Coaches Luncheon 2019

OU head football coach Lincoln Riley answers questions durng the annual Citizen's Advisory Board's Coaches Luncheon, Thursday, July 25, 2019, at Fellowship Church.

NORMAN — How should a visiting locker room look?

As uninviting as possible, Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley said. It’s a quirky tradition prevalent in all sports, and it has been in the headlines after LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Texas’ locker room last week lacked air conditioning.

Orgeron said Louisiana Tech tipped the Tigers off about the lack of air, so they brought cooling fans. Texas, which lost 45-38, issued a statement saying the air conditioner was in working order.

The Longhorns lacked a nice locker room for visitors the last time Riley was there as a Texas Tech assistant — and he said that's OK. Gamesmanship is part of the equation. OU has faced that challenge during its 20-game true road win streak, which is on the line this weekend at UCLA (7 p.m. Saturday, FOX). 

The Sooners were in the home locker room at the Rose Bowl as the higher-ranked team against Georgia in 2017. Riley has no idea what the visiting locker room in Pasadena will look like.

But he believes home teams are free to make visiting locker rooms as uncomfortable as possible.

“Maybe Texas has redone ‘em. I remember at Tech we’d go to Texas and Texas was bad. [But] Tech’s were bad. And by bad I mean, in my opinion good,” Riley said. “Hell, they should be. I rank those [high] because they do a good job. Some of the newer stadiums it’s starting to be standard where they’re starting to be a little bit nicer.”

Several visiting Big 12 locker rooms are especially seedy, which, "They should," Riley said. "I think it's part of it." 

“Ours is one of ‘em. Ours is real [bad],” he added. “We were in there for a week last year so we got to spend some time in our road locker room.”

Riley was asked how he would create the ultimate run-down locker room.

“As much as you can cramp people in, the least amount of personal space possible. Definitely one toilet. I love the ones where, like, the ceilings are real low. You almost gotta bend down when you walk in there, you feel like you’re in the attack or something,” Riley said. “Then the best is you need to make it as far a walk from the stadium as possible, make the stairway to the stadium as narrow as you can. Which we’ve had. Some of them you’re upstairs. There’s a little bit of everything.”

How should a visiting locker room look?

As uninviting as possible, Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley said. It’s a quirky tradition prevalent in all sports, and it has been in the headlines after LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Texas’ locker room last week lacked air conditioning.

Orgeron said Louisiana Tech tipped the Tigers off about the lack of air, so they brought cooling fans. Texas, which lost 45-38, issued a statement saying the air conditioner was in working order.

The Longhorns lacked a nice locker room for visitors the last time Riley was there as a Texas Tech assistant — and he said that's OK. Gamesmanship is part of the equation. OU has faced that challenge during its 20-game true road win streak, which is on the line this weekend at UCLA (7 p.m. Saturday, FOX). 

The Sooners were in the home locker room at the Rose Bowl as the higher-ranked team against Georgia in 2017. Riley has no idea what the visiting locker room in Pasadena will look like.

But he believes home teams are free to make visiting locker rooms as uncomfortable as possible.

“Maybe Texas has redone ‘em. I remember at Tech we’d go to Texas and Texas was bad. [But] Tech’s were bad. And by bad I mean, in my opinion good,” Riley said. “Hell, they should be. I rank those [high] because they do a good job. Some of the newer stadiums it’s starting to be standard where they’re starting to be a little bit nicer.”

Several visiting Big 12 locker rooms are especially seedy, which, "They should," Riley said. "I think it's part of it." 

“Ours is one of ‘em. Ours is real [bad],” he added. “We were in there for a week last year so we got to spend some time in our road locker room.”

Riley was asked how he would create the ultimate run-down locker room.

“As much as you can cramp people in, the least amount of personal space possible. Definitely one toilet. I love the ones where, like, the ceilings are real low. You almost gotta bend down when you walk in there, you feel like you’re in the attack or something,” Riley said. “Then the best is you need to make it as far a walk from the stadium as possible, make the stairway to the stadium as narrow as you can. Which we’ve had. Some of them you’re upstairs. There’s a little bit of everything.”

• Thompson developing: Of all the available time for players against South Dakota, Michael Thompson didn’t see the field.

The former defensive tackle, who was initially thought to have been a crucial pickup at that spot, has been converted to the offensive line. But he’s a work in progress.

“That was a big change for him making that move,” Riley said. “Not only just the technique and all that but then flipping over and trying to learn our stuff offensively. He’s practicing with the scout team right now. He’s getting better but not ready to play yet.”

• Ugwoegbu impressing: Coaches have thrown praise at freshman cornerback Jaden Davis, especially after his interception last week.

Another young name to watch: David Ugwoegbu. The freshman has only made three tackles in two games, but is thickening the rotation at OU’s rushing linebacker spot behind Jon Michael-Terry.

“Coach Ruff [Ruffin McNeill, outside linebacker coach] has done a great job,” OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. “I think David, you see size, you see speed, you see athleticism. He's picked it up extremely well and there's a lot … All the different things you've got to see and react to — it's not as if you just get on the edge and just come off the edge. That's not what you're going to see. But very pleased with David. I think he's got a chance to be a unique talent.” 

• Remember when: A number of first-year players are expected to make their first college road trip when OU releases its travel roster Saturday.

For Kenneth Murray, Grant Calcaterra and Trey Sermon, their first true road game at OU was a doozy. The Sooners upset then-No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus in 2017.

“It was [pretty rowdy]. But after a few minutes, it was pretty late, everybody pretty much passed out,” Calcaterra said of the flight home. “But yeah, that was a huge game. We were obviously real excited, but real tired too. I remember everybody being pumped. [Someone] got on the mic and told us congrats.”

• This, that: OU DB Brendan Radley-Hiles was named the Jim Thorpe Award player of the week. … Left guard Marquise Hayes and defensive end Kenneth Mann are both possibilities to play this weekend, Riley said after practice Wednesday. … Forbes listed OU as the No. 6-ranked college football program nationally in terms of revenue. According to the publication, OU’s three-year average revenue is $129 million and its three-year average profit is $81 million, behind No. 5 Ohio State, No. 4 Alabama, No. 3 Michigan, No. 2 Texas and No. 1 Texas A&M.

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