Eminem asked us the question all those years ago about Slim Shady. It’s the one Oklahoma fans are asking right now. Will the real Oklahoma Sooners please stand up?
How else do you explain the product that has been on the field in the last two weeks? In one game, thoroughly dominated in every facet of the game in a 24-17 loss to Texas. In the next, the most complete game played in a long time in a 55-0 shutout at Kansas State.
The answer you would think lies somewhere in between – that’s usually the case. Not as bad as it showed vs. the Longhorns and not as great as what was on display against the Wildcats.
“It’s such a fine line with the mental part of it, just getting these kids to just be good enough to go out and execute,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “You want to try to stay as level as you can and not get too high or too low.”
OU was able to not be too low following the Texas game. Players said last week the edge was there, the upbeat mentality was there. No moping around, just back to work. So this week will be the test of about not getting too high.
Last week the OU-Texas Tech showdown looked like a pick ‘em with the way both teams had been playing. Now you throw in OU’s outing in Manhattan and Tech’s subpar effort in a win at Kansas, and once again most will be banking on the Sooners to handle their business rather easily.
“I don’t look three games or four games,” head coach Bob Stoops said. “I look one game. We’ll do all we can to win it and be the very best we can be in that game and then go from there. We can’t afford to look down the road.”
You know fans will start to, though. If OU can get by the Red Raiders, there’s a real strong chance the Sooners will find themselves 8-1 and perhaps back in the top 10 heading into the Nov. 14 showdown in Waco against Baylor.
Up first, however, are the Red Raiders. Will the Sooners come in with that edge? Or revert to whatever the heck it was against Texas?
“I mean, the thing, you think in game five you’d be a great tackling team,” senior linebacker Eric Striker said. “We were up until that point. We knew how to tackle. It was just one of those situations.”
It was a week of corrections. OU had 11 tackles for loss and six sacks against the Wildcats, while the tempo was finally there with the offense. It was a perfect storm of OU being fired up and perhaps KSU being out of bullets after back-to-back heartbreaking losses to Oklahoma State and TCU.
That’s the nature of college football, especially in the 2015 season. Look great one week, like a dud the next. Perhaps the only consistency anybody can count on is the fact there won’t be any consistency.
Once you think you have something figured out, boom, another wrinkle thrown into the mix. Guess all you can do is enjoy the ride.
“The pulse of the whole world out there, we don’t always have it,” Bob Stoops said. “That’s not the pulse in our building and that’s not the pulse of us. We’re not participating in it.”
And we’ll be watching.