Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

October 18, 2013

Sooners aim to bounce back against Jayhawks

LAWRENCE, Kan. — It doesn’t seem to matter how well Oklahoma fares in its annual Red River Rivalry with Texas. Whoever is next on the schedule had better watch out.

For some reason, that often ends up being Kansas.

The No. 18 Sooners have won 14 straight games played the week after tussling with the Longhorns, and that includes a 6-0 mark against the Jayhawks. Only five of those games came on the heels of a loss, as will be the case when Oklahoma plays Kansas on Saturday.

“Our season, win or lose this game, isn’t the end all and it never is,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said after a 36-20 loss to the Longhorns last weekend. “We go back to our work like we always do, and we have six more conference games to go, so that’s what you have to do.”

Still, it will surely be an ornery bunch of Sooners (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) heading to Memorial Stadium. Their national title aspirations were likely dashed by the loss, and now they’re left wondering where they stack up in a wide-open conference race.

“At the beginning of the season we had high hopes for ourselves,” Oklahoma defensive end Geneo Grissom said, “and this loss kind of changes that for us. We’re a little bit upset with ourselves and the way the game went. We will definitely have chips on our shoulders.”

That doesn’t sound like good news for Kansas (2-3, 0-2), which is still trying to end a 23-game conference losing streak that predates second-year coach Charlie Weis.

The Jayhawks were blown out by Texas Tech in their Big 12 opener, but fared better in a close loss to TCU last weekend. Still, Kansas hasn’t won a league game since topping Colorado — which is no longer in the Big 12 — under former coach Turner Gill during the 2010 season.

“Statistically if you look at Coach Stoops’ record coming off the Red River Rivalry, especially coming off a loss, the numbers are almost astounding in the dominance they’ve shown coming off of that game,” Weis said. “We’re going to be ready for their ‘A’ game, because I’m sure they’re not in the happiest of spirits right now.”

As the Sooners try to get back on track, and the Jayhawks try to deliver Weis his first Big 12 win, here are five things to keep in mind:

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