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OU football: Injury update, playing at Rose Bowl, more in 3 takeaways from Lincoln Riley's weekly press conference (UCLA)

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Lincoln Riley

OU coach Lincoln Riley before the game against South Dakota Sept. 7.

No. 5 Oklahoma (2-0) hopes to continue its impressive start to the season this week against UCLA (0-2) in its first road game of the season. 

Coach Lincoln Riley addressed the media Monday for his weekly press conference, giving updates on injuries, talking about playing on the road and secondary play.

Injury update

Riley provided injury updates on senior defensive lineman Kenneth Mann and sophomore left guard Marquis Hayes, who both missed Saturday's game against South Dakota. 

He said Mann continues to be close to returning, while Hayes' injury isn't serious but gave no timetable for his return.

"Kenneth Mann's getting close, really really close," Riley said. "Marquis Hayes, not serious, not going to be out an extended period of time. Don't know about this week."

Road warriors

Oklahoma has won 20 straight road games, dating back to Oct. 4, 2014, when the Sooners lost 37-33 to TCU. 

"It's just mindset. It's a mentality of that those teams have had and those players and coaches have had in the past," Riley said. "For us, it's something to learn from but we got to understand that none of those count for right now. We got to go earn that for ourselves for this group."

This week, the Sooners' opponent, UCLA, shouldn't be a problem. But Oklahoma will play in one of the best venues in sports: the Rose Bowl.

The last time OU visited the Rose Bowl, it fell to Georgia in the College Football Playoff semi-final, 54-48. This time the Sooners hope to walk away victorious. 

"It's one of the most historic fields in our game. Especially these non-conference road games, you only get a few cracks at these," Riley said. "Going to Ohio State, going to Tennessee, going to UCLA. I know we got several great ones on our future schedule. You only get to do these maybe one time or two in your career. You definitely want to make the most of it."

Secondary play

Oklahoma's depth at safety isn't great. Sophomores Patrick Fields and Delarrin Turner-Yell have started both games for the Sooners so far, but neither have showed great potential. 

Riley talked Monday after the development of not only the safeties, but also the entire secondary.

"They've played well. They can play better," Riley said. "We've done good in coverage, I'd say that's been the highlight of the secondary so far... We've got to continue to tackle well in space. There's been a few places each game that showed up. As the competition continues to get better each week, including this week, we have to clean that up." 

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I joined The Daily in the fall of 2016 as a sophomore. I've covered the soccer team, both men's and women's basketball, as well as the football team for the past two years. I have been the sports editor since spring 2018.

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