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Stoops Says Stanford will be Challenge for Sooners

Head Coach Bob Stoops Head Coach Bob Stoops

Originally Published: Dec 6, 2009 6:17 PM CDT

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Stephany Speck
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Both Stanford and Oklahoma head coaches responded to the Sun Bowl invitation with appreciation and excitement, but both teams realize they’ll have to play at the highest level to win the game.

“I’m sure it’ll be a great experience and a big challenge as well,” OU head coach Bob Stoops said.

Stoops and his Sooners will have a few weeks to practice, giving his team some time on the field to prepare.

Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh said his team has already begun preparing for the game, just hours after the announcement was made.

“We look forward to preparation,” coach Harbaugh said. “We’re going to have to play our best football game of the season to have a chance to beat Oklahoma.”

The Sooners will have to be ready to face running back Toby Gerhart, who was named first team All American and considered to be a leading candidate for this year’s Heisman Trophy.

“Toby really epitomizes everything that the Heisman Trophy stands for,” coach Harbaugh. “He’s put our team on his back this year. Toby is a shining star for our football team and an incredible back.”

His teammates agree.

“He’s absolutely ridiculous,” said Cardinal offensive lineman Chris Marinelli. “He’s a complete running back.”

When the Sooners take to the field Dec. 31, they also may recognize the familiar face of Chase Beeler, who played for OU his freshman year.

“I’m sure he’s doing great out there,” Stoops said. “We’re happy for Chase, for his experience out there. I’m sure it’s been rewarding.”

Beeler, played at Jenks High School and lived in Tulsa, but transferred from OU after his freshman year. Coach Harbaugh said he’s glad the offensive lineman is now with the Cardinal.

“He has nothing but good things to say about Oklahoma and coaches and the Sooner program,” coach Harbaugh said. “We’re sure glad he decided to transfer to Stanford.”

Beeler has since been a two-year starter for the Cardinal.

The El Paso location could also prove to be a benefit for the Sooners. Sooner quarterback Landry Jones went to high school in Artisia, N.M., just three and a half hours away from the game site.

“It’ll be nice to get back down to that part of the state, that part of the country,” Jones said. “Hopefully I’ll have quite a bit of people coming to the game from my part of the area.”

Tickets will go on sale Dec. 6. Phone orders and inquiries can be made from 6-8 p.m. by calling 800-456-GoOU or by visiting SoonerSports.comor University VIP Sports Tours.


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