While some Sooners defenders tried to brush off the idea that they thought much about last year's West Virginia game, safety Gabe Lynn said it wasn't a lost memory.
“I definitely still think about last year,” Lynn said. “It was horrible on our part, giving up almost 800 yards. That's ridiculous. We definitely are excited about this year.”
The Sooners didn't show near everything that's in their game plan last week, Lynn said when asked if OU had more in store to slow down the Mountaineers.
“Definitely,” Lynn said. “From the little we showed against ULM, you guys can see that also. It'll be interesting.”
STOOPS TAKES SUBTLE SHOT AT PREDECESSOR
The shot was subtle, but it was definitely there.
At his Monday afternoon press conference, Sooners coach Bob Stoops was asked about the importance of getting off to a quick start when you're making drastic changes to the offense like what OU did Saturday.
Stoops answered the question, then was asked a follow-up about not throwing out all the changes because of some struggles.
“I can't remember though where we've ever scrapped the whole thing after game one. I heard that happened here before where you went to the triple option and then all of the sudden after things didn't go so well for the first game or two,” Stoops said, trailing off.
That has happened at Oklahoma before, a year before Stoops arrived.
In 1998, the Sooners went to the option with quarterback Brandon Daniels to start the season.
The offense floundered against North Texas in the opener until walk-on Patrick Fletcher replaced Daniels and got things going.
Then the Sooners struggled against TCU in the second game and the offense went through an early season overhaul that wasn't productive. That OU team won three of its last four games, but John Blake was fired after the season, giving way to Stoops.
STRIKER LIKES COMING OFF EDGE
Sophomore Eric Striker was the beneficiary of an added linebacker last week, making his first career start.
Striker spent most of the game coming off the edge — standing near the line of scrimmage and helping put pressure on Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning.
Striker was recruited by Brent Venables and didn't expect to do much of that when he arrived at OU, but it's something he had experience in before.
“I made it into a craft and I've been doing it for a long time in high school and I'm getting better as I play,” Striker said. “The more reps I get, the better I get.”
PHILLIPS SHOWS IMPROVEMENT
Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said he could see sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who was making his first start, getting more comfortable as the game went on Saturday.
“Jordan wasn't perfect in his technique but I thought he played a lot more aggressive throughout the course of the night and played with better velocity and speed,” Stoops said.
Stoops said he expected bigger things out of Phillips this season, especially with Chuka Ndulue and Torrea Peterson returning at the spot after missing the opener.
“Jordan, as good as he was the other night, can be so much better and so much more of a dominating player as he continues to grow in this system,” Stoops said. “We're starting to get guys that are hungry to be on the field, and that creates competition and that creates good work habits and better play, believe it or not.
“A lot of guys aren't self-motivated. They need to be motivated by competition and we're starting to develop that throughout our front guys.”
HOLGORSEN PREPARES PLAYERS FOR NORMAN
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen has coached in Norman a few times.
His players have yet to go through the experience. Many have yet to make any type of road trip.
“I'll do my best with explaining to the guys exactly what to expect,” Holgorsen told The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette. “It's my job to prepare them, to not only tell them what they're doing on all sides of the ball, but also this is a new experience for about 35 guys who will be traveling with us to Norman.
“That's a lot of inexperience, but we won't let them use it as an excuse.”
Holgorsen isn't thrilled about playing OU, especially after last year's wild 50-49 Sooners win.
“I've been asked a lot if I'm excited about playing Oklahoma in Week 2 or if I'd rather play them Week 12,” he said. “The truth is I'd rather play them never because they're pretty good. I don't know if it really matters, to be honest with you.”