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OU coach Bob Stoops: Late-game woes key to final 5 games

by Michael Baldwin Modified: October 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm •  Published: October 25, 2010

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said his biggest concern heading into the final five games is to find a way to finish games strong.

Missouri dominated the fourth quarter to win 36-27 Saturday night, handing OU its first loss.

"After giving up the touchdown right off the bat on the return, we fight back to lead 21-20 at the end of the third quarter," Stoops said Monday on the Big 12 teleconference. "Really our defense has given up only 13 points.

"But in the fourth quarter as a team we didn't play very well. The offense has three three-and-outs and an interception and the defense gives up 98 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. We have to keep our consistency and play better in the fourth quarter."

The Sooners have been outscored 77-30 in the fourth quarter. Because it's been a season-long issue Stoops asked why it's been so difficult to finish strong.

"The schemes don't change in the fourth quarter," Stoops said. "That's where it's kind of frustrating. Everyone's game plan is out in the open by the fourth quarter... We'll emphasize some things in practice and how we're trying to do it. In the end it's just maintaining that pace throughout the game.

"We'll try a few wrinkles in practice. You've just got to be able to play the same way throughout (the entire game)."

Missouri spread the field, consistently having success over the middle where the Tigers gained a lot of their 486 yards.

"In our soft zones in cover three we weren't very good," Stoops said. "Tackling a time or two (was an issue). We had a busted alignment and a couple of poor calls in what we asked our guys to do. All that together we feel we're capable of playing better. But I also thought Missouri's execution was excellent."

Three turnovers were pivotal. Landry Jones threw two interceptions. On both occasions Jones locked onto a receiver.

Sound Off: Fans talk about the Sooners’ loss to Missouri

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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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