The Oklahoma Sooners are focused on themselves, not TCU, in preparation for the Big 12 opener

Struggling to two non-conference losses, Oklahoma is looking inward to find answers

NORMAN – There hasn’t been much separation between Oklahoma and TCU in the four years since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12. The Sooners have won three of four games but by a combined difference of just seven points.

No game in the past four years has been decided by more than seven points, and the TCU fans stormed the field after the 37-33 victory by the Horned Frogs two years ago. In a normal year, Oklahoma’s entire focus would be on TCU. But this isn’t a normal year after two losses in the non-conference, and the Sooners aren’t looking at the Horned Frogs.

Oklahoma is focus on itself.

“We have to get our spark from ourselves,” Oklahoma free safety Ahmad Thomas said. “We know what we have to do as a team. Going into the Big 12, we have to get ourselves together and get that spark from ourselves. We don’t need a game for that. It has to come from us. We’ve talked individually as a defense and an offense. I feel like that comes from ourselves because we know what we can do.”

Oklahoma (1-2), which is unranked for the first time since the final 2014 poll, has to get better on its own.

“We have a lot of work to keep doing and pushing ourselves to get that done,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “I’m not sure what we’ve learned. We have to execute better, we have to take care of the football in a much better fashion. We’ve got to be able to get the ball out and force turnovers in a better fashion. I think on both sides of the ball, we can be better on third downs. It’s been an issue in those games.”

The Sooners have yet to pick off a pass and have recovered only two fumbles. They rank 109th in the nation in turnover margin, and the list of teams below them in that category include: Kansas, Bowling Green, Purdue, Rice, Florida International and Toledo among others. It’s not exactly the class among which Oklahoma is used to finding itself.

“We’ve had two tough losses,” Oklahoma receiver Mark Andrews said. “It’s early in the season. But one of our goals was to win the Big 12 championship. That’s right in front of us. That hasn’t gone anywhere. Starting now, it’s Big 12 play. I think everyone is focused on conference play and excited about it.”




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