OU-Missouri Locker Room Report

Bob Stoops, Kevin Wilson, Allen Patrick (pictured), Quentin Chaney, Paul Thompson, Lendy Holmes, Rufus Alexander, Zach Latimer and Brent Venables breakdown OU's 26-10 win over Missouri. (AP Photo)

It seems like when Oklahoma loses a game or two early in the season, people get so far down on them that they start to believe that they can't win again. So many people doubted the Sooners as they headed to Missouri, even the coaches and team sensed that many doubted they could win the game.

The oddsmakers picked against them, as they were two-point dogs going to Columbia. Most of the local media picked against the them as well, and the players and coaches certainly noticed that.

Gameday in Columbia was absolutely gorgeous as 62,045 fans poured into Faurot Field, but it wasn't a sellout. And for all the talk about this was the Tigers biggest home game in 50 years, it sure didn't feel like it. In Columbia, most fans Al Eschbach and I ran into were talking about the St. Louis Cardinals' World Series Championship, not about the upcoming big game between the Sooners and Tigers. We saw a lot more Cardinal jerseys than Tiger jerseys.

Yes, it was loud and Missouri is a fun place to watch a college football game, but the game wasn't a sellout. The Tigers actually had more fans in attendance for their home game with Kansas State the week before.

I also sensed that the Tigers were confident. But after spending some time around the Missouri media Friday, I got the feeling that while they weren't really sure if they could beat Oklahoma or not. That wasn't the case with OU, because they knew they could beat Missouri.

Yes, the Sooners respected Missouri, and they should have. The Tigers were 7-1 on the year and 3-1 in Big 12 play, with their only loss on the road at Texas A&M. However, the Sooners were a confident team heading into the game following solid Big 12 wins over Colorado and Iowa State. OU had played much better in both games on both sides of the ball, and defensively they showed great improvement moving up to 11th in the nation.

This was a game that OU knew it could win and expected to win, and they turned their nose to any questions concerning their underdog status. They never felt they were underdogs in this game, they knew they were the better team.

With the Sooners able to run the ball effectively, the offense took to grounding out yards. But most of all, they took advantage of Missouri miscues to score all of their 26 points. Defensively, the Sooners bent but didn't break, as they literally chased Mr. Daniel all day and in the process made the Tigers a one-dimensional team.

Junior safety Darrien Williams nailed Tiger running back Tony Temple on his third carry of the day, separating his shoulder and knocking him from the game. Tiger head coach Gary Pinkel said that Temple could have returned, but he just didn't and with that went the Tigers run game.

For the Tigers, the total load of offense fell on the shoulders of Chase Daniel, and he was good. The Sooners chased him all over Faurot Field sacking him once, forcing one fumble and forcing three picks. Daniel finished 23-for-44 for 284 yards and three picks, with another 75 yards rushing and one touchdown. In fact, all but one of the Tigers 360 total yards was generated by Daniel.

Missouri blew their chance to win early when sure-handed tight end Chase Kauffman dropped a sure-fire 66-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter. Instead, one play later OU senior linebacker Rufus Alexander tipped a Daniel pass into the hands of senior linebacker Zach Latimer, and seven plays later senior quarterback Paul Thompson has his first touchdown on a three-yard sweep.

In all, Missouri fumbled three times, Daniel threw three interceptions, three different receivers dropped potential touchdown passes. And they looked like OU early in the season with to many false-start penalties to count. Throw in a couple of personal foul penalties, none bigger than the roughing the kicker penalty against the William Moore when he ran into Sooner punter Michael Cohen in the third quarter, and Missouri certainly wasn't playing like a team that could beat a more athletic team like Oklahoma. In fact, it was Oklahoma who was playing like a confident team that knew how to win big games, not Missouri.

***

It is a long way from the field at Missouri to the Sooner locker room, as the players have to walk or run about 50 yards to the back of the stadium to their locker room. Many of the Sooner fans in attendance know the drill and they head down to an area where the team buses are. They can see the players and coaches as they walk by through a chain-link fence, and it was total jubilation as the team and fans celebrated the win.

Each player was saluted with an 'attaboy' a 'way to go' or 'Go Sooners' as they walked by. And each player had a smile from ear-to-ear as they slowly walked up a hill to their dressing room. Carl Pendleton, who recently announced that this would be his last year, was screaming up the ramp, "Yeah, baby! We can win on the road. Yeah, baby! We just got on one the road."

Many players were saying the same thing, and sophomore wide receiver Quentin Chaney probably had the biggest smile of them all. He started the season so far in the doghouse that he couldn't find the field, but on Saturday he caught his first pass of the season and it was a touchdown.

Offensive line coach James Patton was pounding all his guys on their shoulder pads as they walked off telling them what a great job they did of staying tough. Patton is an emotional coach and as the fourth quarter grinding down, you could find and hear him yelling encouragement to his big guys to keep going and keeping finish. 'Finish!' He was yelling at his offensive linemen.

So coming up the ramp, Patton was happy as his offensive line had just set the tone and the defense did their job. The Sooners were the more physical team. They forced turnovers, took advantage of the turnovers they got in return and in all they were satisfied with the win.

"You are just really pleased as a coach when you see your guys play the way they did," said OU head football coach Bob Stoops following the game. "On defense, the discipline and the way we tackled I thought was outstanding. Across the board, I thought the backers and the secondary covered so well. Everybody held coverage when he scrambled around and forced him to run. Guys pursued him (Daniel), chased him and never let him set his feet. I just thought coach (Brent) Venables and all of our defensive guys did a really good job."

"Offensively, I was just as pleased with the way we ran the football," Stoops continued. "I thought our line, tight ends and fullbacks had an outstanding game being physical and running it. That sets up all those nice play-action passes where you get those opportunities for checks, and Paul did a great job there as well.

"Special teams — Jason Carter made a huge play and we had a big fourth down stop. We got fortunate and lucky with the running into the kicker. aThat sure was a big factor in the game as well, and the fourth down stop."

However, Stoops felt nobody should have been surprised at how well they played.

"We have been playing well, so I don't know if these should be any surprising," said Stoops. "We have been playing this way for several weeks now. I think what everybody fails to look at is what different teams try to emphasize against somebody. Everybody gets enamored with all these statistics, but we all play different non-conference schedules and we all play different people leading up to the conference.

"Who wants to run it and who doesn't? Some people spread it out and some people have very little interest in running it. Sometimes I think that people don't really pay attention. The style of play and who you are playing comes into it."

***

If you listened and read the Missouri media following the game, you would think they just gave the game to the Sooners and that OU didn't do much in the game. That it was just Missouri's mistakes that did them in. Well, OU fans can tell you what mistakes can do to a football team, but the difference is when the Sooners makes mistakes they still have a chance to win the football game. Turnovers and mistakes are apart of the game, and who makes the least amount of those usually wins the football game.

"Turnovers were huge," said Stoops following the game. "I thought Marcus Walker's one (interception) was a great play. We just forced his hand a few times where he probably let a few go that he would like to have back, and we were in a position to catch them. I just thought our coverage and the way we were covering them and making them hold onto the football was really good."

It is also nice to finally have a little luck on the Sooners' side for a change, especially when a wide open receiver drops a sure touchdown pass.

"That was just fortunate," said Stoops. "They are so good at running their screens that they run the old fake the screen and run the wheel, and we bit on it. You get lucky and we got lucky on that play for sure. And then we get the interception. All those things that happen in games, sometimes you get a break. We were fortunate on the roughing (penalty) and a few of the interceptions.

"I would like to think we had a little something to do with some of those. Fumbles, sometimes, I feel are fortunate because someone lets it go. I don't like it when my guys let it go. Once you have it I think you should always have it. Interceptions are going to happen if you are throwing it that much, and fortunately we got ours."

Players know that the team that makes the fewer mistakes and takes advantage of the breaks given to them will win the game.

"We got a break on that pass early in the game when they had a guy wide open and he dropped the ball," said Zach Latimer. "It is what it is. He dropped it and we will take it. It was a screen and go and we came up for that screen. That guy went down, but luckily he dropped the ball."

The fact that the Sooners forced the Tigers to put the ball on the ground and throw to the wrong color is a testament to the fact that they are becoming a dominating defense again.

"I think any time that we get turnovers, it takes the crowd out of the game," said Latimer. "It took away the energy that the crowd was giving. It got our offense on the field and they put some points on the board. It was real big."

***

A telling point in the game came when in the third quarter the Sooners put up their best goal-line stand of the season, holding Missouri on four downs from the 1-yard line. And on fourth down, sophomore corner Lendy Holmes put his good athletic ability to use.

"For some reason, I thought they were going to go at me on that play and I was ready for it," said Holmes. "I can't explain why. Maybe Marcus thought they were coming to his side, but I was ready for it when their QB put it up. I can jump pretty good and I just timed my jump and got a little piece of the ball to knock it away."

For Holmes, it may be a sign of better things to come.

"A great play. Lendy Holmes is really coming into his own at being comfortable back there," said Stoops. "He is such a good athlete and he showed it on that play. He can make plays like that now. He is getting better and better."

At that point, the Sooners felt they were on their way to winning the game!

"That was the turning point in the game," said Latimer. "We held them out and the offense got it going back down the field and ran some clock. Alonzo (Dotson) had great play recognition on third down too. He knew that they were going to run that quarterback zone and he undercut the blocking and made a pile right there and it kept them out.

"It was real big play. And then Lendy makes the deflection on the next play. We had to play great defense on those plays, because we should have had the ball on the fumble before that. We were all over it, but just couldn't recover it."

Going into the Missouri game, the defense had improved to the 11th best total defense in the country. In the Texas game, the defense started to play assignment-sound and play better and the move of Reggie Smith from corner to safety had solidified the secondary. The goal-line stand gives further indication that this defense is ready to take it up a notch.

"First, we had to pop the ball loose and we just couldn't get on it," said Venables. "So you like the guys still playing hard. That is a good sign. Right there again, where it was first-and-goal inside the 3-yard line, and we stoned them. We knew our guys, from the way they responded, that they knew exactly what was coming and everybody played their responsibility. We made some big plays. Lendy knocking the ball down on fourth down and just doing what we asked him to do. He didn't do anything extraordinary, but just make plays that we are capable of doing.

"That is what we preached to them all week, and that was a great example of it. I thought Alonzo Dotson made an awesome play on third down to pile things up. I think we had a lot of guys make some big plays at key times. That set of downs ,and coming up with those stops, were huge. They were very, very pivotal in the game. I think, as tired as we were, we played the rest of the way off of that high and off that drive and it took the crowd out of the game."

***

It took a couple of series, but once the Sooner defense settled in and gave Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel a headache.

"It took us two series to get comfortable with what they were doing," said Alexander after the game. "When we came out that first drive, they scored a field goal. Then they were driving that second drive and the next time we came out we settled down and played pretty well. The goal-line stand speaks volumes about this defense and where we are at during this point of the season. I figured early in the season they probably would have scored, but we just stayed strong and stayed the course.

"Coach told us all weeks that they were going to make a bunch of plays, but that winning on the road is not easy and we came out there stuck with it. When you are in somebody else's home they are going to make plays, and all we had to do was stay the course and play defense. Chase is very elusive and he made a lot of great plays with his feet. Hats off to him. He is a great player, but we met the challenge today."

Missouri surprised the Sooners early in the game with some new formations and new wrinkles, but the name of the game in college football is adjustments and OU quickly figured things out.

"They no-huddled the whole day and had a faster tempo," said Stoops. "They were doing some things with their formations that they had not done. We made an adjustment after that series and got it straightened away. They get some momentum there, they are a good team. That is going to happen, so fortunately we made our adjustments, settled back down and made some plays.

"That was such a huge factor in the game, not only the fourth-and-one stops, but how we drive the ball off of the goal-line all the way down to about their 35 before we fumble it. Following that play, I was pumping them up on the sideline telling them that was a heck of a drive. They didn't want to fumble the ball and they are hanging their heads, but I said, 'Hey, we just took the ball off of the one-yard line and used up about five to six minutes of clock. That is a heck of a drive.' That is a big part of the game."

For the Sooners, it was just a matter of a few quick adjustments on the sideline.

"They would line up in a formation that we worked on, but then they would do just the opposite. They did it by personnel that would have certain assignments in past games, which we reacted to but in this game they changed it," said Venables following the game.

"It caused us a few problems there and it took us a couple of drives to get things ironed out. When we did, we settled back down. I thought it was really smart on their part. We did a terrible job of playing against it and coaching against it in the first half."

***

Daniel finished with his hand in all but one yard of the Missouri total offense, but for most of the game he ran for his life and the Sooners never let him settle in the pocket.

"How many times did he scramble around and he still couldn't throw the ball?" said Stoops. "All of our guys held coverage and eventually somebody got to him before he could a first down many times. He got a few, but many times he didn't. That is what I told the front, I told them that even when we didn't get him he wasn't allowed to set his feet. We were chasing him all day."

And many times, it was Latimer who was doing the chasing.

"He was a little, fast guy," said Latimer. "You have to pick them up and put them down to try to get him, which was tough. He kind of stayed behind the line though to waiting to see if you were going to come or not, and then he would throw it when he did. He was good with his ball fakes. He sure enough got me at the beginning of the game. One time he was going to throw it and I tried to bat it down, bit he took off with it. He was real good with his ball-handling back in the pocket."

While the D-line and the linebackers were chasing, the secondary was covering. When a QB is scrambling around and trying to buy time, those who are in coverage must stay in coverage. And the Sooners showed just how athletic they were in the back-end.

"They did a great job on all the scrambles so much of the time that he was looking for somebody to get it to, and he wasn't able to," said Stoops Sunday form the OU Football Complex. "We would get him out with a one-yard gain or push him out of bounds. Eventually, somebody would get to him for a minimal gain outside of the first time when he picked up the first down. They did a great job covering."

For the most part, Daniel forced the Sooner defense to play assignment football, which was something that they had struggled at this season.

"We knew that coming into the game. We knew what he liked to do," said Venables. "Some of that is by nature of what we were doing — dropping eight. We dropped eight more in this game than we have since we have been here. We were stopping their run game with our three-man front too. We felt good in that regard and, obviously, we can be better at keeping him corralled and not giving up some of those yards.

"That first third down of the game, he scrambles and makes our guys miss. We have a chance to tackle him before the first down and he makes a good play. He is a good player. He didn't win all those games in high school and have all the success here because he is surrounded by a bunch of good players. He is a very, very good player, a strong player, and he has an ability to run.

"Sometimes your fast guy is not always your best runner. Trust me, he is a 4.6 kid with really good short-area quickness. In space, he is a nifty player. Overall, we didn't want him to beat us with his arm, and we definitely didn't want them to have balance running and throwing. We were able to make them one-dimensional. That was a real big part of the game along with the turnovers."

Missouri can throw a lot of offense at a defense, but after the first two drives the Sooners were not surprised by anything the Tigers did the rest of the day.

"We have some packages when guys get tired, because they are not used to running within those packages in the two-deep during the course of the week. Who is on and who is off changing from a three-man to a four-man front, and there was some mis-communication," said Venables.

"We have to be smarter as a staff and have more awareness with our players to make sure we have the right package and the right players on the field. Sometimes, there was two and three guys coming off the field and they were just exhausted from all the pass rushing, and that forces your hand a little bit."

"We had a lot of players come through for us today," Venables continued. "Lewis Baker was our leading tackler. We played a lot of guys and Curtis Lofton and Zach rotated early in the game. I am really, really pleased overall with how our secondary played. When they have guys all over the field like that, occasionally somebody is going to get wide open and it is up to them to make plays. That is going to happen occasionally. You don't like it at all, but we came up with a lot of big plays, PBU's (pass breakups) and caused interceptions. I really like how we competed from finish to end."

***

Offensively, the Sooners went into the game knowing they could run the ball on Missouri, and they certainly did. Allen Patrick proved that he is not a bad replacement for Adrian Peterson and Jacob Gutierrez had 11 carries for 46 yards. Even Paul Thompson rushed for 28 yards on six carries.

"Adrian is awfully good, but I told him after the game that I don't know if he could have had as many as AP today," said Wilson. "Every other coach on our team disagreed with me on that comment. I think because AP didn't play a bunch early, he is fresh. Coach Gundy is going to spell those guys and play the guys as he needs. Several times, he says I need AP out right now and he would judge that and the running backs that he wants to play.

"I really thought we would have got Chris (Brown) in, but that is coach Gundy and his deal. I don't call for a certain running back, other than AP is our guy and he will spell the other guys accordingly. At the same time, as much as he is running it, and as we said earlier, we think we are getting better at blocking.

"We are not having a lot of negative plays and our tight ends, fullbacks and the offensive line is getting better. It is a group effort when you run the ball. As good as Adrian Peterson was, it wasn't just him running the ball. It is a group effort. We are close to being a decent run team right now."

"It looked like AP was more decisive and fast, but for him it happens fast," Wilson continued. "He has to trust what he sees and be decisive and not hesitate, because when he is stopping and not using his feet he is not the fastest back out there. He is just another guy standing out there. I am sure he missed a couple, but it looked like live that we blocked some things reasonably clean.

"I think we had them guessing when we were running and when we were passing. We had a nice flow, but like I said it would have been nice to hit a few more pass plays, to be a little cleaner finishing some drives. The two turnovers where we got drives going, but didn't get to it, would have been nice to clean that up. We need to keep that going to win next week when we go on road to Texas A&M."

***

Before the season started, coach Cale Gundy told OUInsider.com that Allen Patrick was very close, even better than Peterson in some athletic tests that OU Strength and Conditioning Coach Jerry Schmidt puts the team through in the off-season. Gundy said that Patrick was one of the best pure athletes on the team, and that was before the season started.

It is not surprising that Patrick was one of the last players out of the locker room, but when he came out he was ready to go another round.

"I feel good right now," said Patrick after carrying 35 times against Missouri for 157 yards (corrected yardage after mistake found in the stats following the game). If they wanted me to, I could play another game right now. I feel we had a good game on offense. I feel my O-line went out and played a good game and everybody capitalized and did their assignments. We were kind of sloppy, but everybody came around and picked things up.

"I really think the O-line came out and played a really good game today. We came out with a mindset of getting a little switch-up with some of our formations. We hit them with a few combinations, but in the end we just ran hard and played hard, and it worked out for us."

For those of us who grew up in the Barry Switzer era, it was great to see a few option plays. Thompson even scored on one on a three-yard run.

"It was a play that we practiced, and actually we had practiced them coming right at me," said Thompson. "I worked on pitching it after my first or second step, but after I pulled it back and looked I felt I had the edge on the corner on the defense so I just ran it in."

However, in the future you might see it more than just on the goal-line.

"Yeah, on that one on the goal line we thought they were bunched up in there and we actually wanted to do it on that one (drive) at the end (of the game)," said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson following the game. "However, we were worried about a fumble on that third down. It was a play that we worked on the goal line against this look, because we thought they would overload to stop our base power play and all that stuff.

"The kids played hard and we tried to have a good mix. We missed a couple of things that were there and we have to keep working on that. We have been practicing real hard and practicing real physical, and we are gaining on being a pretty good team right now."

The Sooners also continue to add offense as the season progresses.

"We need to be careful with how much we add," said Wilson. "We thought we needed some things in empty. We had a couple of play-actions and we missed one on fourth down. We were going for a shot that we actually had and missed. Each week it is not as much adding as complementing our formations and trying to take advantage of run angles, or passes that we think we are setting up based on our run looks.

"Paul played well, but he did miss some things, as he always does. Everybody always does, but he will keep working on it because he is a great young guy who works hard. We have to keep that pass game coming, because we missed a couple of things today — whether it be a protection breakdown once or twice or receivers a couple of times didn't run clean routes. Then Paul missed a couple (throws), but that is football. We will keep working on it."

***

Thompson did another solid job of running the team and making plays, which in turn drew rave reviews from the Missouri and National media. But Thompson knows the Sooner offense is still a work in progress.

"We came out and we were real confident in our game plan," said Thompson. "We came out and executed real well. It was still like every game that we want to correct. I think we will do that building into next week's game. It was hectic this week during practice, because we put in a lot. That is just confidence in the coaches believing what we can do. As we get further and further into the Big 12, we are going to have to show some things and surprise some teams.

"There were definitely a lot of plays that we had going in this week and we had a lot of different looks that we used. We have a lot of confidence in this team and in our coaches as well. I feel real comfortable where we are going and I think the team feels real comfortable with the diversity that we have had to overcome."

While Thompson's play may surprise those that aren't familiar with the Sooners,his ability is no surprise to those that work with him every day.

"We know Paul is a really good player," said Stoops. "I guess more people are seeing it now, but we felt that all along. It is pleasing that everyone else gets to see it and see what he is capable of. He is talented and he can throw the football. He is making great decisions and he is running a team out there at the line and in the huddle. He is handling the line of scrimmage in a great way."

For Thompson, driving off the goal-line after the goal-line stand was the drive of the game.

"I thought we did a good job moving the ball today," said Thompson. "That one time, when our defense did a great job and held on the 1 making a great stop, we moved the ball well. I don't think we scored on that drive, but we ate up the clock and got out of that hole we were in."

***

Good teams wouldn't be good teams, and coaches wouldn't be good coaches if they weren't still coaching at this point in the season. That is especially true on the offensive end, where there is always some tinkering going on.

"I guess we are trying to get more guys involved a little bit," said Wilson Sunday from the OU Football Complex. "Last week, we ran the quarterback a few more times and we ran the quarterback Saturday. I don't know that he is going to run 12 or 15 or 20 times, but picking the spots for 2 to 8 carries based on schemes is something.

"Last week, with Paul running, was different than this week. We thought on the goal line that they were going to bunch it in, much like Oregon where we couldn't get it in on our power plays. We kind of felt they would be very heavy in there like they were in previous games. At the end of the game, when we got the ball and kicked the last field goal, if we really wanted to get the first down this option would be out the gate. But you didn't want to take a risk of a live ball when it was a 13-point game. The option was put in last week looking at their defense and looking for a way to get the ball outside against their goal line defense. So, it was a goal-line type play."

"I don't know if our offense was more diversified or not, but we did try to get a few more guys involved," Wilson continued. "As much as anything, each week we are just trying to figure out what the defense is doing and what we need to do to beat it. We just need to be a little bit better here to be a little more efficient in the passing game than we have been. We haven't been bad, but we are not making critical plays. We are missing some things.

"We have played a couple of teams who have played some higher safeties, and we haven't gotten the ball over the top or had the big passing play. We need to get that going if we can. We don't want to come out and go bombs away and that kind of deal, but we are missing a big play or two in the passing game. A little more pass efficiency is what we need to keep working on down the stretch."

***

Coach Stoops said from first day he arrived in Norman that every position on the team would be open every day at practice, and those who worked hard and made plays at practice would play. So it is great to see when a player who never gives up is finally rewarded with playing time and he takes full advantage of it.

Sophomore wide receiver Quentin Chaney was so far off the depth chart at the beginning of the year, that true freshmen Adron Tennell and Brandon Caleb had passed him. Fellow sophomore Fred Strong was also getting solid reps early and Chaney was not even seeing the field.

But that all changed following the Texas game, when Chaney won the back-up spot behind Malcolm Kelly during practice. Since then, Chaney has seen a few reps every game and against Missouri caught his first pass of the year for a 15-yard touchdown catch.

"You have to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way," said Chaney. "It doesn't matter if you are a receiver or running back, you have to take advantage of having that ball in your hand. The opportunity was there for me and I had to make the most of it. I took advantage of my size on the touchdown catch.

"It is all about making a play. The ball came and I caught it. I felt the defender on my back so I just squatted down and pushed with my legs and got into that end zone. I got good inside position off the line of scrimmage and never gave it up, then Paul threw a great pass and all I had to do was catch it."

When Chaney wasn't playing, he could have been bitter and pouted. He could have quit working. Instead, he did just the opposite and he listened to his coaches.

"I knew it was something that I was not doing, but Coach (Kevin) Sumlin just told me to keep working," said Chaney. "I wasn't working hard enough and I needed to work more, so I just kept working and working until I was on the field. And I made the play today."

Chaney played so well against Missouri that even the head ball coach noticed!

"He made a nice play," said Stoops. "He got open on a slant route and Paul threw a perfect ball a bullet right on his chest. He put it in the end zone. He is making some improvement in practice and he is playing more. He needs to continue to do so."

***

Coach Stoops seems to say it every week, but the Sooners are a much better football team now than they were early in the season.

"It is a long year and we are getting better as we go through the year," said Stoops. "We are playing better and sharper, and we are being more physical in what we are doing. We are just getting better all the time. We are a young team still and we should just keep getting better the more that we play and the more experience that we get. We still have a ways to go, but we are going to keep improving."

Now it is on to College Station, where the Sooners have had some great games over the years. They will be facing a team that totally believes in option football on offense.

"You have to be awfully disciplined to cancel their option, because basically they are running the wishbone," said Stoops. "They are running the triple option, veer option, and that always requires you to be gap-sound, disciplined on how you read it and how you play it. He (Stephen McGee) does a nice job executing it."

***

One other note: Adrian Peterson is healing very well, and faster many people thought. It is not going to be a surprise if he does not play against OSU, and the bowl game is a certainty. It was great to see AD on the sideline rooting his team on, and you know he will fight for him team no matter what.

Six security guards surrounded Peterson through crowds onto and off of team buses, but on the sideline AD is a football player and it showed. Tiger's defensive end Xzavie Jackson was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct along the OU sideline when he made a late hit on Gutierrez. When some pushing and shoving ensued, AD did some shoving of his own. The OU trainers finally got him out of way, but it appears that his collarbone is feeling much better.

Could AD be back for Baylor? Nah! Maybe? Nah! Who knows? I mean, I would never put anything past AD!


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories