Take 3: Mental errors still plaguing OU

Bob Stoops turned his attention toward Kansas State, but OU still making costly errors.

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 7: vs. Kansas State

Take No. 1: Mental mistakes still plaguing Sooners

The tone was different from last week but still a lot of questions about the surprising inconsistency of OU on both sides of the ball.

Stoops is as frustrated and shocked as anybody else.

“We need to execute better,” Stoops said. “We’ll continue to work on that this week. There are things that can be corrected.”

The puzzling thing about the issue has been it hasn’t just come from young players. Experienced players are also making crucial mental errors leading to bad results for the Sooners.

Linebacker Jordan Evans talked about communication, and Stoops was right in line with that thinking as well.

“Why that happens? Hard to say,” Stoops said. “Those are guys that have played. All they got to do is talk with each other. Got to be on the same page. A lot more opportunities for success if they’re on the same page.”

No easy answer for the solution. Coaches keep coaching, players keep executing, Stoops said.

Take No. 2: Passing execution doesn’t just come down to one thing

Very easy for OU fans to place the blame on Trevor Knight or Josh Heupel when it comes to the lack of passing success for the Sooners in last six quarters.

But Stoops would never do that and said it’s never just that simple. Because it’s never ever just one thing that leads to the issues.

“I’m not going to sit here and detail everything about Trevor,” Stoops said.

He said sometimes the wide receivers are putting Knight in a bind. Stoops said sometimes it’s Knight putting himself in that position by not making throws. Other times the blocking isn’t there for Knight to make the throw. Never just one element.

And if the answer is getting Knight to run more, there are consequences, especially if he gets injured.

“That’s something, for sure, to consider,” Stoops said. “If you’re in my shoes, definitely. You lose your starting quarterback, things don’t usually turn out that well.”

Take No. 3: KSU, Lockett coming in rolling

The focus is all about Kansas State this week and with good reason. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in third down conversion rate, which seems to be magnified more with OU going an awful 1 of 11 on third downs last week.

“I think they’re playing great,” Stoops said. “The way they’re executing, doing a really good job on third downs. They’re doing a good job of getting into third and shorts.”

With the communication issues in the back end of the defense, that might open things up for Tyler Lockett to have another huge game like he did last year against the Sooners.

“Tyler puts pressure on every secondary,” Stoops said. “You have to be aware of that and what your coverage responsibilities are.”

Kansas State is ranked No. 14 and is coming off a bye week to prepare for its trip to Norman, OU’s first home game since Sept. 13.


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