Football teams can go an entire season lamenting about what might have been. One poor performance and sometimes you don’t get a second chance.
With Oklahoma in 2016, not only do the Sooners get a second crack at a national showcase, but a victory here overshadows the disappointment of less than two weeks ago.
Remember in college football that if you’re going to lose, do it early. The Sooners can survive a defeat to Houston if they show up and show out vs. No. 3/No. 4 Ohio State this weekend.
The home-and-home series nobody imagined would actually happened when announced all those years ago is now less than a week away.
Coming off a 59-17 waxing of ULM, the Sooners are back to feeling good even if we still have no idea what we’re going to see Saturday evening at Owen Field.
“It’s a little bit unknown in that we made far too many mistakes and didn’t play well enough a week ago, and this time we did, but understand the level of competition’s quite different,” head coach Bob Stoops said.
The execution problems suffered against the Cougars were nowhere to be found when the Warhawks came to Norman on Saturday. A 42-0 halftime lead allowed Stoops and his staff to rest the starters for the final 30 minutes.
It gave the young guys a chance to show what they can do and gave the veterans just a bit more time for it to sink in that Buckeyes week is here.
Houston was by no means a tune up for the Sooners, but the offense Tom Herman and Greg Ward, Jr. brought to NRG Stadium will be back again with Urban Meyer and J.T. Barrett.
OU’s defense gets another opportunity to show what it has figured out.
“For me personally, I know we can and will get better,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “Regardless of the opponent, I see the areas we need to improve on every day. Trying to find things that work for our players and adjusting our scheme to fit our players.
“Next week we’re going to play a very talented team that has tremendous players and they execute very well. They’re well coached so we’re going to have to match that with a great performance defensively. Better than we played a week ago in Houston.”
In an atmosphere that will probably be nothing like we’ve ever seen before in Norman. The official attendance was 87,037 for Saturday’s win. It’s a state record for largest attendance for any sporting event.
It will stand for one week.
No telling if OU will be able to eclipse the 90,000 mark Saturday, but based on recruiting alone, it’s going to be the hottest ticket seen perhaps ever during the Stoops era.
If you thought the loss to Houston would affect OU’s 2017 class, would affect the status of SoonerSquad17, hasn’t been the case. The group has bonded even more together, stating they’re with OU and they’ll be difference makers when they arrive.
But it won’t just be the commits that show up this weekend. No. 1-ranked athlete Jeffrey Okudah from South Grand Prairie (Texas) High confirmed before the season he was taking his first official visit to OU.
Then things got even bigger, literally and figuratively, Sunday evening. Houston Bellaire Episcopal five-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson announced his first official visit is also going to be this weekend to see the Sooners and Buckeyes.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see 15-20 official visits this weekend as OU brings in its top commits to go with its top targets.
In other words, Mike Stoops might have said it best late Saturday night.
“Tonight was a warmup for next week where it’ll be a different atmosphere when Ohio State comes in,” Mike Stoops said.
A second chance at a first impression. You don’t always get one, but the Sooners have the national platform one more time this weekend and a chance to get right back into the college football playoff conversation.