Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops at a preseason fan rally said “it's about time we won one,” referring to a national title.
Having lost two games in which they were 15- and 27-point favorites, the Sooners are out of the chase to play in the national title game.
“To do it over a long period of time, isn't the easiest thing to do,” Stoops said. “For the most part we've had a pretty good measure of consistent success of continually hovering around and being in the discussion, being in the hunt for a good number of years.”
Because they were ranked No. 1 in the preseason, a follow-up question at his weekly luncheon was whether changes are needed for the Sooners “to get over the hump.”
“In the end, who else is there that much?” Stoops said. “Who else has had that many opportunities? I don't think anybody. So what are they doing (not) to be there more than they've been? It's not easy. There are 110 or whatever number teams.
“Everybody is well aware of what's talked about all the time — parity. Every school has (good) players anymore. It's no different than anyone else over the last 10 or 11 years. We've been in it as much as anybody. It's just not easy to do.”
WILL JEFFERSON MOVE TO FREE SAFETY?
Free safety Javon Harris was repeatedly the victim on several of Baylor's big plays in a 45-38 loss.
Will Harris start Saturday against Iowa State? Will coaches move rover linebacker Tony Jefferson to free safety, a position he has played this season?
“If you do that then you have to have someone else doing what he's doing (at rover),” Stoops said. “We have to process who would cover the guy down low on crossing routes. They'll try to man him up, too. Believe me, I thought of that. Sometimes you can rob Peter to pay Paul.”
BELLDOZER PACKAGE EFFECTIVE
Backup quarterback Blake Bell scored four of the Sooners' five touchdowns in the Belldozer short-yardage package in the loss at Baylor.
The redshirt freshman quarterback has scored a touchdown or picked up a first down on 17 of his 25 carries in OU's version of the “wildcat” formation.
“Blake has done a great job with it. Blake is a big guy, 255 or 260 (pounds),” said center Ben Habern. “He's a guy that can move and is athletic. It's fun. We know when Blake is in, it's time to grit our teeth. It's a great scheme. It works. And we like it.”
HAYWOOD ATTEMPTING COMEBACK
Sophomore tight end Austin Haywood quit the team last month but has returned in an attempt to be reinstated. OU's top two tight ends are seniors — James Hanna and Trent Ratterree. Haywood would be the favorite to start next season if he can prove he's willing to put in the work.
“We'll see if he's successful or not,” Stoops said. “He has a ways to go...
“It's doing what you're supposed to be doing off the field, attending class, tutor (sessions), being on time, attending your weight workouts, completing them the proper way, showing up at practice, working hard with a good attitude. It's not that hard. Do what you're supposed to do and meet all your obligations.”
WHALEY UP FOR WALK-ON AWARD
Junior running back Dominique Whaley was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Burlsworth trophy, presented to the nation's most outstanding football walk-on. Three finalists will be announced on Nov. 29.
Whaley is OU's leading rusher (627 yards) despite playing in only six full games after suffering a season ending broken ankle on the first play of the Kansas State game.
Stoops said wide receiver Ryan Broyles underwent successful knee surgery on Monday with highly acclaimed surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Alabama. ... Stoops said he would not comment on his brother, Mike Stoops, possibly joining the staff. “Mike will have plenty of opportunities. It's not like he's going to be sitting there without a job. That's not something I need to deal with right now. I have enough to think about,” Stoops said. ... Wide receiver Jaz Reynolds (sore shoulder) is questionable for Saturday's game. ... With defensive end Ronnell Lewis out two to three weeks with a sprained knee, David King and R.J. Washington will share more snaps the next two games.
By Mike Baldwin