Senior offensive tackle Lane Johnson said Monday that coach Bob Stoops and quarterback Landry Jones have really amped up their calls for improvement as the Sooners enter Big 12 Conference play Saturday against Kansas State.
“Especially last week in our scouting report meeting on Monday,” Johnson said. “Coach Stoops emphasized making less mental mistakes and focusing on the job and not worrying about outside distractions. Even Landry stepped up and was vocal about it, knowing we've got to pick ourselves up and get better.”
Johnson also said intensity has been higher now that the team is finally playing a conference game. OU beat UTEP 24-7 in a lackluster performance to open the season, and then routed FCS opponent Florida A&M 69-13 two weeks ago.
“Usually, we'll go against scouts during game week, but we went against our defense a few times,” Johnson said of bye week practices. “That was pretty intense for sure.”
LEHMAN FINALLY TACKLED SPROLES FOUR YEARS LATER
Four years after No. 1 Oklahoma was routed 35-7 in the Big 12 championship game by Kansas State, then-senior linebacker Teddy Lehman finally caught up to Darren Sproles.
In the Big 12 title game, Sproles gashed the OU defense for 235 yards on 22 carries, a 10.7 per-carry average. He also caught three passes for 88 yards, which included a 60-yard touchdown reception.
A little over four years after the Big 12 debacle, in December 2007, Lehman's Detroit Lions went to San Diego to play against the Chargers, and Lehman ended up on the wrong end of another rout against Sproles' team.
Sproles had 25 carries, 122 yards and two touchdowns in the 51-14 beating of Detroit.
“I tackled him on a play and said, ‘I finally got you down, man,'” Lehman remembered. “It was at the end of the game and they were blowing us out; He started laughing because he knew exactly what I was talking (about).”
SHEAD ON SNYDER
It's a media favorite to ask a football player if they know the legacy of a certain player or coach. When Adam Shead was asked the question this week, he gave an answer that showed Bill Snyder's legacy is understood at Oklahoma.
“We went up there last year and their freaking stadium is named Bill Snyder ... Snyder family,” Shead said. “I forgot the name, but it's Snyder something. That must me something because the coach is still there and he's coaching right now, so yeah.”
The official name is Bill Snyder Family Stadium, but Shead was close. Despite the official name, Shead acknowledged that Kansas State is a strong football program.
“I remember them being a really solid football team,” Shead said.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, on his secondary which is largely the same as it was in last year's 58-17 loss to Oklahoma.
“The secondary, with the exception of David Garrett, is virtually the same. That is good news. The bad news is that they got torched a year ago. Hopefully, the experience has worked in their favor.”