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OU football team holds players-only meeting

In the aftermath of Saturday's loss to Texas Tech, Oklahoma's senior captains organized a players-only meeting on Monday. Among the topics: the teams goals, which still included winning a national title, and Travis Lewis apologizing for comments he made about injured teammates after the game.
BY TRAVIS HANEY, Staff Writer, thaney@opubco.com Published: October 25, 2011

Word started circulating through the halls of the Switzer Center on Monday afternoon, eventually reaching the ears of Oklahoma starting right guard Tyler Evans.

Team meeting. Players only.

“I heard about it at the last second,” Evans said. “I thought it was a good thing. We probably needed it.”

It's what teams at most every level do from time to time, often when they're facing some sort of adversity. That's where the Sooners find themselves, now 6-1 after the stunning loss to Texas Tech this past weekend.

Three of OU's captains presided over the meeting: quarterback Landry Jones, receiver Ryan Broyles and linebacker Travis Lewis.

Each spoke about staying the course and striving toward the same goals, including playing for – and winning – the school's eighth national championship. Examples of teams that have won titles with losses were brought up.

“You never know what's going to happen in college football,” Jones said Monday. “In '08, two one-loss teams played for it. LSU won it with two losses. It's still out there for us. Everything's out there in front of us. We've just got to limit our mistakes and learn from them.”

Part of the meeting, too, included Lewis addressing his teammates about comments made following the loss. He told reporters that if he could play with a broken toe, perhaps more of his teammates should suit up with various injuries.

Several Sooners were upset by that sentiment, a team source said. Lewis apologized Monday to offended teammates, the source said.

Coach Bob Stoops downplayed Lewis' comments and any tension that might have stemmed from them.

“He's frustrated. It's not a big deal,” Stoops said. “Our team is very close together and Travis is one of them. It's a good reason why I probably shouldn't let them go talk to you guys afterward, so we may do that, too.

“At the end of the day, not a big deal. I don't know what he meant by it. The bottom line is guys play or not play, depending on what the doctors allow them to do.”

One Sooners lineman, center Gabe Ikard, said it's “not as if everyone's down in the dumps” after the Red Raiders' 41-38 victory to end OU's 39-game home win streak. Evans, however, said some players' psyches were teetering a bit prior to the players-only meeting.

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