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OU Football Notepad: Stoops explains bowl prep schedule and who'll be coaching it

OU football: Bob Stoops soaks-in statue unveiling

Bob Stoops stands with his family as his statue is revealed in April of 2018, outside Owen Field. Back in the saddle as the Sooners’ interim head coach entering the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29, Stoops explained OU’s bowl preparation schedule on Wednesday.

Brent Venables met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the recruiting process and the 13 players to have signed their national letters of intent to play football for Oklahoma.

Also, Bob Stoops came on afterward and delivered a fair amount of news himself.

Here’s a rundown:

• Practice schedule: The Sooners, who are in finals week, have conducted just one practice under Stoops’ leadership to date, though the interim head coach, who will run OU’s sideline at the Alamo Bowl Dec. 29 in San Antonio, delivered the rest of the Sooners’ schedule.

Stoops said the team would be practicing this morning, just to “stretch their legs out and not occupy too much of their time … just to get out there and throw the ball around” and then the following day, Friday, conduct a practice along the lines of a Monday practice during a game week, and follow with practices on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, after which players will get a few days off for the holidays before returning to practice on Christmas Eve morning, Dec. 24, before getting on a plan and flying to San Antonio, said Stoops, “to start our Alamo Bowl events and whatever we need to do, so that’s kind of the schedule.”

• Coaching assignments: Stoops said Cale Gundy, who’s set to remain on staff despite coaching changes at the top, will call the offense at the Alamo Bowl and that Brian Odom, who will not remain on staff, who had been recruiting for Southern Cal as a member of Lincoln Riley’s new staff there, will return to OU for bowl game preparations and coordinate the Sooner defense.

Odom’s not the only Sooner assistant on the way out that’s returning for the Alamo Bowl. Stoops thanked defensive assistants Calvin Thibodeaux and Jamar Cain, as well, for their willingness to return for bowl preparation.

“They’ve been in the office working on a game plan,” he said. “They want to finish this with a win and help our players get an opportunity to win.”

Other coaching tidbits: Ty Darlington, who played center at OU, and who Stoops said has “been in coach Riley’s room every day for the last two years” will coach quarterbacks at the Alamo Bowl; Ryan Dougherty, a grad assistant, will be elevated to special teams coordinator; offensive analyst Conner McQueen will move into an on-the-field role with the offense.

• Stoops coaching Stoops: Wondering why Sooner receiver Drake Stoops didn’t take the field in each of OU’s last two regular-season games? His father cleared that up on Wednesday.

“He’s had a groin injury the last two weeks, but he’s recovered from it,” Bob Stoops said. “He had a great day out there [at practice]. [Caught] some of Caleb’s great throws the other day. He’s back at full speed.”

“Caleb,” of course, is quarterback Caleb Williams, who thus far remains with the team and was part of the one practice Stoops conducted.

• Stoops on recruiting: Stoops said he enjoyed getting back into the homes of prospects on the recruiting trail, but that doesn’t mean he loves everything about the process.

“Do I miss all the travel? No. So there’s give and take,” he said. “I love it once I’m there, getting to know people, their backgrounds, their history. It’s great, and selling Oklahoma’s easy. It was great to be able to do it there for a week.”

Clay Horning

405 366-3526

Follow me @clayhorning

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