NORMAN — Oklahoma linebacker Curtis Bolton met with the media for the first time since rumors surfaced about a halftime altercation between him and Mike Stoops during the Oklahoma-Texas game.
During a 13-minute session with reporters, Bolton emphasized the falsehood of those rumors, which were perpetuated by some media outlets. Stoops, who has since been fired, also has denied anything happened.
“At the end of the day, reporters aren't gonna report something if they don't trust their source. So the fact that story got out meant the reporter obviously felt like it was somebody close to the locker room or in the locker room that would drop a story like that,” Bolton said. “This is an intense sport. Obviously, things are heightened in Texas week. But for someone to drop that there was this big fist fight in the locker room, it just blows my mind. Not even from my end, just from this team. It makes the team look bad.
“I couldn't care less if people think I fought my coach. My coaching staff knows what happened. My teammates know what happened. At the end of the day, there was no huge argument. There was no huge fist fight.
“I was a little frustrated with how we were playing. I was a little frustrated that I didn't play in the second quarter. We got in the locker room and I got my checks through my coaches and things got heated in there. Just how they always do.”
Bolton, who said he didn’t even talk to Stoops at halftime, was seen in the Cotton Bowl tunnel during intermission by a FOX 25 photo journalist, who tweeted Bolton appeared to be leaving the stadium before being pulled back in by teammates. Bolton said he was just trying to get some air and took a wrong exit.
“I just tried to walk off where the trucks were,” he said. “I walked out the main tunnel where everyone is instead of walking out the back door and sitting out there for a minute or two and then going back in and handling what I needed to handle. Outside of that, I think I could have handled it better.
“Situations are going to happen. I’m going to get heated. I’m not a crybaby but I’m an emotional guy. I wear my heart on my sleeve. When I get riled up like that, it’s easier for me to take a breath, get a second, walk back in and be what this team needs.”
Bolton played in the second half of the 48-45 loss to Texas and recorded a team-high 13 tackles. He was named to the Associated Press midseason All-America second team on Tuesday.
• Brown fighting loss: Sophomore cornerback Tre Brown tweeted Sunday that his mother, Beverly Brewer, died.
OU interim defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill said Brown had been working through the situation for some time. Brown is expected to travel to TCU with the team Saturday.
“Like I told him, you didn't lose her. You gained her. You gained an angel. And I can relate to that with him,” said McNeill, explaining his mother has also died. “We had a great talk over the phone, and we had a great talk today when I had the chance to eyeball him."
• One to build on: OU’s offensive line was dubbed one of the nation’s best groups by the Joe Moore Award on Tuesday, not long after its best performance this season.
That’s how offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh categorized the unit’s play against Texas. OU averaged 7.2 yards per carry and totaled 222 yards rushing with help from QB Kyler Murray’s 92-yard day.
“I mean, our best game,” Bedenbaugh said. “Because they played the way they're supposed to. I mean, they executed the way they're supposed to. They finished. Assignments have always been good for us, but they played the way they're supposed to. The way that we expect them to play.”
• This, that: McNeill said the team is hopeful it can get freshman defensive end Jalen Redmond back “at some point in time” but didn’t confirm a report from 247sports that Redmond was set to return against TCU. … Bedenbaugh said backup center/left guard Jonathan Alvarez won’t be available Saturday due to an injury suffered against Texas. … Junior receiver Marquise Brown was OU’s most decorated player on midseason All-America lists, getting first-team nods from the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today.