All Oklahoma could do was make the best of a bad situation. But that’s exactly what the Sooners program did last Friday night when their flight to Manhattan, Kan., was delayed for more than eight hours.
Instead of viewing it as a negative situation, OU turned it into a positive one. It was a time to get to know each other in a different environment, not talking football.
It didn’t lead to OU’s emphatic 55-0 drubbing of Kansas State, but it also didn’t hinder their ability to get the job done.
“Honestly, I thought it was a really good team bonding event,” defensive lineman Matt Dimon said. “I think I talked to every single person in the terminal. I think the coolest part was they brought us a bunch of food, fast food. I was in heaven, just grubbing.”
It was a potluck of fast food for the team’s Friday night dinner. That obviously won’t happen again, but for one night, it was the right recipe for success.
The Sooners entered Manhattan with their backs to the wall and now look toward the second half of the season with expectations being placed on them once again even if the routine was very unorthodox.
“Sometimes when you have adversity, it can work that way,” head coach Bob Stoops said. “It didn’t hurt, and it may have helped. We had a lot of good time together. I never saw anyone antsy about it. In those situations, it doesn’t do you any good to get upset. We made the most of it the best we could.”
Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley agreed with that sentiment as well, saying he could almost sense the team coming together with each passing hour.
“We got to have conversations with guys in an atmosphere that we don’t always get,” Riley said. “In a way, you could felt the team latching on a little bit tighter and coming a little closer together. I was really proud of the players and the way they handled it.”