“We'll be better than you think,” Stoops said. “Believe me. Everybody just relax. We just got to go out and coach 'em. We'll be OK.”
He sang a similar, although maybe not quite as confident, tune after Monday's practice, when the nature of Evans' injury was disclosed.
“A couple of tough breaks, but we've still got guys in there we really like,” Stoops said. “But yeah, it makes you a little more thin.”
Crises' come and crises' go for OU football, but this one can't be taken too lightly. Yes, Gabe Ikard will be great at center, and sophomore Adam Shead should be just fine in his return to the lineup.
Junior Bronson Irwin has no career starts but good game experience and has the unbridled confidence of his coaches.
But still, a veteran, record-setting quarterback in Jones and a running back, Dominique Whaley, who is just returning from a severe injury could be cause for concern if there are questions about the guys blocking for them.
Running backs coach Cale Gundy, for his part, said he thinks the line will be just fine, and if it isn't, he's still confident his group will carry on.
“We're gonna put five guys out there, whoever they are, and they're going to play well,” Gundy said of the offensive line after Evans' injury became public. “If they don't play well, it's my guys' job to make somebody miss or run through an arm tackle and make a play.”