Finishing 'em Off

The Sooners have come out on top in all four of their games, but there's one thing that's been missing.

"Right, we need to develop more of a killer mentality," said linebacker Travis Lewis.

In fact, OU has led by at least 15 points in each of its first four contests, and in three of those four, opponents have stormed back to lose by one possession.

Only in a 47-17 thrashing of Florida State did the Sooners put a team away.

"Yes, I definitely noticed that [we've failed to deliver the knockout punch]," said strong safety Jonathan Nelson. "And, you know, that also obviously happened during the Cincinnati game. Whenever we get people on the ropes like that, we just have to finish them off, and that's not been our strong point as of it, and, you know, we're just working to turn that around."

As for justification as to why this has been the case, Lewis pointed to one thing: complacency.

"I think we start relaxing a little bit once we get a little lead," Lewis said. "We're playing good defense. Our offense is rolling, and we start relaxing a little bit. And it only takes one play to start relaxing and then, you know, they break a big one on you, and they gain the momentum, so it's just that relaxing that we get during that time that we need to stop because we need to develop a killer mentality."

Free safety Quinton Carter echoed those comments.

"Maybe we like we always go into the fourth quarter with a little lead, maybe guys getting relaxed and before you know it, a big play happens," Carter said. "And one person is out of place on one play, another guy is out of place on another play, and there's another big play."

It's something that head coach Bob Stoops said is inexcusable.

"I think that's an excuse, but it's a poor one," Stoops said. "We've talked about if that's the case. You get feeling comfortable and now we're good, that's a pure setup for someone to come back. It could be some of that. Then it gets down to our execution and still coming up with stops like we have been through two or three quarters.

So, that part of their game is a major point of focus coming into today's Red River Rivalry contest, but in the end, one thing's for certain.

"I mean, we don't want it to be like that, you know, but like I said, we're 4-0," Carter said. "So, I mean, you can't be mad about that. We're finding a way to win, so a W is a W at the end of the day."


Perhaps OU will add another one to the list this weekend, whether it's a barn burner or a blowout.

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