Bob Stoops and Florida A&M coach Joe Taylor have a history.
They coached together in the 2002 Hula Bowl, along Steve Spurrier and Dick Tomey.
A picture of the four coaches, coaching in their sandals, hangs in Stoops' office.
“That was the one time I got to do that, and it was pretty special,” Stoops said. “Joe's a great guy and runs an excellent program. They've got a bunch of good athletes as you watch them play.
“You can tell they've done a good job recruiting and are very sound in the things they do.”
Taylor became FAMU's coach in 2008, after 16 seasons as coach at Hampton (Va.).
SHEPARD SEES FIRST ACTION
True freshman receiver Sterling Shepard had limited action Saturday at UTEP, and the former Heritage Hall standout said he thinks his role will increase in the Sooners' offense as he gains more experience.
“The first time I ran out there was really exciting,” said Shepard, whose late father, Derrick, was a receiver on OU's 1985 national championship team.
“You've got a lot of stuff flying through your head, and you've just gotta remain calm and try to play the game. I tried to do what I could for however long I was in there.”
Shepard said any future playing time this season is up to co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel.
“I think it may increase,” Shepard said. “We'll just have to see. Coach Heupel knows what he's doing.
“Whenever I go in, I'm gonna be ready and I'm just gonna try to make plays. That's how I'm gonna be able to get on the field even more.”
HURST PLEASED WITH SECONDARY
Senior cornerback Demontre Hurst said he's pleased with the overall effort of the Sooner secondary last week against UTEP.
“They just came out on fire,” Hurst said of the Miners' opening drive. “They executed their plays. Big ups to them; they got us off balance a little bit.
“We got the first drive under our belt and we kind of settled in. We didn't give up that many big plays.”
The secondary, much maligned for its play in OU's losses last season, is in its first season back under defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, who returned to Norman after eight years as Arizona's coach.
“This is the start,” Hurst said. “We're going to try to build every game we play, get better, fundamentally, really go out there and execute our plays.”
‘I'M NOT RYAN; I'M KENNY'
When Kenny Stills ran for his longest touchdown in his career, it was also his first official game without former wide receiver Ryan Broyles.
Now playing in the slot, Stills drew even more comparison to Broyles after the game at UTEP. After Broyles went down with a season-ending injury, Stills did step in at slot. Against the Miners, he felt like there was plenty to improve on.
“I thought about the criticism I took, and I went out there and played my best,” Still said. “I'm never gonna be Ryan. I'm looking to play my best and play the best I can in the slot. I felt like I kinda made a statement.”
In the offseason, the worry was on how Stills and the new wide receivers would replace the large numbers that Broyles put up in just half of a season last year. But Stills said this week he isn't frustrated constantly being compared to a player who now runs the field for the Detroit Lions.
“I love Ryan, and Ryan deserves all the credit that he gets,” Stills said. “It's expected from me to match that, but I'm not Ryan; I'm Kenny. I'm here to play my game and give my best.”