The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

October 1, 2013

Pride and pitfall: OU wary of growing complacent between big games

NORMAN — It was less than two days after Oklahoma’s players, coaches and fans celebrated a victory most considered monumental and 12 days before the Sooners make their annual walk down the ramp at the Cotton Bowl.

What Oklahoma had done and what loomed two Saturdays away was on the mind of many. But all the 11th-ranked Sooners wanted to talk about Monday was their next game: TCU at 6 p.m. Saturday at Owen Field.

“We can’t have a letdown whatsoever. We have to win,” OU linebacker Corey Nelson said.

OU’s right where it wants to be.

It just won a highly-anticipated game against a traditional power. The win over the Notre Dame was OU’s first since 1956 and ended a seven-game losing streak against the Irish.

The Red River rivalry, a 365-day-a-year obsession for many Sooner fans, arrives Oct. 12.

Conventional wisdom says this is the time most teams might kick back and take a break. If not physically, then mentally.

OU coach Bob Stoops didn’t buy the premise in his weekly press conference Monday.

“We don’t play four games. We didn’t set the whole season up and work all year round to beat Notre Dame. It’s part of the cycle,” he said. “We’ve got another game this week, an important one.

“They’re all Big 12 games coming. No one around here is ever satisfied with beating one team. That’s not how it works. Maybe some other places, but not here. We’ve got to win this week and then the following week and the following week.”

In his previous 14 seasons, OU is 12-2 in the game prior to the Red River rivalry. The last time the Sooners went down to Dallas following a loss was 2007.

Perhaps players have completely bought into the notion the next game is just as important as the last. Even if some haven’t fully invested, the fact the Horned Frogs (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) entered the season as a contender for the Big 12 Conference title grabs some attention.

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