Take 3: Stoops with full respect for Baylor

No bad blood by Stoops toward Petty or Baylor, simply focused on this week.

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. 9: vs. No. 10 Baylor (7-1, 4-1)

Take No. 1: Shepard, Ford should be ready to go

OU isn’t facing many injuries for this point of the season, but two big ones are still looming with running back Keith Ford and wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

Ford, who participated in pregame warmups Saturday, didn’t play. Stoops said if he was a linemen, Ford probably would have played. But as a running back trying to make those cuts, he just wasn’t 100 percent.

Shepard was a different story as he strained his groin on the first play from scrimmage. Stoops said he doesn’t know what to expect with Shepard but said he believes Shepard will be ready for this weekend.

“It appeared to be pretty minor yesterday,” Stoops said. “Optimistic that he’ll be at full speed at the end of the week.”

OU has learned to play without Ford, but the Sooners cannot afford to have Shepard miss this showdown against the Bears.

Take No. 2: No trash talking from Stoops

If you’re looking for Stoops to stir up some controversy regarding Baylor, you just don’t know the coach well enough.

Stoops was 100 percent respectful of Art Briles and what he has done during his time in Waco. And in response to Bryce Petty and his “we’re ready for OU” press conference, Stoops shrugged that off and said he didn’t care.

“Sounds like Coach (Bill Belichick),” Stoops said. “I don’t care. We’re getting ready for Baylor.”

The Bears have come a long way under Briles, but Stoops wasn’t about to say he has changed his philosophy on playing Baylor. Even when the Bears weren’t as competitive, Stoops said he has always respected what that program is and never underestimated them.

OU is 22-2 overall against Baylor and has never lost at home to the Bears.

Take No. 3: Still a lot more growing left for Knight

OU fans feel like they’ve been talking about Trevor Knight forever. But Stoops was quick to point out that he has only now basically started for a full season, and there is still a lot to learn.

“There is a big upside there,” Stoops said. “I’m confident he will continue to grow. His reads and where he’s going with the football have definitely been better (last couple of games).”

Knight, who accounted for six touchdowns in OU’s victory, was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week on Monday morning.

Some of that could be because Knight was allowed to get into his element and run the ball more although Stoops isn’t sure how big of a role that played.

“Having success brings about confidence in whatever you’re doing,” Stoops said.


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