The Norman Transcript

OU Football

December 29, 2013

Good reason why Sooners’ defense is familiar to Tide



“He’s helped me tremendously put this thing together, along with our whole staff, so again, they understand it better than anybody,” Mike Stoops said.

The concern for Thursday night’s Sugar Bowl meeting at the Superdome is no one understands it better than the Crimson Tide.

The Sooners are not concerned about that. There are subtle differences. A coach has to adapt his scheme to fit his personnel under any circumstances. The Sooners face more spread offenses during the season than Alabama. The Crimson Tide are always built to play in the run-heavy SEC.

But it will be another case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery and that college coaches — no matter how competitive — don’t mind spreading knowledge.

Of course, it helps that Saban has a relationship with the Stoops family that dates back decades, and that Friday’s meeting will be just the fifth between the Sooners and Crimson Tide and the first since 2003.

But Mike Stoops doesn’t downplay the help he received from the Crimson Tide’s staff when he decided to reboot the Sooners’ scheme for this season.

“You go to the best to get the information,” he said. “Their willingness to share with us was good and that’s where you like to exchange ideas, and certainly we’ve seen a lot of different spread offenses in the past to show, so it’s just exchanging ideas.”

The exchange has clearly worked out in the Sooners’ favor.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn


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