I'm not superstitious. Really, I'm not. Despite the little quirks, like wearing the same shirt, socks, and hat to every game. Regardless, I know a bad omen when I see one. Just as I knew we were in for a bad outcome when the Sooner Schooner tipped over against Colorado years ago, and just as I knew seeing a dead cow by the side of the road was a good sign the day before the Texas game, I knew when the Pride's drum major went down during his pregame strut out in front of the band that something bad was going to happen in the game.
And lo and behold I was right, as the Sooners went out and, for the most part, stunk up the joint for a half. The last minute and a half of the first half was especially painful to watch, as we went from converting a third and 18 at midfield with plenty of time to score to handing KU a gift field goal because of stupid penalties, brain cramps, and the inability of Blake Ferguson to field a snap that hit him right in the hands. Fortunately, the bad karma brought on by the drum major's misfortune couldn't survive what was undoubtedly a fiery halftime speech from Bob Stoops, and in the end, the only dilemna was whether or not we should run the score up a little at the end of the game.
The highlight of the game had to be big Mo Dampeer's interception and rumbling return. The stadium was roaring, but I think half of them were cheering and half were laughing. Mo made a great play to pick the ball off, and he was obviously giving it everything he had and trying to take it to the house, but you could tell it just wasn't going to happen. I mean, he got caught from behind by an offensive lineman. That can't be good under any circumstances. Still, Mo has made the most of an opportunity to play that he didn't really earn, and has shown that he has the skills to be a difference-maker on the D-line. Imagine how good he'll be when he's actually in playing shape.
Despite the profanity-laced tirade he unleashed on the side judge, earning him a quick flag, it was nice to see Mark Mangino back in Norman. I watched before and after the game, and there were numerous Sooner players, coaches, and staffers that were either sought out by Mangino or sought him out for well wishes. While many Sooner fans weren't sorry to see Mangino and the horizontal passing game (which he brought back to Norman this weekend, coincidentally) leave, he will always be welcome here.
My sister-in-law came to the game with me. She had never been to a college football game, and she had an absolute blast, as you might have expected. Every time Chijioke Onyenegecha's name was announced over the PA, she broke out into uncontrollable giggles, which I thought was kinda funny.
But enough about the Kansas game. We are now on the eve of Bedlam, and all that entails. By all means, if you are headed up to the game, try to drive an "unmarked" car so as to avoid the potential for having your vehicle damaged by drunken farm types. I was shut out for OSU tickets this year, but got a pair from a fellow Sooner who refuses to go to Stoolwater for a game again after how he was treated up there the last time.
College GameDay has announced that they're coming to Stoolwater this weekend, which means that we're likely to have Chris Fowler and the boys following us two weeks in a row. The Aggy are already in a tizzy about it, coming off their big come-from-behind win over a team that got smoked by Troy State, and since GameDay has never been to Stoolwater before.
Of course, they don't comprehend the fact that, had Florida not gone belly-up against Mississippi State on Saturday, the GameDay Crew would likely have been in Jacksonville this weekend for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. They also don't comprehend the fact that the reason GameDay will be there is because we will be there. It'll be a cold day in hell before GameDay shows up anywhere for a non-Bedlam OSU game.
The Ags were fortunate to be able to come from 17-0 down to squeak one out against Missouri on Saturday, and they think their freshman QB is "coming of age." In reality, he is a poor man's Vince Young with a lot less experience, which ain't saying much. I've said it before and I'll say it again – one-dimensional offenses do not fare well against this defense, which is just now coming into form anyway.
Mark my words. The Sooners will not allow the Ags to win the game by pounding Vernand Morency all day, and they will not allow Donovan Woods to run the ball all over the place. If OSU is to win this game (and anyone would be foolish to admit that it's not possible), they will have to stop the Sooner offense and rely on Woods' arm to put points on the board. I just don't see that happening. 7 for 15 for 110 yards, a TD, and a pick doesn't inspire confidence in young Woods' passing acumen. If he can beat us throwing the ball, we will deserve to be beaten.
The Aggy will be up in arms from the beginning and even before, hoping that they can "Let 'er Rip" better this year than they did last year. However, it says here that, in the end, there won't be much to fear at Nose Pickens Stadium, save perhaps a case of tetanus and some unfortunate Sooner player taking a cheap shot and going into the concrete wall eight feet from the field.
Yes, however many millions of Boone Pickens' dollars they spent to try to polish the turd that is Rustoleum Stadium, they still only covered up the rust, and they still didn't do anything about that wall around the field. You'll still need to update your tetanus shot before setting foot in the place.
As for me, I'll be there, as usual. Fortunately, I managed to pick up tickets in the OU section, which will make things a little more tolerable. I will also have my lovely wife along in her orange, which should help avoid entanglements outside of the stands. Nevertheless, it'll be a quick day – up to Stoolwater, park, head to the stadium, watch us win, back to the car, on the road, and back home. I'm not spending one second more up there than I have to, and I would suggest you do the same. See you there.
The Road Warrior is your typical OU fan in the stands, with one notable exception. He's been in the stands for every Sooner football game, home and away, for 161 consecutive games, dating back to October 12, 1991. His views appear in each issue of Sooners Illustrated.
Road Warrior: See you in Stoolwater
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