Taking UConn lightly?
Earlier this week, Bob Stoops fielded a question implying his team took Boise State too lightly in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl.
A Connecticut sports writer asked: “You look back a couple years ago with the Boise State team at the Fiesta Bowl. How do you guard against your team being too confident against a big underdog?”
Stoops took issue with the question. In fact, even portrayed the his Sooners as underdogs that season.
“I don’t believe that was our factor that year,” he said. “Everybody wants to say that. Let me tell you, Boise State was undefeated in that game with 26, 27, 28 seniors. We knew they were a very good football team. If you remember that year 2006, we kicked our quarterback off the football team to start the season. Our starting quarterback was removed the day we started practice. Everybody wrote us off that year. Nobody expected us to win the Big 12 Championship. So we fought, scratched, tooth and nail for everything we got that year to have a chance to win that game.
“In the end we gave ourselves a chance to win the game, and they made a play or two at the end of the game to win it. But it had nothing to do with us thinking that they weren’t a very good football team.
This, however, won’t be the only time the comparison comes up between Boise State, which beat OU in overtime in the Fiesta, and UConn, which also enters its Fiesta matchup against the Sooners as big underdogs.
Whether that was a factor in the Boise loss, one of the keys to this game will how Stoops keeps his team from heading to Phoenix too confident.
“That won’t be the case,” Stoops said. That won’t be a factor in the way we prepare. Our players know Connecticut’s — any time you win your conference championship, you have character, you’re a good football team. They’ve just won five games in a row. We get all that. When you have to compete, you respect that.”
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