An emphatic Bob Stoops put to rest any speculation that he might have an interest in the Florida head coaching job. The Oklahoma coach gave an unequivocal “no” when asked about it Monday morning.
“All I want to be is a candidate at Oklahoma,” Stoops said during the Big 12 coaches conference call. “I’m not a candidate anywhere else.
“I’m finished with that question.”
Stoops was the defensive coordinator at Florida from 1996-98 under former coach Steve Spurrier before being hired at Oklahoma in 1999.
Florida (5-4) fired coach Will Muschamp after Saturday’s 23-20 loss to South Carolina. The loss was the Gators’ sixth in their last eight home games.
The Sooners (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) close the season with Kansas on Saturday and Oklahoma State in the annual Bedlam game on Dec. 6.
Whether quarterback Trevor Knight plays again this year is up in the air after Stoops announced Monday that the sophomore will not play Saturday.
Cody Thomas, a redshirt freshman from Colleyville Heritage, will make his second start. In a victory at Texas Tech on Saturday, Thomas was much of what one would expect from a freshman making his first career start.
Thomas threw three interceptions in the first half, but he ended 10-of-20 passing for 133 yards and a touchdown.
“You got to love his resilience and attitude to put those interceptions behind him,” Stoops said while adding he thought Thomas made some great decisions in the second half.
Texas more offensive
Texas’ resurgence in the second half of the season has much to do with an improved offense that has taken pressure off a decent defense.
Senior receiver John Harris has been a key element. He leads the team in receptions and touchdown catches after entering this season having played sparingly throughout his college career.
Coach Charlie Strong’s hiring was a new beginning for Harris, who admitted to the coach that he had no one to blame but himself for his mediocre college career.
Strong said Harris developed into a hard worker during the spring and took that mentality into games.
“He competes so hard,” Strong said. “I love his leadership ability and how he goes so hard to work.
“It’s about this competitive nature and his energy and emotion he plays with.”
A candid coach Kliff Kingsbury said responsibility for all that has gone wrong in Texas Tech’s 3-7 campaign falls at the feet of one man: Kliff Kingsbury.
Chief among the eyesores are too many penalties and turnovers, and a defense that ranks last in the Big 12 mainly because of its inability to stop the run.
“When you’re 3-7, you have to address every aspect of [the program],” Kingsbury said. “It starts with me, getting the right people in the right position to make us successful. Obviously, I didn’t do a very good job of that this year.
“I thought we’d play better. A lot of it has to do with me and how I handled this group.”
The Red Raiders, losers of three straight since defeating Kansas, will be seeking their second Big 12 victory Saturday when they travel to Iowa State (2-7), winless in conference and riding a three-game losing streak.
Kingsbury said he is undecided on who will start at quarterback on Saturday, though he expects regular starter Davis Webb (ankle) to be ready.
True freshman Patrick Mahomes had his best performance Saturday against Oklahoma, throwing for 393 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Big 12 awards
Oklahoma freshman running back Samaje Perine, the Big 12’s leading rusher, was selected as the conference’s offensive player of the week after churning out 213 yards and three scores against Texas Tech.
Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown (two sacks, forced fumble at Oklahoma State) and TCU returner Cameron Echols-Luper (69-yard punt return touchdown at Kansas) were selected as defensive and special teams players of the week.