Jordan Thomas has been a cornerback all his life, and since high school, he’s realized the importance of a short memory.
Bad plays are going to happen. He’s always had to bounce back. This season has been that bounce. After struggling as a freshman and being suspended for the Oklahoma Sooners' third game of the season against Tulsa, Thomas has been out trying to prove himself again.
Along with the rest of the secondary, he’s doing just that – showing at times that he is the best cornerback on the field, even with All-Big 12 defensive back Zack Sanchez opposite him. Sanchez has won the conference’s Big 12 defensive player of the week honor twice, but Thomas hasn’t been far behind on the stat sheet.
He and Sanchez are tied for the team lead with three interceptions apiece.
This week is the ultimate bounce-back, though. Oklahoma has a chance to beat Baylor in its new home for the first time and end a two-game losing streak to the Bears. Oklahoma has never lost three-straight games to a Big 12 opponent.
To do it, Thomas and Sanchez will have to be resilient. They’ll have to forget about the big plays that are inevitable.
“If you just let it sit on your mind, it’ll plague you and eat you alive and the rest of your game will be crap,” Thomas said. “You just can’t let that happen. Having a short memory will be huge in this game and I think we’ll do that.”
It’ll be the first time that Oklahoma will be in a mental battle with itself. The Sooners have allowed only three 100-yard receivers in a game – and two came against Tulsa. Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1) has allowed just one completion of more than 20 yards since it lost it only game of the season.
Whereas Baylor’s big play number is through the roof. They average 17.2 yards per completion.
“They’re gonna get some plays,” Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “I think they have 55 plays over 45 yards this year. It’s almost stupid. It’s kinda what it is. You have to understand that. You have to come back. You’re gonna win or lose some battles, but you have to win the war. That’s it is with these guys. If you lose them all, you get buried. They’re gonna win some. We have to make sure we win more than they do.”
Thomas has been resilient much of this season, bouncing back from trouble both on and off the field. This will be his toughest test yet though. He’ll go back to the basics.
“You put anyone out in space, you are going to have that element of go out and tackle someone in space,” Thomas said. “That’s when your fundamentals come into play.”