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Oklahoma football: Time for Bob Stoops to take stock, especially of his offense

COMMENTARY — The last time Oklahoma lost in Waco, Bob Stoops changed his defensive coaching leadership. This time it's his offense, and play-caller Josh Heupel, on the hot seat following a 41-12 loss to Baylor.
by Berry Tramel Published: November 8, 2013

And sure, the Sooners missed fullback star Trey Millard, who is lost for the season to a knee injury. But Baylor lost star tailback Lache Seastrunk early in the game, and his backup, Shock Linwood, ran for 182 yards on 24 carries.

But Heupel's status never has been lower. His gameplan, much like the Texas fiasco, didn't work at all.

And yes, if you've got quarterback trouble, you've got offensive trouble. But Heupel is the QB coach. Bell is a fourth-year junior who has had his moments (Notre Dame, Texas Tech) but who also hasn't seemed to develop like you'd expect from a veteran.

Two years ago, after Robert Griffin torched the Sooners for a 45-38 upset, Stoops was motivated to switch his defensive leadership. Within six weeks, Mike Stoops was in and Brent Venables was out.

So the Heupel watch officially has begun. Bob Stoops went 13 years without firing a coach. Now he's fired four and demoted another in the last two seasons. Stoops has proven he's got a guillotine and will use it.

The offensive failure was even more disappointing after the success against Texas Tech 12 days previous. You thought maybe the Sooners had turned the corner.

But no. At halftime, the Sooners had eight first downs. Four earned, four via Baylor penalties.

OU had third-and-goal at the Baylor 2-yard line (courtesy of three straight penalties) and fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line. And was stuffed.

OU got a 55-yard kickoff return from Jalen Saunders, to the Baylor 12-yard line, and settled for a field goal.

OU had a first down at the Baylor 31 and a 5-3 lead, and settled for a 48-yard field goal try that Michael Hunnicut pulled left.

Soon enough, the Baylor offense kicked into high gear, and the rout was on.

So the 7-2 Sooners are left to scramble for minor bowl positioning, while Baylor, Texas and OSU wrestle for the Big 12 championship.

And leaving Stoops to decide where to go next season with both his quarterbacking and his coordinating.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
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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