The Sooners are 3-0 following their 37 to 10 win over North Texas and their winning streak has reached 16.
The latest polls still have the Sooners ranked third in the country, but it's was obvious the Sooners weren't happy with their play against the Mean Green following the game on Saturday and the coaches mood wasn't much better on Sunday.
"There is a lot that is very positive, but unfortunately a lot of it gets canceled out through penalties and lack of discipline," said OU Head Coach Bob Stoops.
"Some of the calls were just judgment calls on the officials part, but when you have 23 total penalties in the game the flow of the game is disrupted constantly. We did move the ball up and down the field, but red zone penalties hurt us quite frequently and fumbling the ball inside the ten-yard line hurts us. Then we had a defensive touchdown called back on a penalty 30-yards behind the play that has nothing to do with the play. Our guy touches or pushes the guy in the back and that is just a lack of discipline on our part in a lot of areas penalty wise. If we play with discipline we have a chance, but we certainly aren't there yet. It is something that we will work on this week."
Despite throwing for 350 yards and two touchdowns it seems that many fans and many media members alike didn't like the performance of starting quarterback Nate Hybl. However, the Sooner coaching staff felt once again that Hybl improved as a quarterback.
"I thought Nate's play was very good and that he really played very well in distributing the ball and getting us in the right runs," said Stoops. "He threw the ball very well and I thought our passing game, along with our running game was very good and solid."
The Sooners injury situation didn't get any better in the North Texas game as the status of nickel back Terrance Simms is still very much in the air.
"Terrance is probably done for the year," said Stoops. "I had some of those episodes like that as I played two years without an ACL. If it gets caught a certain way at times it will move on you and it just depends if he damaged it any further and what kind of strength he has around the knee. However, there is a chance that he could be lost for the year and that is something we won't know until the end of the week."
Against North Texas, Jarvis Smith saw extensive action for the first time at cornerback as did Quentin Morgan.
"Jarvis could have been better on the touchdown pass," said Stoops. "He was expecting help on a post, which he should have had from a safety. He still needs to get better, but I am sure this experience will help him. Playing as much as he did will help. He shows us a lot in practice that he can be a good player and will be a good player. He just needs to continue to gain experience at it."
The Sooners expect to get Antonio Perkins, Andre Woolfolk and Damian Mackey back this week. Even if Mackey returns, the punt return job may shift to Curtis Fagan, who was outstanding returning punts against North Texas.
"Curtis did very well and he made some excellent runs with the ball and made people miss him," said Stoops. "He was very sure fielding the ball, which was very positive. We might switch to Curtis this weekend."
Roy Williams had another great game for the Sooners with 15 tackles and two interceptions. Williams is an outstanding leader by example, but with all the mistakes being made on the field Stoops is looking for him to become more of a vocal leader as well.
"Roy is a great leader in how he plays, how he prepares and how he practices," said Stoops. "The team can always count on Roy and he might have to get after a few more people if we can't play with a little more discipline and play a little smarter."
No matter how you look at this game the bottom line is that the Sooners didn't play smart and made way to many mistakes to please the Sooner coaching staff.
"We have to pay attention to every little detail in practice," said Stoops. "We will have to watch each play and make sure we are lined up on side, we have to make sure we are not on the premature holding and we need to address the little things in a football game."
Look for the Sooner players to pay a price for making mistakes in practice this week.
"Players are going to be held accountable for mistakes on the practice field," said Offensive Coordinator Mark Mangino. "We do a good job of that here, but obviously we haven't done as good as job as we need to. We are going to pick up the pace and be less patient with errors on the practice field. It doesn't matter if it is fumbling the ball or mental lapses, we are just going to hold our kids to more accountability on the practice field."
The Sooner offensive line has been steady thus far this season and once again played pretty well against North Texas.
"I thought our offensive line did some good things," said Mangino. "I thought that our tackle play was very good in the pass game and our inside guys were good in pass protection, but very, very average in the run game."
The Sooners are a young football team, but it's not just young players who are making mistakes.
"Certainly, some of our problems are because we are young, but not all the mistakes are being made by young guys," said Mangino. "The veteran guys are making their share of mistakes as well. Some of the young guys really contributed to those problems, there is no doubt about that. If we want to be a great football team we can't have lapses or lose our mental edge or let down against anybody. Great teams don't do that."
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