The Edmond Sun

October 2, 2012

Sooners’ history in Lubbock not great

John Shinn
CNHI News Service

NORMAN — Oklahoma returns to Texas Tech’s Jones AT&T Stadium for the first time since 2009 on Saturday. But that three-game losing streak at Tech, built with losses to the Red Raiders in 2005, 2007 and 2009, is waiting for them.

The Sooners’ history in Lubbock, Texas, hasn’t been great.

OU lost in 2005 after a pair of controversial on-the-field calls and replay reviews went against them. In 2007, quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a concussion on OU’s first offensive series.

OU coach Bob Stoops said the losing streak has nothing to do with misfortune or bad luck.

“There’s common threads any time you lose a game whether it’s Tech or anybody else. There are turnovers issues, injury issues, execution issues,” he said. “So, no, there isn’t anything spiritual or spooky about it. OK. It’s just playing ball. Sometimes you play better than you do at other times. It’s just how it is. Anytime you play, it can be different.”

OU-Texas time announced: The Big 12 Conference announced on Monday that the Oct. 13 OU-Texas game will kick off at 11 a.m. from the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and will be televised nationally by ABC. The kickoff time means OU will play back-to-back afternoon games for the first time since playing Florida State and Air Force on consecutive Saturday afternoons in September of 2010.

“Yeah, when you lose a game you don’t get the night games as much,” Stoops said.

The grind begins: After being off two of the last three Saturdays, OU begins a stretch of nine straight games through Dec. 1. Center Gabe Ikard said having two bye weeks in the first month of the season was awkward.

“You don’t play, you play, you don’t play. I’m not used to practicing without having to play a game,” he said. “It’s kind of, you get a little tired of it, but our coaches made sure we were on edge during the bye week. We did a lot good-on-good stuff. We got a lot of good work in, so it’s been pretty awkward, but now we probably won’t be complaining. We’ve got nine straight weeks of the grind, so we’ll see. I’m sure we’ll look back and appreciate the bye week.”

Extra work: OU got some extra work on Texas Tech by simply practicing against itself. Stoops said they practiced more using starters against starters last week because of the similarities the Sooners and Red Raiders share offensively.

“It just worked we were able to,” he said. “We were comfortable with the schemes each were playing, to go against each other that we’re getting good work for Texas Tech.”

Bye work: After losing to Kansas State there were questions about how the Sooners would handle last week’s practices. Tom Wort said it was one of the most productive weeks OU’s had.

“This past week was one of the best weeks of practice that I’ve seen. Guys were physical and excited to be out there. They bounced back with a great attitude and that’s something that I was real pleased to see,” he said.