Layna Dewell, News9.com
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops have something in common entering Saturday's season openers; a good feeling.
On Monday both head coaches spoke during the Big 12 Coaches Teleconference and expressed how their teams are doing thus far as well as the challenges they face heading into game one.
"I think they 're excited, they're very excited to play, and I've had a great feeling just the way they've worked through the winter and spring," said Stoops. "They've really had a good and positive attitude, so hopefully that will continue here through the fall."
"I just like their demeanor, their approach," said Gundy. "I just have confidence in the way they are handling themselves and I just feel good about how things are going up to this point."
The No. 9 ranked Cowboys will face Louisiana Lafayette for its season opener Saturday at 6 p.m.
For Coach Gundy, he sees two challenges facing the Cowboys entering game one.
"The new coaching staff and Lafayette. We don't have any idea what to expect," said Gundy. "So for us, we try to really continue and get better at our offense, our defense, our special teams and just play it by ear in the first quarter."
For the No. 1 ranked Sooners, they host the University of Tulsa on Saturday at 7 p.m. and for OU, their challenge comes in taking what they've practiced on the field and applying it successfully in the game action.
"Our (challenges) are no different from everybody's in that you go from a few scrimmages and almost a year from playing and now you're live on the field with a different defense and offense coming at you so its just adjusting to all that," said Stoops. "The face of play, even when your scrimmaging, then the live action in the game always seems to be a little bit different but it always seems that way for everybody."
As far as their opponent, Tulsa may be without star wide receiver Damaris Johnson, but that doesn't change the fact that the Golden Hurricane offense is experienced and talented.
Related Story: Tulsa Suspends Damaris Johnson Indefinitely
When asked what concerned him about Tulsa, Stoops immediately responded, "especially their offense."
"All the experience they have back; they have 17 starters back from a 10-win team one year ago, a team that went into Notre Dame at the end of the season last year and won so they've got a lot of experience and a lot of good football players," said Stoops.
And of course, the teleconference didn't go without the topic of the team's preseason rankings. Something both coaches acknowledge, but don't seem terribly concerned about.
"That's a concern you always have as a coach when you come into a season like this where everybody is telling you how good you're supposed to be. We have a good football team, but there are 10-12 teams out there in the country that can compete for the national championship," said Gundy. "So everybody has to work at it and things have to fall into place and up to this point I think our guys have worked hard."
As far as OU's No. 1 preseason ranking, its nothing new for the Sooners.
"At the end of the day we always have a lot of hype around us, we really do. There's always a ton of talk," said Stoops. "And that's all it is, is talk.
Related Links: OU Releases Week 1 depth chart.