The Norman Transcript

Sports

September 2, 2008

Sooners all business

Each day music booms all around Oklahoma’s practice field. Behind the bushes and iron fence, a soundtrack goes along with the Sooners’ daily workout. There’s reasons for the constant tunes.

Coaches like it because it forces players to focus on communication and simulate the crowd noise that accompanies games. Players like it for a different reason.

“They’ve made practice more fun this year,” defensive end Alan Davis said. “Most guys come out to practice and it takes them a while to get into it. The music allows you to get a little groove and get up a little bit when you’re having a good time while you’re stretching. The music really helps loosen things up.”

It’s not like the Sooners are running a vacation camp every weekday afternoon. Practices are as intense as ever. But coaches have praised the business-like approach the players have taken to it.

“They’re willing to listen and they want to be coached,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “I don’t know, they’ve just had a really great attitude about them and they have a great camaraderie about them. I’ve seen more guys stepping up and being leaders with the older guys we have; not just seniors but juniors as well.

“They’ve just shown that willingness to be coached and are eager to learn.”

If there was one thing OU lacked last season it was that constant focus on the task at hand. Too many times the focus wasn’t there. Just about anything that went wrong in any game could be traced back to a lack of it.

One game is hardly enough to establish a trend, but OU is off to a better start in that regard. It averaged six penalties for 57.5 yards and 1.42 turnovers a game last season. OU’s starters played the bulk of the first half against Tennessee-Chattanooga and only had one penalty and no turnovers.

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