NORMAN – Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops refuses to call it revenge, but he does acknowledge the Sooners have to atone this week for what happened a year ago at Missouri.
“We got embarrassed the way we played, the way they beat us,” he said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. “We want to play better.”
The Sooners led 21-20 going to the fourth quarter when the Tigers and quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who went on to be a first-round NFL draft pick, sparked to life for 16 points in a six-minute span of the final period.
“They played better than us,” Stoops said. “They were tougher than us. They outrushed us. They coached better than us. Whatever you want to say. It has nothing to do with revenge.”
Coming off an emotional and physical win at then-No. 5 Florida State, the Sooners (2-0) are ranked No. 1 – just as they were a year ago going into that game in Columbia. Missouri is 2-1, having lost two weeks ago in overtime at Arizona State.
“There's a lot of respect there,” Stoops said. “We've got to do our work during the week to have a chance to win.”
If OU needed any additional motivation, it seems to have received some from Mizzou receiver Jerrell Jackson.
“I don't know what makes them tough,” he told reporters Monday. “There ain't nothing tough about them to me. Just watching film, I'm just going to attack them like I attack every other opponent.”
Jackson did have nine catches for 139 yards and a touchdown in last year's game. But OU is 73-2 in home games since Stoops' arrival in 1999. Jackson is a senior co-captain for the Tigers.
“Someone made himself bait with those comments,” Sooners linebacker Travis Lewis said on Twitter. “Should (have) just shut his mouth.”
Stoops said he is unsure if Lewis will play this week, although Lewis said Monday that he plans to play. The senior is dealing with a broken toe that has not correctly healed. He played the entirety of Saturday's game at FSU, admitting the left foot is causing him pain.