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Sooners should rebound

A student interested in engineering would be wise to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A running back eyeing the NFL is better off at Oklahoma than MIT, and that’s why DeMarco Murray left Las Vegas for Norman, Okla.

Murray, a redshirt freshman from Bishop Gorman High School, has become a big part of an explosive Sooners offense that was averaging 61.5 points through four games.

Murray and Allen Patrick have combined for 717 yards rushing to fill the shoes of Adrian Peterson, a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings. Murray has rushed for 316 yards and eight touchdowns in five games.

The Sooners appeared almost unstoppable until one misstep on the road, a 27-24 loss at Colorado last week. That does not mean their season is destined for a dead end.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will refocus his team in time for Saturday’s game against Red River rival Texas in Dallas. The Sooners are 11-point favorites and look capable of covering.

The Longhorns are reeling after a 20-point loss to Kansas State, a game in which quarterback Colt McCoy threw four interceptions and suffered a mild concussion.

After handicapping games with a concussion last week, doctors have cleared me to return — and my editors hesitantly approved.

So here are more plays for Saturday (home team in CAPS):

Wisconsin (+21/2) over ILLINOIS: Obviously overrated at No. 5, the Badgers are underdogs to an unranked team. But this is the type of game they typically find a way to win. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema is 17-1 straight up, and quarterback Tyler Donovan is more reliable than the Illini’s erratic Juice Williams.

KANSAS STATE (-3) over Kansas: The Wildcats have won eight straight in the series at home. The Jayhawks have outscored four opponents 214-23 but face their first real test.

BAYLOR (+91/2) over Colorado: It’s a good spot for the Bears, who catch the Buffaloes off their upset of Oklahoma. Colorado’s Cody Hawkins has thrown six interceptions in the past three games.

Georgia (+1) over TENNESSEE: Bulldogs coach Mark Richt is 19-3 straight up in true Southeastern Conference road games. The Volunteers are 0-10 as SEC home favorites since 2004.

UNR (-3) over Fresno State: The Wolf Pack is 12-0 as a home favorite since Chris Ault returned as coach four years ago.

Arizona (+31/2) over OREGON STATE: Wildcats QB Willie Tuitama passed for five TDs last week in a blowout of Washington State. The Beavers have turned the ball over 21 times in five games.

Florida (+71/2) over LOUISIANA STATE: Gators QB Tim Tebow can make enough plays to put his team in position to win. Florida has covered its past two at LSU, and Gators coach Urban Meyer has covered six in a row as an underdog.

Ohio State (-7) over PURDUE: The Buckeyes’ defense, allowing 7.2 points per game, will shut down Boilermakers quarterback Curtis Painter.

Unlv (+5) over AIR FORCE: Look for the Rebels to run effectively with Frank Summers and QB Travis Dixon. UNLV’s improved defense should handle the Falcons’ passing attack.

Last week: 1-4 against the spread

Season: 11-16-2

Review-Journal sportswriter Matt Youmans can be reached at 387-2907 or myoumans@reviewjournal.com.

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