NORMAN — Oklahoma's Bob Stoops has coached alongside and against Kansas State's Bill Snyder for close to 20 years.
Stoops gave insight during his Monday press conference into Snyder, the coach and the swimmer.
Stoops knows Snyder, so it never came as a shock to him when Snyder retired and then, like so many athletes and coaches do, decided to return to coaching.
“He doesn't do anything without a lot of thought, but then again I know how much he enjoys the game and the preparations ...,” Stoops said. “Coach is a great competitor, he's a great coach. So in the end, that's probably there and he's thinking, ‘Hey, this is what I do.' And he's going to do it longer.”
Knowing Snyder as well as he does, it didn't take Stoops long to think of something that not many people know about Bill Snyder.
“Way back ... I think he was a swimmer,” Stoops said. “He liked to swim for exercise. Sorry, Coach. Hopefully he's not mad that I let that out of the bag. I think it's been a while though.”
Stoops realized that Snyder liked to swim when he visited him at his home in Manhattan, Kan., and saw a swimming lane installed in his pool.
WHO IS OKLAHOMA'S NO. 1 RUNNING BACK?
Dominique Whaley or Damien Williams?
The story of the running back who went from walk-on to injured to scholarship player, or the story of the running back who went from junior college to Oklahoma history books in his first two games?
After two games, Whaley has 117 rushing yards. Williams has 259.
Who is Oklahoma's No. 1 running back?
Stoops won't say.
“What's it matter?” Stoops said from the podium during his weekly press conference. “They're both going to play and so is Brennan Clay.”
LOCKETT NAMED SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kansas State sophomore Tyler Lockett, a former Tulsa Washington standout, was named the Big 12 Conference's Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday.
North Texas took an early 7-0 lead Saturday on the Wildcats, but Lockett returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. It was his third career kick return for a touchdown; he now sits alone in second place in K-State history. Lockett is two away from tying the school record.
He finished the night with 119 yards on two kickoff returns.
CONNECTION BETWEEN STOOPS AND K-STATE QB COLLIN KLEIN
Stoops used to coach with Doug Klein, father of Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein. The two worked together on the sideline at Kent State (Ohio), where Stoops served as the defensive end coach, and Doug Klein coached the quarterbacks.
“It was his first full-time job and mine,” Stoops said. “Little piece of trivia there for you.”
Years later, Stoops would look to 6-foot-5, 226-pound Collin Klein and Snyder's use of his quarterback to help build a similar run package for OU's backup quarterback: Blake Bell. Thus, the birth of the Belldozer.
Doug Klein is no longer a coach. According to an article in the Wichita Eagle, he is now a real-estate manager.
STOOPS JOKES THAT OU WON'T USE BELLDOZER
Stoops was asked Monday about the similarities between Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and OU's backup, Bell.
“Blake is similar to him in that he's a big guy, a strong guy,” Stoops said. “So, there's similarities there.”
The Oklahoma coach admitted Klein was the inspiration for the short-yardage “Belldozer” package, in which the sophomore Bell enters games and plows ahead for first downs and touchdowns.
But Bell won't play the role of Klein for the Sooners' scout-team offense this week. True freshman Trevor Knight is simulating Klein against OU's first-team defense.
“We're not going live in practice,” Stoops said. “Trevor is perfectly capable of running in the same spaces as Collin Klein is gonna run in. We just have to make sure we're there in those spaces with the discipline of our reads that we're where we should be.
“Whether we tackle him or not doesn't matter. We're not tackling out there every day. If we did, I wouldn't have anybody ready for Saturday.”
When asked if Bell will play Saturday against the Wildcats, Stoops joked: “No, we're not going to use Blake anymore. We're done with that package. Why don't you put that out there.”
Through two games this season, OU has scored touchdowns on all 10 of its trips into the red zone, and none of them have been on Bell runs.
So does that fact have any bearing on future games, when Stoops is deciding whether to bring Bell in or not?
“Not really,” he said.
LANDRY JONES RELAXED DURING BYE WEEKEND
Like many college football enthusiasts who had Saturday off, Landry Jones sat down to watch an afternoon game.
But for a moment during Monday's news conference, Jones had trouble recalling exactly which game it was.
“I watched a little bit of ... golly, who was it?” Jones said.
“I can't remember who I watched, but I fell asleep right in the middle of it.”
A few moments later, he remembered.
“I didn't watch USC-Stanford,” he said. “I watched a little bit of Alabama, but then, like I said, there was a little bit of a nap in there.”
No. 1 Alabama, of course, routed Arkansas 52-0 in Fayetteville. There were probably plenty of Razorbacks who wish they'd slept through the scoreless loss, too.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM AND JASON KERSEY