When the Oklahoma Sooners travel to Lubbock Saturday to take on Texas Tech, they'll be looking to continue a fairly impressive streak that dates back to 1999.
Since Bob Stoops' first season in Norman, the Sooners have not dropped back-to-back regular season games. OU did lose the Big 12 championship and Sugar Bowl back-to-back in 2003, but those did not fall in the regular season.
For whatever reason, the Sooners have always come back from a loss, no matter how bad, with a vengeance. Monday, players said it's all about an attitude adjustment.
"I just think it happens once you lose a game," OU center Gabe Ikard said. "You get a little more focused maybe. We lost to a good team, but it's one of those things that heightens your awareness a little bit."
Linebacker Tom Wort said while it's hard to explain, it's been something that has always happened since he's been at OU.
"If there's ever been a question mark on us, we've come back with an attitude," Wort said. "I'm looking forward to see how we do this week."
OU head coach Bob Stoops said he doesn't change anything about preparing for the next game after a loss, but he said he has noticed a sense of urgency amongst the team.
"You're still going to have to go and execute well, and we did a year ago against Kansas State and didn't turn the ball over," Stoops said. "Yes, I see the same kind of attitude in how they're working, coming to practice, and coming to meetings."
For the most part, the Sooners have experienced success after a loss because in the past four years, only three of the games following a loss have been away from Norman. However, the Sooners have won all three of those games, including last year's thumping of Kansas State in Manhattan following a loss to Texas Tech at home.
The Sooners also won on the road against Kansas in 2009, OU's only win away from Norman in the regular season, after a 16-13 loss to Texas.
The Sooners will no doubt have an even higher awareness going to Lubbock this weekend, since OU has not won there since the 2003 season.
"Lubbock is a wild place," Ikard said. "You get there and it's very hostile. They're great fans. They let you know they don't like you. They really bring a lot of energy to that stadium. We need to execute well early to hopefully keep their fans out of it."
Wort said the historical success of OU football can make players complacent at times, but a loss seems to bring things back into focus for the team.
"When you take a loss, you get that chip on your shoulder and it kind of revitalizes you and gives you that attitude," Wort said. "I think we've always had that attitude. Whenever we've had a loss, we've come back with an attitude. You prepare that much more with that much more intensity."
Late last season, when faced with adversity after the loss of Ryan Broyles, and losses to Baylor and Oklahoma State, there was a lot of internal conflict amongst the Sooners, but this season, Ikard said that hasn't been the case, even with the early loss to Kansas State.
"We all still have a lot of trust in each other, keeping a very positive attitude since the loss," Ikard said. "It's going to be tough. We've got a lot of good teams (to play), but that also presents you with the opportunity. You play and keep winning against great teams and your confidence goes up.
"You just have to stay positive, stay confident in your teammates and yourself and just keep rolling."
The past several seasons indicate OU will rebound in a big way against the Red Raiders Saturday, but with a different team in a new season, there's no way of knowing how this crop of Sooners will respond.
Bold denotes road game.
|2008||45-35 to Texas||Defeated Kansas 45-31|
|2009||14-13 to BYU||Defeated Idaho State 64-0|
|21-20 to Miami||Defeated Baylor 33-7|
|16-13 to Texas||Defeated Kansas 35-13|
|10-3 to Nebraska||Defeated Texas A&M 65-10|
|41-13 to Texas Tech||Defeated OSU 27-0|
|2010||36-27 to Missouri||Defeated Colorado 43-10|
|33-19 to Texas A&M||Defeated Texas Tech 45-7|
|2011||41-38 to Texas Tech||Defeated Kansas State 58-17|
|45-38 to Baylor||Defeated Iowa State 26-6|
|44-10 to OSU||Defeated Iowa 31-14|
|2012||24-19 to Kansas State||??????????|