Man In The Middle, Reynolds' Path To Redemption

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Man In The Middle, Reynolds' Path To Redemption

   Many Sooner fans anxiously await word of Ryan Broyles status for this weeks contest with the Longhorns. Some of them feel that the sophomore WR will make the difference between glorious victory and the agony of defeat. I say, wrong Ryan.

   Now don't get me wrong, Mr. Broyles can be that guy. But anyone that can remember that 'superman' play knows this game is won by who plays better on defense. This year wiil be no exeption.

   It wasn't last year either. The two juggernaut's were neck to neck for most of that game. Brian Orakpo was being his usual disruptive self and the Sooner D had mostly contained the high powered UT offense with a 'bend don't break' scheme.

   That was the story of the game well into the third quarter. Then, after an LCL surgery and a freak ACL tear during spring ball in 06, in the most crucial game in his carrer to date, Reynolds knee failed him again.

   To say it was a devastating loss is an understatement. Ryan was the leading tackler going into that game for the Sooners. Some even called him the defensive 'QB', a moniker that was deserved. If an adjustment needed to be made, number 8 was on it. If the opposing team quarterback was getting a little too comfortable back there, send Reynolds, watch how he blows up would be plays.

  "I was heart broken" admitted fellow linebacker Travis Lewis. "I didn't know until they told me on the sideline", he added.

   It was on that sideline where coach Venables and coach Stoops were seen walking up to Ryan and embracing him, the sadness they felt showing clearly on their faces. Ryan's slumped over posture telling the rest of the story. 

   Stoop's later was quoted as saying "It impacted us greatly." That coming from a man who made no comment exept "Did you watch the game?" to a question about that infamous 'duck' call. Bob was not making excuses, he was merely stating a fact. Reynolds injury may very well have cost OU the game.

   The Longhorns scored on their next four possesions, controlled the clock and turned a five point deficit into a ten point win. There was no secret how they did it either. After Ryan went down, First year Mike Balogun had to step in. He wasn't ready.

   Now that's all in the past, and the only linebacker to recieve a 'pefect' grade by a very picky coach Venables, earned in the 08 contest with Baylor, looks to the future. He once was number 8, now because of his injuries he has gone back to his old number at Bishop Gorman high school in Las Vegas. Number 4.

   "I was never injured in high school." Ryan reasoned in an interview with Soonersports.com, when questioned about the change. 

   So far, so good. But it was good this time last year also.

   Some seem to think Reynolds has lost a step. That the OU middle has become a 'weakness'. That UT would have scored on those plays and won anyway.

   Well number 4, time to go prove some people wrong. This may be your last chance.

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