Texas Longhorns fans had steeled themselves this week with the understanding their All-Conference candidate linebacker Jordan Hicks would not play against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Head Athletic Trainer for Football Kenny Boyd confirmed this in a statement released Friday evening. Hicks suffered was appeared to be a hip injury against Ole Miss. It has not been disclosed the actual nature of the injury, nor the severity, but most assume the culprit to be a hip flexor or groin prognosis. Hicks was seen in practice during the weekly broadcasts on the Longhorn Network conducting pre-practice stretching exercises but he was not seen in any drill work. His status is a big blow to a defense looking to right some wrongs seen in the first three games. The team is allowed 70 players on the trip and head coach Mack Brown signaled earlier in the week they would focus on players who could help the team against the defending Big 12 conference championship Cowboys. As such, Hicks was held back at home base in Austin.
Included in the report was the acknowledgement that placekicker Penn State transfer Anthony Fera would not be playing due to his lingering groin injury. It was reported this injury was suffered prior to his reporting to fall camp but exacerbated during Mack Brown's first "live" look at Fera's field goal attempt at Texas facilities.
But the big news emanating from the report is NJCAA All American JUCO transfer starting defensive tackle Brandon Moore will not make the trip to Stillwater due to a virus. As a big part of the very improved DT 2-deep, Moore had proven a key cog in the Longhorns line-of-scrimmage play. While his production is a bit short of his counterparts at the position (5 tackles, 3 TFL's, 1 sack), his presence in the rotation is invaluable.
With Moore out, expect true freshman Malcom Brown to see significant playing time. Malcom tweeted during fall camp that "he didn't come to Texas to ride the bench." He'll definitely get his shot Saturday.
Another player to watch is former Elysian Fields 2A Texas HS defensive player of the year and 4th year player Kyle Kriegel who switched from offense to defense beginning this season.
Oklahoma State did not release an injury report on Friday in spite of a preseason announcement claiming they would be issuing a weekly report. The school reversed that new policy on Friday with an announced advisory they in fact will not be releasing an injury report claiming "those reports have led to unintended consequences". One recalls Gundy's famous "I'm A Man" rant after starting quarterback Mike Reid was benched for Zac Robinson due to Reid's propensity for injury.
One wonders if it was an amateurish response to the Big 12 conference office issuing a new ruling on Friday banning "stadium noise makers" during the oppositions offensive possessions. T. Boone Pickens stadium fans are famous for banging large paddles against the padded walls near the field, and especially behind visitors bench, in a rhythmic, tribal and hypnotic fashion that makes snap cadence and audibles all but impossible. The complaint was filed by new Big 12 member TCU. The officials can now call a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty against the home team. I anticipate OSU fans to test the limits of officials starting Saturday night.