Poise, Depth Make Coaches Believe No. 3 Sooners Won't Get Overconfident
Sunday, September 9th 2007, 6:36 pm
By: News On 6
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Even with all of his success at Oklahoma, Bob Stoops' teams have never had a start quite like this.
The Sooners have won their first two games by a 97-point margin, including a 51-13 blowout of Miami on Saturday in their first meeting since the 1998 Orange Bowl. That victory vaulted Oklahoma up two more spots in The Associated Press Top 25, to No. 3 after starting the season ranked 10th.
With that kind of success, could overconfidence be an issue? Stoops doesn't think so, even with a redshirt freshman at quarterback and only six seniors in the starting lineup.
``This group has been so good about their attitude and their habits and not being that way,'' Stoops said. ``I'll mention it, but I don't believe it'll be a big deal. They understand that we've got a long year in front of us.''
About the closest anyone came to bragging was when safety D.J. Wolfe said the win against Miami was an indicator that the Sooners are ``a team to beat.'' Stoops said, ``everybody's pretty even-keeled about it that we've got a lot more to do here, so let's just keep doing it.''
``Coach always tells us not to beat our chests,'' senior defensive end Alonzo Dotson said. ``We just want to win a game like we did last week and be better than we were last week. Being able to step up again against a better team says a lot about us being able to push through.''
There have been some gaudy stats: Redshirt freshman DeMarco Murray ran for five touchdowns in Oklahoma's 79-10 opening win against North Texas, and classmate Sam Bradford threw for five scores in the rout of Miami.
The Sooners have racked up 1,079 yards while allowing 386 yards, and Oklahoma defenders have scored as many touchdowns as they have allowed.
``I've always felt like we've got a chance to be a solid and really good team, but I always feel the year is about building and getting better as you go through it,'' Stoops said. ``So it doesn't matter where you start. You've got to improve as you go through the year. I feel we're on schedule or about where I hoped we would be.''
With the blowouts, the Sooners have been able to keep everyone happy in a crowded backfield and a talented receiving corps. Murray has shared carries with Chris Brown, Mossis Madu and Allen Patrick, the starter who could've played against North Texas but sat out to protect a sprained ankle.
Malcolm Kelly has piled up 220 yards receiving and five touchdowns, but 10 players have caught passes _ including receiver Juaquin Iglesias and tight end Jermaine Gresham with 11 apiece.
Even at quarterback, all three of who competed for the job have been able to play.