Sooners gearing up for trip to Tallahassee
The Sooners, who did not play during last Saturday’s bye week, refuse to listen to the hype surrounding this week’s matchup against No. 5 Florida State.
“Everyone is taking the mindset that we just need to be prepared,” sophomore linebacker Tom Wort said. “This week’s all about preparation, and everyone’s putting in that extra step, getting excited in the weight room and at practice.”
Although the Seminoles didn’t have a weekend off, Wort believes OU’s first bye week was an opportunity for the Sooners.
“It’s bittersweet,” Wort said. “You want to get in a rhythm, but having that extra week allows you to get healthier and prepare. We’ve made the most of it.”
One of the things the team has concentrated on this week is learning the mechanics of FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel.
“E.J. is a big, physical, fast guy, and he’ll stay in the pocket. He’s more of a passer than a runner, but he gets credit for his running game too,” Wort said.
Although the defense continues to prepare this week without senior linebacker Travis Lewis, there will be one Sooner who is looking to make this season’s debut in Tallahassee, Fla.
“Tulsa week, I was told I was going to get to the play, and I was really excited, then that Friday I found out I wasn’t going to play,” defensive tackle Stacy McGee said.
“We’re going to have to play fast,” McGee said. “They play east-and-west, and we’re used to going north-and-south, and that’s something different for us. Stopping the run, that’s our goal.”
Apart from stopping the run mechanics of FSU’s running backs, James Wilder Jr. and Chris Thompson, OU coach Bob Stoops said he wants to see his team take care of the fundamentals and fix some of the mistakes they made in Week 1.
“We have to be strong with fundamentals such as how they’re protecting, getting assignments correct when we blitz and making sure that we have the right people accounted for,” Stoops said.
But Stoops was quick to point out he will be leaving the hype at home when the Sooners head east this weekend.
“Everything’s brand new this year,” Stoops said.