After a bye week, the Sooners are looking ahead to Saturday's game at Iowa State. Bob Stoops and players met with the media on Monday to discuss the matchup with the Cyclones. Here are some notes and thoughts from the press conference.
-The Sooners have never lost to Iowa State under coach Bob Stoops and lead the all-time series 71-5-2. Iowa State last beat Oklahoma in 1990, but you have to go back to 1960 to find the last time the Cyclones beat OU in Ames, Iowa.
-Injury Update: Stoops said Charles Walker and Keith Ford are expected to practice this week, while Trevor Knight is also expected to practice more this week. While Stoops wouldn't give any details on the extent of Knight's injury, it sounds like Knight didn't practice early last week, and wasn't a full participant at all throughout the week.
-The players and Stoops all had positive things to say about how Cody Thomas handled himself when he came into the Kansas State game for Knight. Stoops said his play does change things with how the offensive staff handles Knight, “to a degree,” but it didn't sound like there would be any major changes.
-Daryl Williams said a lot of positive things about the Sooners' two young tackles, Kenyon Frison and Orlando Brown. The two are arguably the future of the offensive line, and Williams said they both have a very bright future.
-Speaking of offensive linemen, an Arkansas offensive lineman threw a touchdown pass on Saturday. Chuka Ndulue said Williams was the most likely OU offensive lineman to throw a touchdown pass for the Sooners. Tyrus Thompson vehemently disagreed when he heard.
-Once again, Stoops and the players insisted the atmosphere around the locker room remained unchanged and that players were still positive and working hard to finish the season strong.
-Stoops said the atmosphere can't change after a loss compared to a win because the ups and downs of emotions are as dangerous as anything. Emotions can lead to overconfidence, or not enough confidence. That's a big reason why you don't see players getting too high after a win or too low after a loss. They can't afford to ride the emotional wave like the fans.
-Iowa State offensive coordinator was in the same role for the Sooners when they won their last national championship in 2000. After Mangino was fired from Kansas after the 2009 season, Stoops said he and Mangino had discussions about him coming back to Oklahoma in some capacity. No details were revealed and now Stoops faces his friend and former staff member on Saturday, something he said he “hates.”
-There was lots of Big 12 talk as far as the strength of the conference is concerned. No doubt, the conference has proven to be deeper and stronger than anyone imagined in the preseason, but one glance at the polls shows you it's not taken nearly as seriously as the SEC still. But a solid No. 2 is not a bad thing for the Big 12.