Claremore Daily Progress

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October 10, 2012

Embracing change, Sooners turn doubt into hope


NORMAN — The point? It was new.

Heupel forgot Millard was on the team the day OU beat UConn at the Orange Bowl and famously refused to run the ball against an Oklahoma State defense that couldn’t stop the run last season.

Now, he’s finally come up with something showing some growth in the job. Better, it suits his quarterback.

“I think this is the most in rhythm I’ve felt in a long, long, long time at this place, dating back even to last year … I think what we did offensively was great,” Jones said.

And defensive coordinator Mike Stoops dialed up a new blitz package that kept Seth Doege off-balance. And his defense responded with three interceptions.

It all worked.

You can go on and on.

Once, it appeared the Sooner braintrust was rolling the ball out and figuring things would go all right. At Lubbock, that same braintrust — even as its public face could stand a humility makeover — proved it had been busy making changes.

The right changes.

Where once there was doubt about this team (and maybe even this program) moving forward, it has since been replaced by reasonably grounded hope.

Now, the old stories about how Bob Stoops’ Sooner teams have been marked by improving over the course of the season are back in play.

Now, even though OU didn’t belong in the top five when the season began, you can begin to see how, just maybe, if things come together just right, perhaps the Sooners could wind up there. And if that can happen, because that means running the table, anything could happen.

Anything at all.

It’s not the power of one win. Not even close.

It is the power of how OU got it. It is the power of taking stock, admitting problems and doing something smart and proactive about it.

Since beating Tech, it seems like everybody but Stoops has admitted to a fresh, new wave of confidence.

The Sooners needed it.

They earned it.


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