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January 3, 2013

Friendship won’t keep coaches Sumlin and Stoops from competing all out


IRVING, Texas —

“It is a distraction early in December, but then that fades away come late December and into your bowl preparation,” Stoops said. “And then I’m sure Kevin has done the same thing in managing the last couple of weeks what his obligations are. You start minimizing those so he can concentrate on playing ball. I think there’s probably a little more made of it that it has to affect the guy. Again, if you have an earlier bowl game, it could be a little more problematic.”

Shootout welcome: Stoops wouldn’t mind seeing Friday’s game turn into an offensive shootout. The Sooners have given up 34 points or more in three of their last four games and won all four.

“We’ve been in a bunch of them. Sure,” Stoops said. “Our players have played in some tight situations in the last several weeks and responded well and competed well to the end in those games. You never know how it is going to go.”

Thinking of next year: OU has had nearly five weeks to prepare for Texas A&M, but Stoops admitted spending all that time focused on the Aggies would have been a waste of time.

“I think early on in practice you work on some things that you plan on doing next year that won’t even make it onto the field in this game with some of the younger players,” he said. “Those are some of the things we did early on with our younger quarterbacks that can run the ball as well as throw it. We started tinkering with that.”

Sumlin said the Aggies eased into their game plan as well.

“I think how you manage that becomes important. It’s something I learned when I was at Oklahoma,” he said. “The later the game, if you do stuff too early players can get bored.”

John ShinnFollow me

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