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Berry Tramel  


OU football: What does lack of focus look like?

by Berry Tramel Published: October 25, 2011

After Texas Tech stunned the Sooners 41-38 Saturday night, Bob Stoops talked about a lack of focus. How OU had a couple of bad practices during the week and even some poor pregame meetings on Saturday. OK, I can buy that. But exactly what does that look like? How is a lack of focus manifested?

“You’re going through some walk through adjustments and you don‘t make the proper adjustment, or a guy is late making it,” Stoops said Tuesday. “Offensively, there’s more drops than you’re used to, or you’re having to repeat more plays, or where the spacing of a route is supposed to be.”

Immediate correction is the result. “You do it again, but at the end of the day, you can tell it’s not as sharp as it needs to be,” Stoops said. “You point out what isn’t nearly sharp enough.”

But, Stoops said, you can’t blame defeat on a lack of focus. “You can’t put it on that,” he said. “Hey, give them the credit. Maybe if we’d had great practices, they still would have done it to us. Through the course of the year, that can’t be an excuse.”

I actually don’t see lack of focus as an excuse. I see it as a reason. A lack of focus is just as much of being an inferior ballplayer as is lack of strength or lack of speed. You have to have them all. Football at this level is an intricate game. You’ve got to know what you’re doing. Don’t believe? Look at Manhattan, Kan., where Bill Snyder is winning big again by getting guys lined up properly with a singular purpose.

I think it’s quite likely the Sooners did have a lack of focus, and I think it’s quite likely that that did help Tech win the game, and I think it’s quite likely that a lack of focus helped make the Sooners the inferior team on Saturday night.

Stoops said Monday’s OU practice was good, but he warned that it’s early in the week.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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