Shannon Talks Oklahoma Game

The Hurricanes will play their second game of the season this Saturday against Oklahoma. Read on to find out what Randy Shannon is saying about the game and to get his thoughts on the Sooners...

The Hurricanes won their opener over Marshall 31-3. Oklahoma won its opener over North Texas by the score of 79-10. The two programs will meet for the first time in two decades on Saturday.

Randy Shannon is trying to make sure his players are aware that this is just another game on the schedule.

"If we lose against Marshall, we wouldn't be in the situation we're in now," he said. "Take every game as one. Don't make one bigger than another. If you do, you're putting extra pressure on the players."

In just his second game as a college head coach, Shannon will be on the opposite sidelines of one of the most successful colleges in the entire country.

"He's a competitor," he said of Oklahoma's Bob Stoops. "That's what I've always admired about him. Knowing his family and his brothers, they wanna win all the time."

Bob's younger brother, Mark, was a defensive assistant under Shannon earlier this decade.

"Mark was working for us back in 2001," he said. "I got to know himself, Bob, and Mike very well. You talk and communicate over the years. Every time (Bob and I) see each other, we talk about different things. I have a lot of respect for him and what he's done and what he's doing at Oklahoma."

Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford had a big day through the air against North Texas on Saturday. Shannon talked about him and his performance.

"If you go back and watch the North Texas game, they scored a lot of points," he said. "There weren't no big throws. When you throw a guy a ball and he makes a guy miss and goes 70 yards, the stats won't say you threw a one-yard pass and he went 69. That guy did a great job of getting it into the athletes' hands and reading what they were doing on defense. They scored points. I think that's what every quarterback does in America -- get the ball into the best players hands and if you can get points that way, you get them."

The Hurricanes last played Oklahoma in the national championship game back in the 1987 season. Shannon reminded everyone of how little that means to the players on the team now.

"Half those guys weren't even born then," he said. "They're worried about what we need to get done at practice today. Through recruiting, those guys know each other but that's almost 20 something years ago. Some of these guys weren't even born. It's not a factor to us."

Shannon was a linebacker on that Miami team in 1987. He was asked about his thoughts on that game.

"It was just a game," he said. "It was a chance to go out and play a great game and what's what it was. You can't get too excited about it. We gotta get ready for this game."

Shannon, who claims he wasn't involved in the infamous wake-up call story with Melvin Bratton and Alonzo Highsmith the night before that game against the Sooners, continued to explain why that game means nothing to the outcome of this one coming up on Saturday.

"Back then was back then," he said. "Lets face it -- there's a reason why Oklahoma is ranked high. They have a big offensive line, a big defensive line. They play great defense, great offense."

After a strong performance on the ground against Marshall, Shannon knows how important running the football will be on Saturday.

"We're playing good defense," he said. "We rushed for 260 yards. If we can go there and rush for 260 yards, we'll win the game. We can't worry about what happened with those guys saying things (in 1987). It's a new start, fresh faces. It ain't Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson. It's Randy Shannon and Bob Stoops. It ain't Troy Aikman and Jamelle Holloway. It ain't Steven Walsh and Vinny."

Shannon understands while the Sooners put up a lot of passing yards on Saturday against North Texas, they also have a tremendous young running back.

"We recruited the guy Demarco Murray," he said. "I went down to Las Vegas to watch him practice in the spring. He chose Oklahoma."

The noise level will likely be very intense on Saturday and Shannon talked about how he thinks his team will respond.

"You have to listen to the snap count and get off on the football," he said. "That comes with concentration. and getting it done the right way. If you're not paying attention, there's gonna be some illegal precedures. If you stay focused on what you gotta get done, it's gonna be fine."

A win over the Sooners on Saturday would send the Hurricanes to 2-0 and put them back into the national spotlight. Having said that, Shannon is trying to keep things calm before the storm.

"It's just a game," he said. "Every game is gonna be big. if we play Oklahoma or Portland State or McNeese State. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. When you don't put pressure on yourself, you treat it like a normal game. You go out and make plays and have fun. You gotta make sure you stay focused on the big picture and that's to have fun, do your job. Once you get caught up in all the other stuff, that's not football."

Stay tuned as will have more on the upcoming game, complete with game previews, thoughts from players, and more.

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