Stoops questions Kansas coach's preparation methods

Friday, September 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- It is a football premise borne of thousands of upsets: don't look past even the weakest opponent. Players swear they don't do it. Coaches base entire pre-game speeches on not doing it.

But that's exactly what Kansas coach Terry Allen did when he began preparing for the Sooners even before the Jayhawks played last Saturday's game against Division I-AA Southern Illinois.

Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops said he was surprised to hear of such a drastic measure.

"To me that's an awfully big gamble for I don't know how much worth," Stoops said.

"I think there's plenty enough time in a week to get prepared for who you're playing."

Even Allen said he had never taken such a step and might never do it again. But he said it did get the team a couple days ahead on preparing for its Big 12 opener against the Sooners.

"We felt as though we could beat Southern Illinois and with the things Oklahoma does both offensively and defensively we felt we better get a step up on it," Allen said.

Fortunately for Allen, the Jayhawks beat Southern Illinois 42-0.

Whether the extra practice will help against Oklahoma remains to be seen.

------ HOME SWEET HOME: The Sooners are 3-0 and they didn't even have to leave home to do it. But after the Kansas game in Norman, Oklahoma plays two tough road games: at No 13 Texas and at No. 5 Kansas State.

With sold-out stadiums in their first three games, OU receiver Josh Norman said the Sooners are enjoying their time at home while they have it.

"It's been a real boost having the fans behind us, knowing they believe in us and support us," Norman said. "It's nice getting off to a good start and heading into the Big 12 with a lot of momentum behind us."

Stoops said the games in Norman have helped the team get started, but that any team with the goal of winning the Big 12 Conference has to prove itself on the road.

"If you're going to be a good football team in this league you've got to be mentally tough and disciplined regardless of where you're playing. And hopefully as we grow through the season that will happen with us," Stoops said.

------ TACKLE MAN: Against Rice's option offense last week, Oklahoma linebacker Rocky Calmus had a season-high 14 tackles while Torrance Marshall had 13.

Calmus said he's not expecting to duplicate those numbers against Kansas.

"The option makes the ball go sideline-to-sideline, so we knew we were going get a lot of tackles and we had to make the most of it because now we're starting Big 12 and they mix it up," Calmus said.

But a mixed offense brings the prospect of sacks, and while the Jayhawks have yet to allow one this season, OU's defense is planning on some.

"I'm getting a lot of pressure, but I'm looking forward to getting more sacks," defensive lineman Ramon Richardson said.

"Pressure is good, but I'm looking for the sacks."

------ BOZ BUDDY: Leading the team in tackles and being named the Big 12 defensive player of the week wasn't the only big thrill for Calmus last weekend. His biggest rush came from meeting former OU linebacker Brian Bosworth, who was in town to be honored before the Rice game with other members of Oklahoma's 1985 national championship team.

Calmus said there had been rumors Bosworth wasn't going to make it to the game, but that when Stoops summoned the players into a group in the locker room, he suspected what was coming.

"I know when someone's going to talk just by the way he (Stoops) is," Calmus said. "So I went around the corner and I peeked and saw who it was and my eyes lit up. The Boz. I'd never met him and he was a really nice guy and well-spoken and gave a great message before the game."

Calmus said Bosworth then came up to the linebackers and talked to them about leadership. Calmus said he introduced himself and that Bosworth knew his name.

"I didn't know if he just now looked it up in the program real quick or what," Calmus said.

Bosworth watched the game from the sideline and Calmus admitted he snuck a few peeks.

"I wanted to try to do my best and maybe impress him a little bit like he's impressed so many. I knew he was over there and I looked for him. He walked by once and talked to us and it helped.

It helped out a lot."