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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 24, 1999)
as new coach
■ Oklahoma scraps the
wishbone attack for an
offense which features
junior college transfer QB
By Jay Saunders
Editor s note: This is the second
story> of an 11-part series exploring
Nebraska s opposing football teams
in the Big 12 Conference.
When people in Oklahoma think
about the glory days of Sooner foot
ball, the names Gary Gibbs, Howard
Schnellenberger and John Blake
probably don’t come to mind.
That’s because during the past
few years, the once storied Sooner
program has fallen to a level of medi
Last season, Blake switched both
offensive and defensive schemes. He
used four quarterbacks, and then
switched offensive schemes again.
The result was a 5-6 season that cost
Blake his job.
Enter former Florida Defensive
Coordinator Bob Stoops with a no
nonsense style of coaching.
“Let’s face it,” Stoqps said,
“(Oklahoma) has had some instabili
ty. I wanted to establish a mentality,
and the players accepted us right
Stoops will try to establish a
defense similar to the one Steve
Spurrier uses at Florida. Stoops will
use the speed-and-pursuit defense to
try to win games. In fact, if
Oklahoma football looks a little out
of place in the Big 12, don’t be sur
Hindered by a thin backfield,
caused by the loss of last year’s 1000
yard back, De’Mond Parker, Stoops
has promised to air the ball out.
The days of the wishbone are
over. Goodbye power football, hello
four- and five-receiver sets. Even
though the Big 12 Conference is
known for great running backs,
Stoops is convinced this system will
“You’ve got to be able to throw
the ball to be successful on offense,”
Stoops said. “We will spread the field
and hopefully give teams more than
one or two guys to defend.”
The quarterback to lead this new
Sooner philosophy has yet to be
More than likely, left-handed
junior Josh Heupel will take the
snaps to start the season. Heupel
transferred to Oklahoma this season
and was voted co-captain.
The question mark in Stoops’
passing offense is the personnel who
catch Heupel’s passes.
Senior Jarrail Jackson and red
shirt freshman Andre Woolfolk could
help Stoops bring a little Gator to the
Woolfolk was a standout in OU’s
spring game, but he is a former run
ning back who had never played
receiver in a game. Senior Matt
Anderson came into fall camp as the
No. 1 tight end.
“I had to talk to (Stoops) because
I needed to know what he needed the
tight end to do,” Anderson said. “I
think what madefthe transition) good
is knowing he came from a winning
Stoops is known as a defensive
guy, but there isn’t too much room for
improvement. Oklahoma’s defense
finished in the top 10 nationally last
season, allowing 278 yards per game.
The traditionally solid lineback
ing corps looks to be the strength of
the Sooner defense this season. OU
lost Kelly Gregg, who led the confer
ence in sacks last year from the
defensive line, putting more pressure
on the front seven.
The secondary has gone through
some position changes, but senior
strong safety Rodney Rideau said the
defense shouldn’t fall off from last
“Our main objective is to elimi
nate mistakes,” Rideau said. “We are
going to have fun and fly to the foot
ball. We don’t lack confidence on
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