OU-Texas Locker Room Report

Bob Stoops, Chuck Long, Kevin Wilson, Brent Venables, Adrian Peterson (pictured above) and several other key Sooner players talk about their 12-0 win over Texas. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

Oklahoma had just finished a 12-0 win over their arch-rival Texas and as the Sooners gathered around mid-field where their new star was nowhere to be found. With shouts of, "Where is AD?" running all about the Cotton Bowl the search for the new Heisman favorite was underway.

For the fifth straight year the Sooners were gathering on the Cotton Bowl turf, this time at the mid-field for their annual winning photograph. Senior Vince Carter had already planted the flag flat on the 50-yard line yelling to all that would listen that the Cotton Bowl was our house and that the famed bowl now indeed belong to the Sooners.

And why shouldn't Carter think that or Dan Cody for that matter? Throw in Brandon Shelby, Wes Sims and all the seniors who have never lost to Texas. What an amazing run for a confident bunch of seniors that play for a head coach who never believes he is going to lose.

You can come up with a number of reasons why the Sooners are on the streak they are on. Just in the last two years can you claim or at least argue that the Sooners are more talented. During the beginning of the streak that certainly wasn't the case when you looked at the overall roster, but as Bob Stoops stated many times for this reporter, "his 22 is just as good as their 22. And you only play with 22." I just loved that in Coach Stoops. He was never going to give an edge to the Longhorns and he never will.

Finally, the Sooner super security people found AD and brought him over to the celebration, and the talented rookie didn't know what to do. He finally jumped in the middle of the pile and took the first of what many Sooner fans hope will be at least three straight celebration pictures in the Cotton Bowl.

Sorry Sooner fans, I just can't be optimistic that AD will be here for his senior year, not as good as that cat is. He has even stated that he didn't think he would be at OU for four years before, but at this point who cares? Adrian Peterson is just a freshman having the time of his life. And right now, off the field, he isn't sure how is he is supposed to act or what he is supposed to do. However, he has been so accepted by the upperclassmen on the Sooner squad that he hasn't had to worry about much since he showed up on campus that first week in June.

Peterson's impact on the squad is the biggest since I have been covering the Sooners, and that has been some 29 years. When Jamelle Holieway emerged on the scene in 1985, taking over for an injured Troy Aikman, nobody had any idea that Holieway was even going to be a factor during that year. All the talk was centered around Aikman and how he was going to bring the passing game full circle to the Sooner vaunted wishbone attack. You really had to be a knowledgeable Sooner fan to even know that Holieway was even the second team quarterback. Of course, Holieway came on and was incredible in leading the Sooners to their sixth National Championship. And before the arrival of AD, Holieway had been the most accomplished freshman player in Sooner history.

AD's success is no surprise to any Sooner fan. And in fact, it has been widely anticipated. How many posts on OUInsider.com were started with the headline question of WHEN WILL AD BECOME A STARTER? However, even for the most optimistic Sooner fan it would be a stretch to predict that AD would come out of the gate and become the first freshman to rush for over 100 yards in five straight games, rush for 225 yards against Texas and jump into the top three of the Heisman Trophy race after just five games of his freshman year. Even for the most diehard Sooner fan couldn't have realistically predicted this kind of success.

The Sooner coaches tell us that they thought this kind of success was possible. When Coach Stoops was asked for the 1000th time this year at the OU/Texas post game press conference if he was surprised at AD's success, he had his standard answer at this point.

"No. When we were recruiting AD we thought that he would be good player for us," said Stoops. "We thought that he could be a great running back and the type of running back that could be a difference maker for us."

Don't ever let anybody tell you that recruiting doesn't make a difference. For all my media brothers and sisters who continue to knock recruiting and the coverage of it, they need to quit being so silly and come to an understanding of what the great Barry Switzer said during his heyday.

"The lifeblood of any football team comes from how well that team can recruit," said Coach Switzer back in 1979 during the Sooners 11-1 season. "To play at our level, the level where you are constantly playing for championships, you have to be able to go out and recruit the elite athlete every year and bring in the type of talent to your program that will give you a chance to play for those championships."

Thus, it goes without saying that the intense recruiting effort to sign AD in 2003 was critical to the Sooners future success. Oh, without question, I agree with what Coach Cale Gundy told AD during recruiting. You know, that OU was so good that they would win with him or without him and that he could either chose to be a part of that winning or to play against it.

However, I think it goes without saying that it is much easier to win with AD in your line-up than if you had to line up against him. Would the outcome have been different if AD did in deed sign with UT? Well, that is really a stupid question because the reality is that AD was sold on OU early in the recruiting process and the Longhorns were never a real challenger for the Sooners. There was never a time during the recruiting process where AD said that he was leaning to UT. He always mentioned UT, but it was always after he listed OU or said that OU was his No. 1.

So, the recruiting efforts of Darrell Wyatt, with some great assistance from Cale Gundy, need to be applauded today. I know we could say this every year about the coach who recruited this great player or that, but the fact that Coach Wyatt had this one in the bag early is in incredible.

Every move that Coach Wyatt did in AD's recruiting chase was right on the button, and the meeting with AD's father from his prison camp for himself and Coach Stoops was a stroke of genius. That meeting put the Sooners over the top. From that point on Peterson and his father were sold on Oklahoma, which is what it took to sign AD on the dotted line. That signing has made the Sooners a National Title contender for the next three years. Sure, the Sooner coaching staff will need to sign more great players to surround AD with to actually win those titles, but with AD in the backfield they will never be out of a game.

***

The OU/Texas post game press conference is always incredibly interesting because it is held in a tent in the middle of the state fair, and it is always attended by more national media than the normal Sooner game. I was honored to be sitting right beside Steve Wieberg of the USA Today, Dennis Dodd of CBS Sportsline.com and Dick Weiss of the New York Post — three of the biggest heavyweights covering college football. I know all three of these tremendous talents very well and what were they talking about after the game? They were talking about the recruitment of AD, the continued recruiting success of OU over Texas and just how great Bob Stoops is.

"I just don't see how this is going to change," said 'Hoops' Weiss. "Bob has such a decided mental edge on Mack and that runs down through there coaching staff and through their team. It is interesting in that Texas is good, but they are not Oklahoma good. Bob just doesn't miss a beat. Last season OU was a running game from winning the National Championship, so they go out and recruit Adrian Peterson. They add him to a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback and a great receiver in Mark Clayton, improve the offensive line and now they have the most complete offense since Bob has been at OU. I really believe that Texas is better this year. They played OU well, but they fired their best shot and still didn't beat OU. As long as Bob is the head coach at OU, I think that will remain the same."

Mack Brown was the first coach to step up to the mic as is custom with the losing team. Joining Mack at the podium was defensive star Derrick Johnson and offensive standout Cedric Benson. Johnson has just had all he could handle trying to tackle AD and Kejuan Jones (63 yards), but he still finished tied for the Texas team lead in tackles with 11. Benson had just watched his Heisman hopes go up in flames playing in a game where he was the second-best running back on the field and finishing with less than 100 yards for the first time this season (92 yards on 23 carries).

Mack immediately spoke up and said that he was disappointed for his fans and his team, especially his seniors. Mack also took total responsibility for the loss.

"I thought Bob had them prepared and I thought they played great," said Coach Brown immediately following the game. "They will have a chance to win it all again. They have a lot of great players there. They are well-coached. I thought it was two heavyweight teams that fought for three hours and fifteen minutes. I was really proud of the effort our guys made, but they just made the plays from the 30 (yard line) in that we didn't make. You have to give them credit for that. You can't turn it over against them and you can't get sacked out of field goal range and have a chance to win. Again, give them credit for what they did. I'm responsible for this team, so if we lose it is my responsibility," said Brown. If we win, the players win. The coaches lose at our place."

That in itself is part of the problem at Texas.

It goes without saying that most great coaches will always take the blame for a loss and deflect criticism from their players. Any time Bob Stoops loses in a game he will always say that they got out-played and out-coached in the game. The fact that Mack took the blame for the loss is not a shock, but it how his players respond to Mack taking the loss that tells me the Longhorns are not totally a team.

Both Johnson and Benson were asked if they thought it was cool that Coach Brown was taking the blame for the loss. Both talked around the subject and both said they just didn't make enough big plays to win the game. However, neither jumped up and said no that the players play and if they would have just executed the game plan that Coach Brown and the coaching staff put together, then they would have won the game. In fact, Benson questioned the ability of his coaching staff.

"They have good players, but we have good players to," said Benson following the game. "There are always breaks in the game, and the breaks have gone Oklahoma's way the last couple of years. Oklahoma always seems to have an edge on us, and I think that comes down to coaching sometimes. Maybe our coaches got out-coached a little bit in the game."

Oh, boy. Do you not think that the OU coaches can use that with every top recruit in Texas over the next few years? You can count on it.

When the Sooners lose and the question comes up, the coaches take all the blame, but each Sooner to man will say that isn't he case. They always say that the players play and that they just didn't execute the game plan, and if they had they would have won.

In other words, each Sooner is always taking responsibility for the loss and they don't let any one player, coach or group take responsibility. At Texas, it always seems that the players are willing to let the head coach hang for the loss. That is probably one of the reasons why Mack recruits so well. He tells the players that he is going to be their best friend and that he will always be there for them in tough times. Stoops tells them he is going to be their head coach and while he will always be there for them, he tells them that they better stay within the rules and that OU will win as a team and lose as a team.

***

When it was the Sooners turn to step up to the podium Coach Stoops brought all the stars. On the offensive side — Jason White, AD, Kejuan Jones, Vince Carter and Jammal Brown spoke to the media. The defense was represented by Lance Mitchell, Dan Cody and Lynn McGruder. Coach Stoops was surrounded by his team, just like you would expect from a Coach Stoops team. Again, the Sooners win as a team and lose as a team, no one player wins by himself or loses by himself.

"I just want to let my players know that are up here with me and in the locker room how much I appreciate them for their hard work and preparation coming into the game," said a happy Stoops as he addressed the media. "We fought hard today through four quarters and I appreciate it. It is not easy to do. They work hard and I can't say it enough. I also want to complement Texas. It was a hard-fought game and a clean game on both sides. It was a well-played game out there today."

"It thought, defensively, that coming in that people didn't recognize or give those guys enough credit," Stoops continued. "I felt all along that we were playing well defensively and I don't understand the depleted comments. Everybody always focuses on a few guys who graduate, but we graduate players every year. We still had a lot of guys back that are really playing well. I felt all year that we were on the verge of playing in a great way, and I thought they did today. I thought our defensive coaches did a great job."

"Offensively, I thought they did a great job as well," Stoops continued. "I loved the attitude that we ran the football with. Our offensive line, J.D. Runnels and the tight ends really blocked well. Adrian had a great day running the ball. Jason, as always, managed the game in a great way. It was a good solid win."

It didn't take long for the media to try to ask AD questions, but the humble young man from Palestine, Texas wasn't ready to say much. However, with a smile that stretched from ear-to-ear, it didn't matter that he basically answered every question with "Yes, Sir" or with "I was just trying to run the ball hard." That was all he needed to say to draw a big smile from Coach Stoops.

One thing that the Texas media was still trying to draw to was the fact that AD was a Texas native, and that now that he was once again playing in Texas he had to feel something special about that. Two different reporters tried to draw major responses from AD about coming back to Texas. One asked if he was thrilled to play in front of his great Texas fans once again. AD struggled to find words to answer the question, so he got some help.

"The Oklahoma fans love watching him as well," said a smiling Coach Stoops. "There are a lot of Oklahoma fans down in Texas that loved watching him."

As we found out during recruiting, AD is an intelligent guy and a good talker, but right now he is letting the upper-classmen do his talking for him. Down the road the media will find out that AD can do a good interview as well.

***

While AD was brilliant on the day and such a big story, he almost stole the spotlight from the real hero on the day — the Sooner defense. The Longhorns had not been shutout in 24 years and 281 straight games. OU held the Longhorns to just 240 yards total offense on the day, 154 yards rushing and 86 yards passing and most of all, to no points.

Many people were worried about the Sooner defense coming in despite the fact the Sooners ranked 14th in the country giving up only 14.2 points per game coming into the game. Isn't that really what counts? You know that the other team doesn't score any points.

While OU defensive coaches never said a thing publicly about the doubt and the questions, privately they were upset about it. Coming into the game many fans and college football experts wondered if the absence of Mike Stoops was something that the defense couldn't overcome. And many wondered if the defense could be as dominant as in years past.

The shutout of the Longhorns proved that it certainly could be. After the game, a frustrated OU Co-Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables let it all hang out in letting people know what about they could do with their questions about his defense.

"Our manhood was certainly challenged to say the least. We needed 11 men on defense to play well," said Venables. "Our backers need to attack downhill and they needed to be violent and physical. Our safeties needed to be good, strong and aggressive in the run game. Not giving up anything cheap was going to be the key. We were going to make sure that we could take away their run game and force them to throw the ball. We couldn't give up any of the cheap stuff on play-action. For the most part, we did a fantastic job of doing that and executing the game plan."

Venables, Bo Pelini, Jackie Shipp and Bobby Jack Wright camp up with several new wrinkles for the Longhorns. OU has used the corner blitz before, but not so much this season. Against Texas, the corner blitz constantly caught Texas quarterback Vince Young off guard.

"It is based on their personnel and what you anticipate their protection to be and how you anticipate run or pass," said Venables. "Some of it was good and some of it wasn't. Some of it was apparent to the naked eye and some of it wasn't, but again we were trying to change things up and keep them off balance. We were trying to make sure that we didn't damage the integrity of our run defense, first and foremost, and still not be careless about giving up something over the top and threw the air."
v Then, my man Mike Jones of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, who is a great guy by the way, made the mistake by asking Coach Venables if this game erased some of the questions about the defense. He tried to ask Coach V the question but was cut off as soon as he got question out of his mouth.

"I don't have questions. Nobody else on this defense or on this football team has questions," said the agitated and fired up former linebacker. "That is all you guys. You guys all have questions. This is going to be a long season, and this is going to be very difficult and challenging. We are still working through some stuff and we have lost Antonio Perkins (knee) for an extended period of time, so some new guys are going to have to step up and somebody else is going to have to step up. I don't know who has questions about our defense, but we don't have any questions."

"Chijioke (Onyenegecha) played well and consistent. Any guy that is part of those 11 guys out there playing defense has to be consistent with fundamentals and execution of the defense," Venables continued. "It is amazing what happens when that happens. That is what you saw out there today. We didn't come up with a new invention of the wheel or anything else. It is 11 guys playing together. We don't all of a sudden go from being the Bad News Bears to the Pittsburgh Steel Curtain, OK? We have to keep things in check and understand that we are going to play many good offenses down the road. Today was a very strong performance that we need to build on and get better and continue to play consistent. I am done answering any more damn questions on whether we can all of a sudden play defense now. This wasn't the first rodeo for many of these guys on the field today, and certainly our coaching staff. There are a lot of guys that understand basic fundamental football and that is what playing great defense comes down to."

One of the big wrinkles that Venables and company came up with was on passing downs bringing in all three defensive ends and standing up Dan Cody at the line of scrimmage. Cody would then bounce around the defensive line trying to confuse the Texas offensive line. That defensive wrinkle seemed to work all day and was one of the reasons why Cody played his best game of the year.

"We had three defensive ends on the field, and we were trying to force they way they were going to protect," said Venables. "We were trying to get Dan Cody on their running back in pass protection, and we knew that more often than not that we would win that battle. That is what we tried to create. We understood later in the game that once they saw that and recognized it, that they were going to slide their protection to max protect. We knew they would have to do that and now they are only getting three guys out in pass patterns, which is what we ultimately wanted to accomplish and were able to do so."

***

Cody was another player on defense that so many people seem to question all of a sudden. Nobody seems to understand that the reason why Cody's tackles were down was because he was now drawing double teams with Dusty Dvoracek no longer on the team and Tommie Harris playing the pros.

Over the last couple of weeks, Dan talked of the defense picking up their intensity and playing on edge. And finally against the Longhorns, they did just that.

"We put a lot of emphasis on this being a very physical game," said Cody. "We knew they were going to come in running the ball, and that is definitely what they have shown all through the year especially with Ced Benson and Vince Young. We put a lot of emphasis on that, and up to this point I don't think our defense had played on that edge until today. For whatever reason, we haven't been making the plays that we needed to make.

"I think we really looked at this as an opportunity to prove, not to anybody else, but to ourselves of our ability to step up and make plays like we did today. It is good for us in a lot of reasons. For one, winning the game, and two, giving us a lot of confidence on defense."

***

Senior Lynn McGruder also had his best game of the season and that wasn't lost on the coaches. McGruder finished with four tackles and was constantly in the Longhorn backfield forcing them to make adjustments.

"You saw him in the backfield, penetrating and making a bunch of plays," said Venables. "It is not surprising as Lynn was part of the defensive front last year and was in the rotation where he started a few games last year. He performed very well. Again, our guys were challenged and Jackie Shipp did an excellent job of having those guys prepared, on edge and ready to play and play hard. Every team out there is going to be a little short-handed and have what is perceived to be something of a weak link, so to speak. I think more than anything else our guys were challenged by that and they recognized that they can play some football as well, and if Texas was going to have success it wasn't going to be because of them."

McGruder loved what he saw out of the defense against the Longhorns.

"I was just trying to watch my business, but it was fun watching the corners blitzing into the backfield and Brodney Pool playing so well," said McGruder. "Chijioke and those safeties blitzed all day and got great penetration to help us out with the rush. I don't mind that at all. I don't mind anybody making plays."

Many felt going into the game that Texas might have an edge up front against the Sooners' defensive front. Those thoughts certainly inspired McGruder and the Sooner defensive front.

"I am not going to knock Texas, because they are a good team and it would be wrong for me to knock them," said McGruder after the game. "You have to put four quarters together to beat Texas. I feel like today we were the better team, but they are a real good team. We really respect their game, but we just came in with our chinstraps on tight and we got after it every quarter."

"I was getting good jumps off the ball and keeping my feet in the group and attacking my blockers," McGruder continued. "I was staying aggressive, and I knew that they were going to try to make an example out of us today just because of what people were saying. I knew they were going to try to run the ball down our throat. There was no way, as a man, that I was going to let that happen. We are all men and we work hard, and I tie my shoes just like they do. I just can't let them run over me the whole game, so I just have to pin my ears back and go get it."

One thing that is clear is that the OU defense has a lot of confidence in what the defensive coaches tell them.
"I just think as long as we stuck to our game plan that our coaches have for us, that everything would turn out alright," said Lance Mitchell. "We needed to be physical and tackle well, and that is what we did all day."

Safety Brodney Pool continues to play like one of the best safeties in the country. Pool finished with six tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass break up.

"Keeping Vince Young contained was a big key for us all day," said Brodney Pool. "Coming into this game we wanted to keep him contained, and we didn't want him to get out and run around. I think as a total defense, we did a great job of doing that. The D-Line and everybody played great."

***

Another highly-touted player came of age against Texas as junior college All-American Chijioke Onyenegecha played for most of the last three quarters and came up with a number of big plays.

"Chijioke played very well for us and made a lot of big plays for us," said Coach Stoops. "He has come a long way for us, is very talented and now will get an opportunity to show what he can do."

Chijioke will start for the first time against Kansas State Saturday, as Perkins will miss the next few games with an MCL injury. The extent of this injury is not known at this time, but he is expected to miss the next four to five games.

That will put Onyenegecha and Eric Bassey in the starting lineup at corner, with Jowahn Poteat becoming the third corner. Darien Williams will move into the fourth corner slot and freshman Marcus Walker will get some snaps with the varsity this week. Walker is not expected to be pulled out of redshirt, but if there is another injury then he certainly will.

"When it is your time you have to step up and play," said Onyenegecha. "No matter if you are a one, two or three, our coach tells us that everybody has to practice just like you are going to play every day. I prep just like Perk, just like Bassey and I don't slack. If it is my time, then I am going to step up and be ready to play."

Onyenegecha was very good blitzing off the corner against the Longhorns, and he also showed off his great coverage ability knocking a deep ball away deep in Oklahoma territory in the Sooner end zone.

"We have been working on that play all week. It is called double cat," said Onyenegecha. "Antonio got there before me and forced Vince to not to throw it with a pump fake. I was coming hard on the backside on the up-field shoulder because I knew he could pull it and run it. He tried to sneak out and I just got him. We focused on our blitz all week and that was one of our big plays. I am looking forward to playing even better in the future."

***

For those of had any doubts about the Sooners defense before the Texas, just look at this defensive statistics put together by OU Sports Information Director Kenny Mossman. They will prove that the Sooner defense has really played some pretty good defense all year.

The total on the left is what the teams scored or accomplished against OU, and on he right what their national average is.

Scoring Offense
Bowling Green (24-39)
Houston (13-18.5)
Oregon (7-26.6)
Texas Tech (13-39.1)
Texas (0-33.2)

Total Offense
Bowling Green (269-467.2)
Houston (282-371.5)
Oregon (321-445.6)
Texas Tech (425-514.8)
Texas (240-470.8)

***

Going into the game, I felt that the Sooner passing game would have a big advantage against the Texas secondary. That never materialized in the game, and the game was low scoring, which was something that I certainly didn't expect. However, it didn't matter to the Sooners if the game was high scoring or not. And it didn't matter to Jason White if he completed any passes or not.

"The coaches put in a great game plan for us this week and we executed it today," said White. "That was especially true in the run game, because the pass game wasn't there that much. We turned to our run game today, and up front our offensive line did a great job. Adrian and Kejuan both ran hard. That just complements how hard we have been working on our run game."

The Sooners have been building this offense for some time, an offense that is totally balanced and that can beat you a number of different ways. Against Texas, the Sooners' passing game was shut down, but they couldn't shut down OU's running game as well.

"The rushing game is what we need, and that is where we made a commitment to get better in the off season," said Coach Chuck Long following the game. "We felt that was our missing link at the end of last year. The last two weeks our guys have developed a nice physical presence, not in just the last two games but also in practice. We can see it all come together physically and that is something that is going to bold well for us down the stretch."

"Their new defensive coordinator Coach Robinson is an NFL proven guy and a two-time Super Bowl Champion Defensive Coordinator. He knows what he is doing," said Long. "They did a good job taking our pass game away. For some reason, I don't think teams believe that we really want to run the football. I get that feeling, because they are still trying to play pass coverage. I hope after today that they realize that we are going to run the football."

If anything, the offensive coaches will go to work this week in an effort to improve the Sooners' offensive game in the red zone.

"Finishing is the big thing and we didn't do a good job of that today," said Long. "We have always been a good red zone team here, and for whatever reason we are not finishing in the red zone like we need to be. With our experience and talent that we have on our team, you never know when we are going to get hot again. To have a young back like Adrian and Kejuan as well along with our offensive line, we should be doing better in the red zone."

***

This was also a game where the offensive line proved that all their hard work over the last two years has finally paid off. For the Sooners to make their transition in becoming a solid rushing club, the offensive line was going to have to become a top flight physical unit. Against Texas, they were just that.

"It feels good. Very seldom can a team go out and say that they have had the kind of success that we had against Texas," said senior center Vince Carter. "This is my last one and I tried to make it my best one and I think it was. This will be one of those stories I will be able to share with my kids and grandchildren."

"We have prepared for over a year to get this point of being able to be so physical that we could win a game off of our rushing attack," Carter continued. "Before the game we got together as a unit and said that we were going to take the game on our shoulders. It didn't matter if we were going to drop the ball, throw an interception or whatever in the passing game. We were going to play well enough up front to win the game, and we did that today."

The leader of that unit up front was very happy with the way that the run game and the offensive line performed.

"We added a little more misdirection this week and a little more away from the fullback," said Run Game Coordinator and offensive line coach Kevin Wilson. "We put in a little toss play that we ran out of the back end, and we ran that smoke draw that we ran a couple of years ago. They were holding their cards back on blitzes, but we were holding a card or two back too. We wanted to take advantage of there speed. They are a great defense that plays fast and we were taking advantage of Derrick Johnson, who was running fast and we were coming out of the back end. We used the little toss flip play that was awfully good and we got some good mileage out of that. We got some mileage out of misdirection. Our offensive line and J.D. were rock solid, and Bubba (Moses) was solid too. Then, when you add a home run hitter, it makes everything came together."

"I really thought we were going to struggle running the ball," Wilson continued. "I think we are very good running, but it surprised me that we ran it as well. I think we stumbled into some wrinkles that helped us in some formations to account for some guys. Adrian ran awfully hard and the tight end and fullback were very solid. Our counter plays off the toss allowed us to take advantage of some things. I was just disappointed that we had some great drives off of bad field position that we got nothing out of. We let them hang around and that allowed the game to be a little closer than it should have been. I am proud of the way we pounded them, and as far as four quarters go we wore them out. I am just proud of my guys for the way they played.

***

The behavior of Texas Defensive Coordinator Greg Robinson certainly showed a lack of class. It demonstrated that he is a sore loser and a guy that doesn't know how to handle himself in a game of this caliber.

I realize that Coach Robinson has coached in a lot of big games on the pro level, but to approach Coach Stoops after the game and to yell obscenities and throw at the OU fans is not becoming of a high profile collegiate coach. I asked Coach Stoops what Coach Robinson actually said to him, and Coach Stoops said he wasn't aware that he said anything to him. However, there are reports that Coach Robinson told him to just wait that next year the results would be different, or something to that nature. Nonetheless, that doesn't bother Coach Stoops at all. And in fact, it would give Coach Stoops something to build on. Coach Stoops didn't hear him and thus it is a moot point.

However, Coach Robinson couldn't avoid the pitfalls of being a jerk after the game. This quote came from the Associated Press.

"Their efforts were obvious. Oklahoma held the ball for 36-plus minutes, but three turnovers meant that the Sooners only got in the end zone once, with 8:07 to play.

"Robinson rubbed off on Texas, and a little Texas rubbed off on Robinson. As he ran up the tunnel beneath the cheering, jeering Oklahoma fans, he did his best Dick Cheney, dropping f-bombs and making one anatomically impossible suggestion. Yes, Robinson understands the nature of the rivalry."

***

Is Oklahoma's best football still yet to come? If history tells us anything, that will be the case following a successful Texas game in the Bob Stoops era.

"It has been for us in the past," said Bob Stoops. "The things that we have been off on in some of the early games have a lot to do with our fault, whether it has been an alignment or an adjustment where we were not as sharp as we can be. We give up some things when you are not that way. Usually, as we go through the season, this has happened virtually every year. We start to catch our rhythm and we eliminate those mistakes and we start to play a little bitter. Hopefully, that will keep happening this year."

***

By the way, next year Texas will return 16 starters off of this years team, while the Sooners will return nine. In many quarters that would make Texas the favorites in the game, but how can they be when Adrian Peterson will be playing for Oklahoma? That will give the Sooners the edge in most games that they play.


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