFAQ 1170.

Bruce Howard, Rick Couri and Jeremie Poplin continue as TU’s radio voices on Big Country 99.5.

Milestone: At 13 seasons, Hunziker and Holcomb now are tied for having the second-longest major-college football broadcast partnership in state history. OU’s John Brooks and Mike Treps had a 13-year run in 1978-90.

Howard and Couri have the longest such partnership at 24 seasons.

Sportscene reboot: For Tulsa Cable in 1985-88, Bill Land and Dean Blevins co-hosted the popular Sportscene show that was distributed to cable systems statewide. From the mid ’90s until 2013, there was an offshoot co-hosted by Land and J.V. Haney.

Now, on COX3, Sportscene has been rebooted. Hosted by former Channel 8 sports director Chris Lincoln, Haney and Tulsa Public Schools athletic director Gil Cloud, fresh episodes are scheduled for 10 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. There are several replays each week.

NBC exposures: NBC Sports’ NFL schedule begins with the Sept. 7 kickoff telecast featuring Kansas City’s visit to New England. For the first Sunday Night Football show, scheduled for Sept. 10, the New York Giants are at Dallas.

The Chiefs get a Sunday Night Football exposure on Oct. 8, when they play at Houston. Dallas gets two additional SNF dates. The Cowboys host Philadelphia on Nov. 19 and visit Oakland on Dec. 17.