Target practice: The season opener will be the first game under the NCAA rule in which players can be ejected for helmet-to-helmet hits on defenseless players.
Stoops believes the players are as informed about the rule as they can be.
“We’ve had two sessions of DVDs sent out from the league detailing what they look for, what is and isn’t targeting. We’ve had two 20-minute sessions reviewing that and talking about the severity of it and talking about the consequences,” Stoops said. “If you do it the second half of a game, you are out the first half of the next game. We talked about it with our Big 12 officials when they were here on campus in one of our scrimmages. We’ve done it as much as you can.”
Captains named: OU has named center Gabe Ikard, fullback Trey Millard, cornerback Aaron Colvin, linebacker Corey Nelson, deep snapper Austin Woods and kicker Michael Hunnicutt captains. The selections were made by a vote of the team and coaching staff.
Different feel: With the season beginning Saturday, OU has entered game-preparations for ULM. But there are other differences players notice.
“The whole atmosphere is different. It’s game week. You know that,” nickelback Julian Wilson said. “You feel it around campus. You hear fans coming by yelling ‘Boomer Sooner.’ Little things like that, you know the game is close.”
Tighter scrutiny: Colvin said one of the differences between this season and past seasons is the coaching staff has been a little edgier over the last month.
“I mean, in the past, you might’ve been able to get past some stuff if you slacked off or you did some things that you weren’t supposed to do. They might’ve let you slide. But right now, they’re catching everything and … you’re getting punished for it,” he said. “That’s what we needed. I can’t say I’m mad about it because I know that we needed it. It builds character, it builds toughness. It’s just given us our swagger back so we appreciate them for doing it.”
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