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Stoops pulls Granger from Fiesta Bowl following arrest

12/31/2007 - Oklahoma Sooners

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Oklahoma starting defensive tackle
DeMarcus Granger will miss the Fiesta Bowl after being sent home
from Arizona following an arrest for shoplifting.

Granger, 21, was arrested Saturday in Tempe after he tried to
steal a jacket from the Burlington Coat Factory inside Arizona
Mills Mall, Tempe police reported.

"Mr. Granger removed an anti-theft device from a jacket and
then concealed the jacket in a bag. He exited the store walking
past the cash registers without paying for the jacket," Mike Horn,
a spokesman for the Tempe Police Department, said in a statement.

Granger admitted committing the offense and was booked into the
Tempe City Jail on one count of shoplifting, Horn said. He later
bonded out of jail.

A 307-pound run stuffer, Granger had recorded 35 tackles to tie
for the most among the Sooners' defensive linemen. He also had 3½ sacks among his 8½ tackles for loss this season.

"DeMarcus Granger was sent home yesterday, will not play and
we'll deal with the situation when we get back," Sooners coach Bob
Stoops said Monday during a media day at University of Phoenix
Stadium. "If there's anything further, we'll see."

Granger had started 11 of 13 games for this season, but Oklahoma (No. 4 BCS, No. 3 AP) does have some experienced depth at the position to
help fill in against the potent rushing attack of West
Virginia (No. 9 BCS, No. 11 AP) on Wednesday.

"We just go with the other guys. Gerald McCoy, Steven Coleman,
Cory Bennett, those guys have all been solid. Adrian Taylor will
get more snaps," Stoops said. "All of those guys have played
through the season for us, so it doesn't change anything we're
doing."

Granger came to Oklahoma as a highly rated recruit from Kimball
High School in Dallas before redshirting in 2005. He played as a
reserve last season, but emerged from fall camp as the starter
alongside McCoy.

"It's a big loss. He's a key to stopping things up front,"
said defensive end Auston English, who led the Big 12 with 9½ sacks
this season. "He's a great motivator for us. He makes big plays up
the middle. His presence out there, somebody will have to step up
and make up for it."

With a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in quarterback Pat White and
running back Steve Slaton leading the way, West Virginia has the
No. 4 run game in the country with a 293-yard average. Granger
could have been a key to slowing the Mountaineers.

"They have a great run game. They're quick, they're fast, but
it's nothing that we haven't seen before," McCoy said. "We're
just going to go out there, play our game, keep our same game plan.

"Penetration is the key to all the run game, and we've been
emphasizing being great tacklers this week because the guys are
slippery and they're fast."