Stoops: Missouri victory 'a good win'
BY JOHN E. HOOVER World Sports Writer
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
9/27/11 at 2:06 PM
NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said all of last week that Missouri “had our players’ attention” after upsetting the BCS No. 1-ranked Sooners last year in Columbia.
But after OU fell behind 14-3 in the first quarter of their rematch Saturday at Memorial Stadium, and after the Sooners gave up two long-distance touchdown drives in the final minutes of a 38-28 victory, Stoops wasn’t sure Mizzou had his players’ attention after all.
“I don’t know how to say that,” Stoops said. “Was, not — it’s an excuse. Bottom line, we won the game.”
The Sooners gave up 532 yards to the Tigers and dropped to No. 2 in this week’s AP Top 25. OU stayed at No. 1 in the coaches poll (part of the BCS standings, which come out in mid-October), which may reflect the notion that coaches respect the victory and don’t overreact to statistics and margins of victory.
“Sorry we didn’t play perfect,” Stoops said. “But at the end of the day, it’s a good win.”
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables said Monday night he knew last week things could get rough in the Missouri game because of how the team was practicing.
“You hope that was an aberration, because we’ve had, you could count on one finger how many bad practices we’ve had since fall camp started,” Venables said. “And, you know, it was last week.”
Said Stoops, “You identify it by when you see guys making mistakes that you've covered, that they should know. You have meetings and there's things you've covered before that they should have done by now and then they don't. You can tell they're not paying attention or whatever. You can tell by the effort they're going by.
“It's easy to identify. I said something to them in the midweek, too, as a team. I could tell we weren't as on edge or on point as we had been in the previous few weeks.
“It's like I told the players: I don't play. There isn't a coach that's ever made a play. At the end of the day it's you. You're the ones that make plays or don't. Hopefully, they'll take ownership of that and take some responsibility for playing well.
“It hasn't been a trademark of the better teams we've had. Hopefully that won't happen again.”
Among other highlights from Stoops’ weekly press conference on Tuesday:
Wide receiver Kenny Stills is expected to return after sitting out Saturday’s game because of lingering symptoms from a concussion he sustained at Florida State. Stoops said Stills practiced last week but wasn’t allowed to play.
“There’s all kinds of criteria,” Stoops said. “The bottom line, he had some symptoms that the doctors weren’t comfortable with. In practice, you’re not going full-speed, you’re not getting hit. It’s a different situation. Doctors can explain all that to you. That’s not my job. Doctors tell me who can play and who can’t.”
Wide receiver Trey Franks remains suspended for undisclosed reasons for this week’s Ball State game, and Stoops isn’t sure if Franks would return for next week’s Texas game.
“Well, we’ll see where it goes,” Stoops said. “Right now he’s not with us.”
Stoops said he trusts that left guard Gabe Ikard will ably fill in at center for captain Ben Habern, who was lost for at least 4-6 weeks with a broken forearm he suffered against Missouri.
“Gabe’s a very smart and bright guy that’s played a lot at guard, so we expect him to really handle the snapping well,” Stoops said. “I trust through all the hard work here this week we can get that sharpened up with Gabe.”
Offensive tackle Jarvis Jones got some time against Missouri after returning from a torn patellar tendon and could even help fill in at guard, Stoops said. Tyler Evans and Stephen Good will start and are backed up by redshirt freshman Adam Shead and sophomore Bronson Irwin.
“I’m sure that between coach Patton and coach Kittle, they’ll be looking at all those options,” Stoops said.
Stoops said sophomore safety Aaron Colvin was “feeling good” after being knocked woozy by a hard hit Saturday night.
“He went through practice yesterday,” Stoops said. “But we’ll see. He’s playing really well.”
OU head football coach Bob Stoops leads his team onto the field before Saturday game against Missouri at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World