Oklahoma's Holmes Doesn't Travel To Fiesta Bowl

Defensive back started nine games for Sooners this season

Dec. 26, 2007

PHOENIX (AP) - 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 of Holmes.