Big 12 notebook: Key Horns out for WVU game; Gundy goes ballistic

Texas’ defensive backfield has been dealt a major blow heading into the No. 11 Longhorns game at West Virginia on Oct. 5.

Texas coach Tom Herman announced his team will be without starting cornerback Jalen Green and starting safety Caden Sterns in two weeks. Green is out four weeks with a dislocated shoulder, and Sterns will miss the same amount of time after spraining a knee ligament.

Even the Longhorns backup defensive backs are banged-up. Reserve corner Josh Thompson is also out indefinitely after breaking a bone in his foot.

The loss of Sterns is by far the most significant setback. The 2018 Big 12 defensive freshman of the year looked on track towards potential all-American status as a sophomore. He has 29 tackles in Texas’ first four games, including 12 against Oklahoma State before the knee injury forced him to leave the game.

Texas’ injury woes aren’t limited to the secondary.

Wide receiver Collin Johnson, the top target for quarterback Sam Ehlinger, is looking questionable for the WVU game.

“West Virginia is the best-case scenario for Collin Johnson. To say ‘expect’ is a bit far-reaching,” Herman said when asked when the receiver would be back in the lineup.

A hamstring injury kept Johnson out against Oklahoma State. He was seventh in the Big 12 with 68 receptions last season.

Gundy calls out ‘jackass’

Outspoken Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy chewed out a reporter who asked a question that was either awkward, insensitive or just plain dumb depending on one’s perspective.

Mistakenly believing a satirical story about late Oklahoma State donor T. Boone Pickens leaving Gundy a gift card to a barber shop in his will to be real, an Austin-based reporter asked Gundy to verify that it was true. Like Bear Bryant’s houndstooth hat, Gundy’s mullet hairdo is a trademark.

In a moment that some covering Oklahoma State have called his biggest blow-up since his infamous “I’m a man, I’m 40!” rant, Gundy went ballistic on the Big 12 coaches teleconference.

“I would prefer to answer real journalism questions and not be disrespectful to Mr. Pickens at this time,” Gundy said. “Any jackass like you that would ask a stupid question like that is really hurting journalism and making real media people look bad. How about that?

“Don’t hurt the real journalism world. It’s jackasses like you that cause problems. They shouldn’t even let you call in. If you want to talk football, talk football. If you want to talk idiotic social media, go do something with a college kid.”

When the reporter offered a meek “thank you” in return, Gundy replied with a terse “You bet.”

Pickens, the multi-millionaire donor whose name is on Oklahoma State’s stadium, died at the age of 91 on Sept. 11. Given his net worth of $500 million, it seems unlikely the details of his estate have been revealed just yet, including barber shop gift cards.

Staley named Big 12 special teams player of the week

West Virginia kicker Evan Staley was named the Big 12 special teams player of the week. Staley kicked a season-high three field goals in the Mountaineers’ win on a windswept day at Kansas.

The junior hit a season-long field goal of 44 yards, while also connecting from 22 and 37. He averaged 62.8 yards per kickoff in six attempts, resulting in four touchbacks.

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy (offense), Oklahoma State safety Kolby Harvell-Peel (defense) and Kansas wide receiver Andrew Parchment (newcomer) were the other Big 12 players of the week.

Staley is the second Mountaineer named player of the week this year. Receiver Sam James was Week 3’s newcomer of the week for his nine-catch, 155-yard game against N.C. State.

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