Oklahoma Sooners

Baylor Head Coach Changes Tune On Kelly Hit After Drawing Penalty

M. Hofeld


Oklahoma’s Caleb Kelly delivered one of the more violent hits you’ll see this college football season when he was able to sack Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer from the blindside. The hit came in the second half of a 66-33 victory for the Sooners and it drew quite the reaction from both the OU fans in the stands and the Baylor coaches on the sideline.

As the fans celebrated the hit, Baylor head coach Matt Rhule drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his strong protest to the hit. After the game Rhule had changed his tone on the play saying that he was just trying to let his quarterback know that he would fight for him.

Rhule was quoted about the play in an article from the Waco Tribune. “I’m sure that hit was legal,” he said. “At the time I didn’t think it was, so I started yelling and I got the penalty. I want those players to know I’m going to fight for them, and I tried to fight for them today. I have the greatest respect for the officials, so I didn’t mean it in a disrespectful way.”

Kelly, who hasn’t played since the UCLA game, brought a new energy to Oklahoma’s defense after entering for a banged up Curtis Bolton late in the third quarter. The junior linebacker recorded two sacks, five tackles, and a forced fumble in less that two quarters of game time.

There had been speculation that Kelly might take a redshirt year after losing a position battle with Bolton during the summer.

“It was good to see Caleb come in and (be) a factor in the game,” Mike Stoops said postgame. “You see his explosiveness. You can see he’s starting to feel comfortable in there, so that was good to see as well.”

Saturday’s sacks were Kelly’s first two of the season. In three games he’s recorded 15 total tackles. With the NCAA’s new redshirt rule, he can play in one more game this season and still take a redshirt. With Bolton being a redshirt senior, the thought is that would be an advantageous choice for Kelly to give him two more seasons of playing time before his eligibility runs out.

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