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December 9, 2013

Hunnicutt, Saunders honored by Big 12 Conference

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Two of Oklahoma's game ball recipients following Saturday's stunning come-from-behind Bedlam victory were honored by the Big 12 Conference on Monday.

Senior wide receiver Jalen Saunders was named Offense Player of the Week, while junior place-kicker Michael Hunnicutt was named the conference's Special Team's Player of the Week



Saunders caught the game-winning seven-yard touchdown pass with just 19 seconds left to give the double-digit underdog Sooners the win. It was his No. 6 touchdown of the season and the No. 9 scoring reception of his OU career.

Hunnicutt broke the school record for field goals in a season (22) with a 21-yard first quarter field goal, but its a third-quarter touchdown reception that will be remembered most.

Facing 4th and goal from the Cowboy eight-yard line, Hunnicutt snuck around the left side for holder Grant Bothun, who threw the ball into the awaiting arms of the unlikeliest of characters.

"I was more excited for this than a normal kick. It wasn't too bad. I was just super excited," said Hunnicutt, who became the first OU kicker to score a touchdown since Tim Duncan did so on a 10-yard run vs. Texas A&M (11/10/2001).

Hunnicutt also took over first place on the OU all-time kick scoring list and is No. 3 on the all-time scoring list with 341 points in his career.

Hunnicutt is just the third kicker in Oklahoma history to be named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week, joining Garrett Hartley (2004), and Trey DiCarlo (2002).

Saunders carried the ball twice for 49-yards rushing and caught five receptions for 39-yards, the biggest coming on the game-winner from Blake Bell.

The 64-yard punt return in the first quarter was his second punt return touchdown of the season and the third of his career.

Ikard, Colvin tabbed 1st Team All-Big 12

Seniors Gabe Ikard and Aaron Colvin were named first team All-Big 12, while while sophomore Charles Tapper and Hunnicutt were given second-team recognition.

Colvin was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and leads a defense that is No. 1 in the Big 12 in total defense (336.3 ypg) and pass defense (198.0 ypg).

Tapper played in every regular season game in 2013, starting the first 11 games, recording 9 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries on his way to 47 total tackles.

Ikard, who is up for a number of post-season honors between now and the Sooners Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl match-up versus No. 3 Alabama, starts the award show tour this week when he will be honored by the National Football Foundation as a finalist for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, recognizing an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.

Selected from a pool of 171 semifinalist Ikard id one of 16 finalist, with the announcement coming Tuesday evening at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City as part of the 2013 National Football Foundation Awards Dinner.

Ikard will not be the lone Sooner honored during the awards ceremony with the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame class receiving recognition, of which includes the late, former Sooner All-American Rod Shoate.

Lastly, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs Joe Castiglione will be presented the NFF John L. Toner Award for his superior abilities as an athletics administrator.

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