The Edmond Sun

Sports

October 8, 2012

Sooners regain confidence after healthy Texas Tech win

LUBBOCK, Texas — The offers of vindication or validation were plentiful early Saturday evening. Two weeks after the sky seemed to be falling on the Sooners, they had just responded with a dominant 41-20 victory over Texas Tech.

OU coach Bob Stoops wasn’t interested in any of it. To him, the sky was in the same place it was two weeks earlier.

“What we care about is what we’re doing. How are we getting better? Stick with each other, recognize the elements we can control and change,” he said. “… We’ll just keep doing what we do, trying to get better in how we work and how we go to meetings. Our guys have had a great attitude. I keep saying that. They worked hard, and they played hard.”

The Sooners (3-1, 1-1 Big 12) proved their coach right with their performance against Texas Tech. There wasn’t a phase that didn’t show improvement in a victory that ended a three-game losing streak at Texas Tech’s AT&T Jones Stadium.

Players didn’t seem too interested in quieting critics either. They’d been through a rough two weeks and emerged with a big, momentum-building win at a critical time.

OU, which jumped four spots to No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday, has entered its most intense week of the season. It concludes on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas against No. 15 Texas (4-1, 1-1).

“I thought it was a big win for the team’s confidence — especially offensively,” center Gabe Ikard said. “I thought we executed really well against a defense that was ranked first in the country — statistically.

“I think it was good. I think it was whatever you want to call it. It was good to go on the road to a tough environment, a place we hadn’t won in a long time, a team that beat us last year, so to come here and get a win was big for our confidence and big for our season.”

The loss to Kansas State on Sept. 22 did knock OU off course. However, it became obvious in Lubbock and elsewhere on Saturday that OU has the potential to get back in the national championship race.

The Red River Rivalry always offers the kind of national stage few teams get to enjoy. Play well and win and the Sooners’ momentum continues to build with a showdown with No. 7 Notre Dame on Oct. 27 on the horizon.

Consistent play from their quarterback is something the Sooners must have in the Cotton Bowl. Landry Jones didn’t have gaudy numbers — 259 yards and two touchdowns, but he did play his most efficient game of the season. He didn’t come close to throwing an interception and engineered touchdown drives on three of OU’s first four possessions.

“I think we played up near to where we are capable of playing on both offense and defense,“ Jones said. “I felt like we really just did a good job on both sides of the ball and building confidence going into Texas. They are a really good team and a good defense and offense. They are really capable of doing a lot of good things. To have a game like this and have that momentum going into next week is nice.”

Perhaps that was the only thing OU lacked in its first three games. It was a team that shot itself in the foot with turnovers and made some defensive breakdowns. Those things were absent against the Red Raiders and the result was an unexpected rout.

The Sooners looked like a different team because of it and enter Texas week feeling a transformed.

“We have confidence,” safety Tony Jefferson said. “We proved ourselves.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • spts-EN Jaci Smith long backhand.jpg Wallar voted National Tennis Coach of the Year finalist

    The National High School Athletic Coaches Association honored  Dee Ann Waller, coach and teacher from Edmond North High School, as a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in tennis.   
    Eight finalists from across the nation were chosen to be honored during The National Coach of the Year awards banquet that took place during the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s national convention June 14-18, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wy.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Hershey Mary McKey.jpg McKey to compete in North American final

    Edmond’s Mary McKey, who attends John Carroll Catholic School in Oklahoma City, qualified for the Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final after winning the Hershey’s Oklahoma State Meet  June 28.
    McKey, 12, had the fastest time in the region that consists of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. Hershey only accepts eight runners from North America.
    McKey is a Catholic grade school champion and the first Catholic student to qualify for the North American final. She is also a Jim Thorpe Games 400-meter      champion.
    The North American final will run Aug. 2           in Hershey, Pa.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former quarterback Bell has pedigree to dominate at tight end for Sooners

    The question came quickly to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Are there any plans to use Blake Bell at quarterback — in some capacity?
    “That’s funny, it keeps coming up,” Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “Blake was recruited definitely as a quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro-type at tight end. He’s got great hands, great size. He can run. Natural spacing as far as where to be in his routes.”
    So, the answer is no.

    July 25, 2014

  • Smith ready to begin the next chapter with Ravens

    During his long drive to Maryland from his North Carolina home Sunday, veteran wide receiver Steve Smith had plenty of time to think about an offseason defined by a dramatic change in his life.
    After 13 years with the Carolina Panthers, Smith was cut in March following one of the least productive seasons of his career. The Ravens promptly signed him to a three-year, $11 million contract.
    Smith remained in a reflective mood as veterans officially reported to camp Wednesday. Smith, however, showed up Monday eager for his new start.

    July 25, 2014

  • Blackmon.jpg Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint

    The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
    Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • spts-ESF Max McGreevy state champ.jpg Santa Fe alum McGreevy makes U.S. Amateur

    OU’s Max McGreevy, an Edmond Santa Fe graduate, and University of Tulsa’s Logan McCracken qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur, the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) prestigious annual event featuring the world’s finest amateur golfers. This year’s championship will be held at the venerable Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in Johns Creek, Aug. 9-17.

    Qualifying Players
    Max McGreevy, Edmond 67-65—132
    Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 69-66—135

    Alternates
    1st Alt. Garrison Mendoza, Clinton 69-71—140
    2nd Alt. Thomas Johnson, Norman 71-69—140

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-OC Rhein Gibson 17 tee.jpg Gibson closes British Open with a 78, 3 birdies in final 6 holes

    Even if he didn’t post the score he wanted, Rhein Gibson left Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Sunday knowing he at least finished strong.
    Gibson’s final-round 6-over-par 78 at the British Open looks a lot better when one considers he birdied three of his final six holes. The Oklahoma Christian alum finished his first major championship at 10-over-par 298 — in 72nd place overall — earning himself a paycheck of $20,840.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-OGA Reid mug.jpg Edmond’s Reid comes back to win Senior Stroke Play

    James Reid, of Edmond, rallied to win the OGA’s Senior Stroke Play Championship with a smoking 67 July 15 at the Trails Country Club in Norman. Edmond’s Jon Valuck tied for fifth place.
    In the pro series, Cameron Meyers of Edmond shot 68-70 for the top prize while Andrew Green of Edmond finished third.

    Oklahoma Golf Association
    Senior Stroke Play Championship
    July 14-15
    The Trails Golf Club
    Final Results

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-AF Will Conant kicker.jpg Air Force kicker Conant named to Groza Award watch list

    Air Force senior Will Conant, an Edmond Memorial graduate, is one of 30 players nationwide to be named to the 2014 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award watch list, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
    Conant hit 32-of-33 PATs and 11-of-13 field-goal attempts last season. He ranked third in the conference in field-goal percentage with an 84.6 mark that is the fourth-best in school history and best since Joey Ashcroft hit 88.8 percent (16-18) in 2002.
    Conant is one of two kickers in Air Force history to hit three times from 50-plus yards in a season. He hit three 52-yard kicks last season (versus Colgate, San Diego State, New Mexico), matching Ryan Harrison’s three 50-plus field goals in 2007. Conant’s three 50-plus field goals already rank him third in school history in career 50-yard field goals.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Photos