Bob Stoops says Sooners better prepared for OU-Texas than 2009
It’s OU-Texas Week.
Coach Bob Stoops said the OU football team — only a year removed from having two losses by the Red River Rivalry game — is better prepared this season.
“A year ago at this time, we were not in a good place,” Stoops said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. “I don’t think there’s any question our attitude, our preparation, our experience is much different than it was a year ago. I just think there’s more experience there from what we went through a year ago to where we are now.”
One of the biggest problems last season was OU’s struggle to win on the road. Even though the win Saturday on the road against Cincinnati wasn’t pretty, Stoops said a win is a win.
“Though I’m not at all pleased at the manner in which we did win it, I still recognize there’s a big difference between winning by two and losing by one or two,” he said.
Fortunately for the team, Stoops said, the Red River Rivalry isn’t a true road game.
“We’re going on the road this week, only 50 percent of it’s away and 50 percent of it’s home,” Stoops said. “It’s a little different than last week. We only had about 10 percent last week.”
Texas has won four of the last five against the Sooners. Those types of streaks are nothing new to the Red River Rivalry, where both schools have built streaks against the other, but Stoops said he doesn’t read much into it.
“Streaks are however you want to look at them,” Stoops said. “It doesn’t much matter to me. In the end, sometimes one team’s better than the other at different times. But you can look at it however you want. In the end, it doesn’t matter; all that matters is what you do this year.”
Senior defensive end Jeremy Beal echoed his coach’s attitude.
“We’re concerned about this year; we’re not worried about the past," Beal said. "We just need to focus on this year and trying to win this year.”
This season’s Red River Rivalry is different than the past couple of years because Texas is coming into the game with a big home loss Saturday to UCLA. Senior running back Mossis Madu said that loss doesn’t change anything.
“They’re always going to play us hard every year,” Madu said. “It doesn’t matter if they’ve lost all their games, lost just one or won all of them — they’re going to come and play us just as hard as they can.”
In 1985, OU coach Barry Switzer donned a “Beat Texas” hat on the sidelines for the rivalry game. Might fans see Stoops ever sporting something similar?
“Coach Switzer had a lot more flair than I have. He might have had a cigarette in too. I’m sure he won’t mind I said that,” Stoops said. “Coach, he could get away with that. I don’t know if that’s my style.”