'Bounce-back Bob' leads OU

Sooners have made a habit out of rebounding from tough losses

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has earned plenty of nicknames and clever monikers during his time leading the Sooners.

Some are good, and after last week’s loss to TCU, some are not as flattering.

The first that comes to mind is: ‘Big Game Bob.’ Even that has lost some of its luster since it was first introduced.

A more accurate call sign might be ‘Bounce-back Bob.’

Since Stoops took over as head coach before the 1999 before, Oklahoma has lost back-to-back regular season games only once – in his first season with the school.

“Anybody ought to have your attention after a loss, right?” Stoops said. “. . . Whoever it is, it doesn't matter. Whoever you're playing after a loss has your attention. I don't care who it is.”

Texas presents a great opportunity for Oklahoma (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) to cure everything that ailed it against TCU. The Sooners couldn’t find room in TCU’s secondary, and although Texas has the best pass defense in the Big 12, the Longhorns are surprisingly inexperienced.

“Obviously, it’s a terrible gut feeling on that ride home. You never wanna lose, especially with us having some opportunities there at the end to maybe get a W,” Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight said. “Just a terrible feeling but really excited about the way our guys have had a positive outlook on it.”

Oklahoma also struggled to contain TCU’s dynamic offense, something that won’t be a problem against the Longhorns’ struggling attack that ranks ahead of only Kansas in scoring offense and first-year quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, who is the second-to-last in passing yards per game and passing efficiency. He leads only Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart.

“They’re a group that I believe can play better than they did a week ago,” Stoops said of the Sooners’ defensive backs. “It’s just more attention to detail and hopefully, it’ll pay off for them.” Oklahoma has the perfect man for the job.

Stoops, who said he practice has been good this week, has been one of the best during the past 15 years about responding to a loss. Oklahoma has lost back-to-back games only four times during Stoops’ era.

He lost back-to-back regular season games in 1999, and Oklahoma lost their regular-season finale and the Sugar Bowl to LSU in 2003.

Oklahoma lost its bowl game and the following season opener twice. In 2005, Oklahoma lost the Orange Bowl to USC and the 2005 season opener to TCU. Oklahoma lost its 2009 season opener after losing to Florida in the BCS Championship the previous season.

In addition, Stoops has won 10 straight games against the same team that it lost to the previous year. Texas was the last team Oklahoma lost to in back-to-back seasons (2008 and 2009). Texas has accomplished that feat twice, and Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma in 2001 and 2002.

The numbers favor Oklahoma, but in the Red River Showdown, nothing is guaranteed.

“I know they’re Texas, it doesn’t matter what their season is,” Oklahoma defensive end Chuka Ndulue said. “When it comes down to this game, it doesn’t matter. Their season can be made by just winning this game and so can ours.”

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