LUBBOCK, Texas — The offers of vindication or validation were plentiful early Saturday evening. Two weeks after the sky seemed to be falling on Oklahoma, it had just responded with a dominant 41-20 victory over Texas Tech.
OU coach Bob Stoops wasn’t interested in any of it. To him, the sky was in the same place it was two weeks earlier.
“What we care about is what we’re doing. How are we getting better? Stick with each other, recognize the elements we can control and change,” he said. “… We’ll just keep doing what we do, trying to get better in how we work and how we go to meetings. Our guys have had a great attitude. I keep saying that. They worked hard, and they played hard.”
The Sooners (3-1, 1-1 Big 12) proved their coach right with their performance against Texas Tech. There wasn’t a phase that didn’t show improvement in a victory that ended a three-game losing streak at Texas Tech’s AT&T Jones Stadium.
Players didn’t seem too interested in quieting critics either. They’d been through a rough two weeks and emerged with a big, momentum-win at a critical time.
OU, which jumped four spots to No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday, has entered its most intense week of the season. It concludes on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas against No. 15 Texas (4-1, 1-1).
“I thought it was a big win for the team’s confidence — especially offensively,” center Gabe Ikard said. “I thought we executed really well against a defense that was ranked first in the country — statistically.
“I think it was good. I think it was whatever you want to call it. It was good to go on the road to a tough environment, a place we hadn’t won in a long time, a team that beat us last year, so to come here and get a win was big for our confidence and big for our season.”