SI Take 3: OU with big test, opportunity

OU coach Bob Stoops reflects on OU's win vs. Kansas and showdown with 10th-ranked Texas Tech.

Every Monday afternoon during the football season OU coach Bob Stoops has his weekly press conference. Sooners Illustrated will give you the three most important things to take from the session.

Game No. 8: vs. No. 10 Texas Tech

Take No. 1: Red Raiders offer huge challenge, opportunity

Stoops said OU wasn't at its best in terms of execution against Kansas, but this is a new week with a huge opportunity for the Sooners with 10th-ranked Texas Tech coming to town.

The last two home games against Tech have been memorable for different reasons. In 2008, OU defeated then-second-ranked Tech 65-21 in one of the best atmospheres in the Stoops era.

The Red Raiders returned the favor in 2011 with a shocking 41-38 upset win to snap OU's home-game winning streak.

Now it's even more different with Kliff Kingsbury running the show.

"They play hard, play aggressive," Stoops said. "They're very good defensively. Coach Kingsbury and his staff have done a great, great job regardless of who's out there at quarterback for them."

One thing that made the 2008 encounter so memorable was the atmosphere in the stadium. Stoops would love to see that again, but he knows it's up to his guys to help in that department.

"It would be awesome if we could recreate that atmosphere," Stoops said. "Build some excitement. We got to do our part. It's a lot easier to be excited when you're playing well."

Take No. 2: Depth a growing issue for OU

The Sooners are already without defenders Jordan Phillips and Corey Nelson for the rest of the season, and the news wasn't all positive regarding nickelback Julian Wilson and offensive guard Adam Shead.

It wasn't negative, either, but a lot of lingering questions remain for both.

"Julian Wilson won't practice today but might practice Tuesday," Stoops said. "He felt a lot better Sunday so we'll see. Unsure about Adam, but believe he's OK."

Wilson and Shead both left Saturday's game with apparent shoulder injuries.

OU will get defensive tackle Torrea Peterson back this week, provided he does what is needed academically. He was suspended Saturday because of academic issues.

Stoops said he thought the defensive line played fine without Phillips. And though there was some early mis-communication with the linebackers, they played well in the second half.

"I don't want to say yes because that's an excuse," said Stoops about if missing Nelson attributed to the communication issues. "At the end of the day, he's not there. Somebody else has to make the calls, and we didn't handle it."

Take No. 3: It's not over for Ford

OU freshman running back Keith Ford put the ball on the ground for the second straight week but this time it resulted in a turnover.

After having three carries for 18 yards in the first quarter, Ford never saw the field again at running back.

"Obviously," said Stoops if that was because of the fumble. "It's easy to be on the outside and say ‘it's just a fumble, let him play again.' In any kind of game, it doesn't work. You have to take care of the football."

But that doesn't mean Ford won't be back out there. Stoops said once he shows he can go out there and have that ball security OU desires so much, Ford will return. He's earned it.

"It's not the end of the world for Keith," Stoops said. "He's a great young man and works hard. He has to learn to take care of the football."

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