The Norman Transcript


August 27, 2013

Players need to heed Stoops’ warning



Only it’s not likely.

More likely, the Sooners will have to earn it. Stoops said he didn’t care what the fans thought about Saturday’s season-opening opponent, Louisiana-Monroe, just as long as his players have received the message about how dangerous the Warhawks can be.

“I hope that the players understand that this is tough, this is a challenge, these guys are really good,” Stoops said.

They appear to get it.

“The first game is always the one where you want to come out and get tested,” fullback Trey Millard said. “They are a good team, upset some teams. They have played a lot of close games with some good teams.”

Still, you wonder.

ULM beat Arkansas in overtime last season, took Auburn to overtime, played Baylor within 47-42 and, without a couple of losses in games it likely feels it should have won — against Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State  — it could have won 10 games.

Only against Frank Solich-coached Ohio, at the Independence Bowl, did the Warhawks fail to score at least 20 points. And, from games three through eight, against Baylor, Tulane, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic, Western Kentucky and South Alabama, they put up 42, 63, 31, 35, 43 and 38 points, only losing to the Bears.

Of that list, only Baylor may compare to OU, but ULM is still a team used to moving the ball and putting points on the board.

“We’re ready for them,” linebacker Corey Nelson said. “We don’t take any team lightly.”


Also, easier said than done.

Anyway, it’s opening week, there’s excitement in the air and the possibilities seem endless.

Given that, it’s good to remember that one of those possibilities is a very bad one for the home team. And, given OU’s recent turnover and ineffectiveness on the defensive side of the ball, it’s not an outlandish possibility, either.

Stoops has sounded the call.

His team best listen.

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning

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