NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops refused to say anything about revenge when asked about tonight’s game against Missouri. In fact, he was determined to make sure the word couldn’t be attached to him.
“I haven’t emphasized that. Those words have never come out of my mouth. You’re saying that, not me,” he said.
Stoops may not want to say the word, but the desire to obtain retribution has been one of sport’s greatest motivating factors since games were first played. It’s been around as long as winners have been declared and scoring systems were devised.
It comes into play tonight because the last time OU and Missouri met, it ended with a 36-27 Tiger victory and fans storming Faurot Field.
“That feeling isn’t going to leave us,” OU center Ben Habern said. “Seeing their crowd run on the field … it was a defeating moment.”
What Habern still feels is what Stoops has focused on this week. The emotions that defeat and embarrassment elicit is what he’s brought up over and over again.
Doesn’t matter what you call it, but those seem to hit the sweet spot in terms of getting Sooner teams ready to play. Some of their best performances over the last decade have come against teams they lost to the previous year.
In 2003, the Sooners’ best performances of the season were a 52-9 romp over Oklahoma State and a 77-0 thrashing of Texas A&M. OU had lost to both teams the previous year. Remember the 65-21 thrashing of then-second ranked Texas Tech in 2008? That win came a year after Texas Tech knocked OU out of the 2007 national title race with a 34-24 victory in Lubbock.
“You remember your losses,” said quarterback Landry Jones, who threw two interceptions and didn’t have a fourth-quarter completion against the Tigers last season. “Missouri beat us and you remember that. I don’t know if that gives us any extra motivation.”