Oklahoma football: Sooners arrive in New Orleans, ready to 'finish business'

by Berry Tramel Published: December 27, 2013


photo - Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard, center, is greeted as the team arrives in New Orleans on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. Oklahoma plays Alabama in the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)  Rusty Costanza
Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard, center, is greeted as the team arrives in New Orleans on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. Oklahoma plays Alabama in the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza) Rusty Costanza

NEW ORLEANS – The Sooners arrived at the Sugar Bowl hotel Friday. The Marriott on Canal Street is two blocks from Bourbon Street.

But Bob Stoops isn't worried.

“These young guys could find trouble if they wanted to about anywhere,” Stoops said at a Sugar Bowl press conference at Louis Armstrong International Airport. “Oklahoma City's a big town right up the road from us, and we seem to manage to not do that.

“We haven't been a team that's really had a lot of trouble. So in the end, I'm going to trust ‘em like I always do.”

Here's how much Stoops trusts his troops. He asked captain Gabe Ikard for advice on when to set the curfew the first couple of nights in New Orleans.

“Easiest negotiation I've ever had with coach Stoops,” said Ikard, OU's all-American center.

Ikard wouldn't' reveal his suggestion, but he said Stoops took it readily.

“OK, that'll work,” Ikard said Stoops responded. “He realizes we have a lot of senior leadership on this team … we have a lot of character guys on this team, and this means a lot to them.”

Another captain, cornerback Aaron Colvin, is making his first trip to New Orleans.

I heard it's a pretty fun place, but we have some dedicated guys on this team,” Colvin said. “It's a 100 percent business trip.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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