OU football: Perseverance has paid off for Sooners

OU's selection to one of the game's premier postseason contests not only signals that perhaps concerns about the program's stability were a tad impulsive, but it also exemplifies the tremendous job coach Bob Stoops and his staff did throughout a season filled with adversity and uncertainty.
by Jason Kersey Published: December 8, 2013

OU was forced to play without the entire left side of its offensive line in Saturday's Bedlam win, as guard Adam Shead and tackle Tyrus Thompson are both struggling with injuries. Senior cornerback Aaron Colvin has played through a painful shoulder injury the past few games.

Still, this coaching staff has plugged young, inexperienced replacements in for the injured players and seen impressive development from many of them, like true freshman linebackers Dominique Alexander and Jordan Evans, and freshman defensive tackle Jordan Wade.

“Everybody just kept grinding, kept fighting, kept believing,” Stoops said. “We've had a great attitude and a tough, hardworking group of players all along.

“I am proud of our assistant coaches, the way they've continued to put pieces together when we have lost guys … no one ever flinched.”

With the Bedlam win and Sugar Bowl berth, Stoops has now won at least 10 games in 12 of his seasons as Oklahoma's head coach. He's led the Sooners to nine BCS bowl appearances.

And on Jan. 2 in New Orleans, Oklahoma has an opportunity to send a clear message that it is still a force to be reckoned with.

“When you get to go to a BCS bowl game, there's only 10 teams that do that,” Saban said. “It's a great tribute to the coaching staff and players and the perseverance they've shown to overcome a lot of adversity this year.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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