Przybylo: Just one more thing

Tennessee week has arrived. No matter what others might say, this is a huge one for OU.

Before we turn the page to Tennessee and Game 3 for Oklahoma, let’s take one more look at the week that was.

Let’s look at just one more thing.

The SEC is still a big deal for Sooners

It’s back. All the questions about the SEC are about to hit OU coach Bob Stoops once again. All the questions he thought his program had answered Jan. 2 in New Orleans in the Allstate Sugar Bowl with a 45-31 win against Alabama.

This week the focus will once again be on OU vs. the SEC. And as tired as Stoops is of talking about it, the proof is in the pudding.

This is a big deal.

“Tennessee has been playing great,” quarterback Trevor Knight said. “They played great week one. To get a big home game like that it’s going to be cool for us.”

And seems like a lot of the nation agrees with that sentiment. OU is bringing back the stripe the stadium concept for the third consecutive season. ABC is making it a national broadcast at 7 p.m. CST.

There is a lot of speculation this could be the week the alternate uniforms are taken out of the package. Trying to downplay this game, this week would be foolish.

“They have quality athletes across the field,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “Their size, their speed, their strength. It will be a different game, but we look at them all the same.”

The OU coaches are saying all the right things, but all you need to do is look at recruiting to see what this game could mean to OU’s 2015 class.

The Sooners first home game netted a grand total of zero official visits. Heading into this week, OU is at 14. That number could go up, could go down, but it’s going to be something special.

As of now, OU has two five-star visits, nine four-star and three three-star visits on tap for this weekend. That’s not even including unofficial visits. There are more official visits for this weekend than all of the other game weekends combined at this point.

It’s harsh to say, but the first couple of weeks have basically been a warmup for the Sooners. OU simply did what it was supposed to do against Louisiana Tech and Tulsa.

Nobody is expecting a field full of second- and third-teamers out on Owen Field in the fourth quarter Saturday night.

“I think we’ve played pretty well, but we’ve also left a lot on the field,” Knight said. “We know we’re not going to be able to do that this week against Tennessee. It’s going to be nice to get out there and put one together for four quarters.”

OU and Tennessee have been battling each other on the trail all this recruiting cycle. Now they’re going to do it on the field.

The Vols have looked solid in their first two victories, but it’s going to be a huge step up for them as well under second-year coach Butch Jones.

Tennessee is not the cream of the crop of the SEC, but it has a strong tradition, and it still means something beating the orange and white.

Stoops wants his team to do its talking on the field. A second win against an SEC school in eight months will speak louder than anything else he could say.

“This is why you come to Oklahoma,” outside linebacker Geneo Grissom said. “You want to play in games like this. This is nothing new for us.”


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