PHOENIX -- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops confirmed Wednesday
that starting defensive back Lendy Holmes will not play in the
Fiesta Bowl, leaving the third-ranked Sooners depleted in the
secondary for their game against No. 11 West Virginia.
"He didn't come on the trip and won't be here," Stoops said
upon arriving in Arizona for the Jan. 2 game.
Holmes' father told The Dallas Morning News this weekend that
his son expected to be academically ineligible for the Fiesta Bowl
but a school spokesman indicated that Stoops was holding out hope
Holmes would be able to play.
Holmes started nine games for Oklahoma (11-2) this season and
had been expected to move from his primary role at safety to fill
in for starting cornerback Reggie Smith, who broke his toe in the
Big 12 championship game.
Stoops said redshirt freshman Dominique Franks or sophomore
Brian Jackson would likely start at the vacated cornerback position
opposite Marcus Walker.
"We'll see how those guys work through the week. We have a lot
of confidence in both of them," Stoops said. "We'll continue to
play like we always have."
Senior Darien Williams is expected to start at safety in place