Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Overlook KU? Not Sooners

Oklahoma players take the field before their game Saturday against Texas in Dallas. The Sooners will entertain Kansas on Saturday.

Oklahoma players take the field before their game Saturday against Texas in Dallas. The Sooners will entertain Kansas on Saturday.


Captain Optimistic could look at 10th-ranked Oklahoma’s schedule, see the Sooners’ match-up with Kansas University on Saturday is sandwiched between last week’s Red River Rivalry game against Texas and next week’s showdown with No. 5 Notre Dame and think, “Maybe OU will overlook the Jayhawks.”

Don’t count on it, said Sooners head coach Bob Stoops on Monday morning’s Big 12 coaches teleconference.

Stoops said his squad prepared the same every week no matter the opponent, and he expected that to be the case for Saturday’s 6 p.m. game against KU in Norman, Okla.

“Just like we did last week, just like we will next week,” Stoops said. “There’ll be one name up on the board, and that’ll be Kansas. That’s all we’re thinking about.”

It stands to reason the Sooners would be a little more fired up than normal this week coming off of last weekend’s 63-21 pasting of the Longhorns. Not only did the victory — along with a West Virginia loss to Texas Tech — put OU right back in the Big 12 title race, but it also gave the surging Sooners an added dose of confidence.

Regardless, Stoops said that game was behind his team now.

“I’ve been here 14 years, and we’ve always had a game after Texas,” he said. “And through the years we’ve done pretty well.”

Indeed. Stoops is 9-5 against UT, but undefeated in the weeks following the Texas game during his 14 seasons, with an average margin of victory of 27 points. Five of those post-UT triumphs have come against Kansas.

“Our season doesn’t begin and end with Texas,” Stoops said. “Never has.”

OU defense dominant

After an early-season slip-up against Kansas State, the Sooners (4-1 overall, 2-1 Big 12) have bounced back, thanks largely to the dominating play of their defense.

During the past three games, OU’s first-string D has given up just one touchdown. Stoops said Monday that his brother/defensive coordinator, Mike Stoops, had a lot to do with that.

“He believes in being very disciplined, very technique-oriented, being physical,” Stoops said of his brother. “I think it’s always been our belief that you don’t play great defense by trying to fool people or trying to blitz. Sometimes you blitz yourself right into trouble.”

Weis also has been impressed with the approach taken by OU’s defense.

“It’s interesting to be able to watch a team that just lines up and plays,” Weis said. “So many defenses are gadgets and gimmicks and pressure on every down, and these guys just line up, and they just try to rough you up. They just line up and try to smash you in the mouth. It’s kind of old-fashioned defense, and they’re really good at it.”

Stoops on KU’s offense

During his regular meeting with the local media Monday, Stoops was asked for his thoughts on the KU offense. He made no mention of Weis’ move to turn to back-up QB Michael Cummings in place of starter Dayne Crist late in the game Saturday against Oklahoma State.

“They do a really good job of getting a lot of different sets, combining the run with the pass,” Stoops said. “Dayne Crist has thrown the ball well. They have good balance, and I see a lot of good players. Overall, they’ve been very competitive.”

Weis has not announced which quarterback will start at OU on Saturday, and he said earlier this week that he planned to give Crist and Cummings equal reps during practice to find out which guy gave KU the best chance against the Sooners.

KU-UT kickoff set

The Big 12 conference announced Monday morning that KU’s homecoming football contest against Texas on Oct. 27 will kick off at 11 a.m. and will be televised by Fox Sports Net, marking the third-straight week that the Jayhawks have appeared on FSN this season.

Kansas will welcome Texas to Lawrence for the first time since 2008, when the Longhorns claimed a 35-7 win at Memorial Stadium. UT leads the all-time series with KU 9-2, including 4-2 in games played in Lawrence. KU’s last win in the series came in 1938.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

I think that's the plan right now anyways.


Lucas Town 1 year, 6 months ago

I think that if we were sitting here at 3-3 or even 2-4 we continue to play Crist to try and find a couple of other wins. The first half of the season is gone and Crist just isn't panning out as many of us know. I think we start Crist against OU and then in the second quarter put Cummings in to finish the game. Throwing Cummings to the wolves might be detrimental. Start Crist and give him 2 or 3 possessions, if there isn't any sign of productivity switch it up.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

With the exception of the first half of the K-State game, we haven't looked to have as much fire as we did when Cummings was in the game.There's something to be said for that.

Is Cummings the answer to all our problems? Highly doubtful. But you have to make good use of the information you have at hand. And right now, the information is we looked much better with Cummings at quarterback.

It hurts Weis to admit that more than anyone. But it's something that needs strong consideration when addressing the future of this program.


wildjayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Better start Cummings and sit Crist on the bench next to Morningstar, O, wrong game.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

Gotta get his feet wet sometime.

And besides, the important thing is we put ourselves in the best position each week to win. Although, Aaron Rodgers couldn't lead this team to victory at Oklahoma.


rob4lb 1 year, 6 months ago

Let's be honest here. This is probably the worst game for a new quarterback to get his first start. KU's offense isn't very good and OU will probably be the toughest defensive opponent we will face. We were scoreless through three quarters against OSU's porous defense. I would like to see Cummings start against almost any other team in the league than OU just from a confidence standpoint. UT has a much better offense than KU and they were manhandled last week.


Jayhawker111 1 year, 6 months ago

Initially Kansas problems related to Weis handing the QB job to his Notre Dame recruit.

Weis kept saying that the talent level between Crist and the other QBs' on campus was not close.

Cummings proved Weis wrong on Saturday.

Crist is not the future of KU football. Crist should not ever see the field again.

If Weis plays Crist -- then Weis is not thinking of KU future.

Crist had his chance. Now if Cummings fails, then move on to the next Qb in line. KU should not go back to Crist.

Time to move on to the younger QBs'.


nuleafjhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

“There’ll be one name up on the board, and that’ll be Kansas. That’s all we’re thinking about.”

During basketball season - TRUE. During football season - it's what coaches have to say.


Jim Erickson 1 year, 6 months ago

I was proud of the way KU played OSU close. Moral victories only last for so long (and may be long past for KU Football Fans) but if we have a strong showing against Oklahoma, it would feel pretty good.

It would feel a LOT different right now if we had beaten NIU and Rice. at 3 wins, we would be at a place where we were constantly underdogs with an opportunity to steal a few against a few teams. This year had the makings of a solid and clear step forward. I may be repeating this point a lot, but it irks me to think of how big those losses were.


ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 6 months ago

35 points a week after the UT game and the week before the ND game!?!?!?

Free Money. Hawks cover!


Todd Simpson 1 year, 6 months ago

“Dayne Crist has thrown the ball well.....quick someone go see what Stoops is smoking so we can get him suspeneded for the KU game :)


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