Bob Stoops on LSU loss to ESPN.com

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by mesquite tiger, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. mesquite tiger

    mesquite tiger Diabolical Genius

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    Ready To Move On
    Bob Stoops performed his postmortem on the Sugar Bowl the day after, and then moved on. Most of him moved on, anyway. He is still having 3 a.m. meetings with himself to go over the 21-14 loss to LSU, the one that cost him a second national championship in four seasons.


    "I didn't believe the last two years that we were quite good enough to win it," Stoops said Monday morning. "We were this year. That's what kind of gets you as a coach. You feel like you didn't do your job. I wake up at night frustrated. It wasn't like it was a dumb call we made. You do have peace of mind that you managed the game the right way. You still wake up and think, 'How did this happen?'"


    Stoops said several times that he would not make excuses, that a formidable opponent played well enough to beat the Sooners.


    "There are no reasons," he said. "Everybody has to have a reason. The bottom line is it's a play or two. The momentum changes, and the play is different."


    He could point to the two first-quarter turnovers forced by the Sooners and negated by the Sooners' penalties -- the offside penalty on the fumble that Donte Nicholson recovered on the Oklahoma 33 was a good call, Stoops said, but the holding on the interception that Brandon Everage returned to the LSU 21 "was nuts."


    He's got a few other plays that he has gone over in his head a few hundred times, the way that the losing coach does. The winning coach spends January accepting congratulations.


    When Stoops thinks about what prevented Oklahoma from winning, however, he focuses on the difficulty of managing the month of December, when bowl preparations must compete with recruiting and the ceremonies and banquets that have multiplied like mushrooms in the college football postseason.


    The Sooners had a December like Titanic had the Oscars, winning seven major awards -- the Heisman (quarterback Jason White), O'Brien (White), Nagurski (cornerback Derrick Strait), Thorpe (Strait), Lombardi (defensive tackle Tommie Harris), Butkus (linebacker Teddy Lehman) and Bednarik (Lehman). Stoops insisted in New Orleans that the distractions weren't a problem. He sounded sincere. He wasn't.


    "I couldn't talk about it then, but it's been a negative," Stoops said. "I'm not going to talk about a negative before we play ... Here's a part of it. It was all happening the week we were off (Dec. 8-12). We didn't miss practice. But we were setting it all up the week of the Big 12 Championship. You can say you're not going to talk about it until Sunday, but the players leave on Sunday. You just have to manage it. We managed it in 2000."


    Stoops takes solace in the fact that, as feeble as the Sooners were, they still had four snaps to tie the game from the LSU 12 in the final four minutes. That's not a blowout.


    "We played pretty damn average and we had a chance to win a couple or three times," Stoops said. "They had a lot to do with how we played average. We held them to two touchdowns. We missed a couple of tackles early. In 2000, when we won (the Orange Bowl over Florida State), 13-2, we got the big play, the fumble recovery from Chris Weinke that set up a touchdown, and on defense, we didn't miss the two tackles."


    Stoops said he won't be waking up in the middle of the night much longer. He won't talk about the Sugar Bowl again after signing day. It will be time for a new season, and the possibilities will again be endless.


    "We got a chance to be pretty good," he said.
     
  2. LSUfan636

    LSUfan636 Freshman

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    Its already been posted...."Sugar Bowl loss wakes Stoop at night."
     
  3. TigerFan90

    TigerFan90 Too far away from home

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    To be sure, the game could have gone a different direction had certain other things happened, but I really don't think the game was ever that close. The scoreboard says otherwise and I can live with that, but come on, it was DOMINATION plain and simple. Sitting in the stands, I never got the feeling that we were sunk. I am not saying that the 4th quarter was a breeze. It wasn't. But you expect the defending champ to go down swinging at the end and to OU's credit, they did.
     
  4. Sourdoughman

    Sourdoughman TigerFan of LSU and the Tigerman

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    It was only close because of LSU mistakes!
     
  5. StaceyO

    StaceyO Football Turns Me On

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    Agreed. LSU's miscues caused it to be close. If not for the blocked punt (when Alexander left his man to run downfield prematurely) and the interception (a bad decision by Mauck), then OU doesn't SCORE AT ALL! They have two TD drives of 34 yards.

    I'm losing respect for Stoops.
     

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