NORMAN, Okla. — OU Head Coach Bob Stoops' Sooners remained No. 1 in the country and improved to 1-0 after beating North Texas 37-3 this past Saturday.
The next challenge for Stoops and Co. comes Saturday in what should be one of their toughest games of the year at Alabama. Stoops has played Alabama before in Tuscaloosa from his days in Florida, and knows all about the Crimson Tide's tradition. Stoops sat down and talked with OUInsider.com about those topics and much more Monday evening in our two-minute drill.
JH: What did you think of Derrick Strait being named the first Big-12 Defensive Player of the Week for 2003?
BS: "I am really proud of Derrick and that honor is well deserved. I am happy for him, because he is such an excellent player. He has an outstanding night against North Texas with a bunch of tackles, tackles for losses, knocking the ball loose from wide receivers and he broke up two or three passes. He has played that way a lot for us. I have said it before that for four years now he has been our most consistent player, always playing at a winning level and always doing a great job for us."
JH: Strait's instincts for the game are incredible aren't they?
BS: "Exactly, he is very smart and he makes sure that he is prepared for games. He really has a great understanding and feel for the game himself."
JH: You have coached in the SEC at Florida, so you have played Alabama before and you have played at Alabama before. Can you compare the SEC atmosphere with that of OU or another Big 12 power?
BS: "There really isn't a lot of difference between OU and Alabama home games. All leagues are pretty much the same and their fans at Alabama are excellent. They have won a lot of championships there so they know how to win, and their fans aren't jealous of anybody else. They cheer for you and they are very knowledgeable and polite. They like to see a good game and respect their opponents that also play good football. It is a great atmosphere and they do a great job down there as well."
JH: What are your early thoughts on Alabama?
BS: "They are a strong football team with excellent athletes who are always big and physical. They have a physical front when you look at both sides of the ball. They play good field position and they have players who can make plays on both sides of the ball. They have a good team."
JH: Brodie Croyle takes over at quarterback for the graduated Tyler Watts, so does that change Alabama's offense much from last year?
BS: "I don't know that Brodie runs as much as Tyler did. He is an excellent thrower and a guy that we tried to recruit. Last week he really started to get comfortable in the second half and he played well."
Two Minute Drill: Stoops talks about Alabama
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