Specifically, the Sooners’ offense, which ran roughshod over the Frogs in the first half of their meeting Nov. 11, has no shortage of respect for the Frogs’ defense.
As you’d expect, the Sooners are saying all the right things about that dominating half leading up to the rematch in the Big 12 Conference championship at AT&T Stadium on Saturday.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley is driving home the point to his team that none of the dominance the Sooners showed on Nov. 11 carries over to Saturday. He mentioned it twice during his Monday press conference.
“It’s two, really good football teams going at it, just like it was a couple of weeks ago,” Riley said. “None of the points, none of anything that happened in that game carries over. This is a new game. It’ll be a different atmosphere, two teams that know each other well, and it should be a hell of a fight.”
The Sooners made it look it easy in the first half three weeks ago. They racked up 415 total yards and led 38-7 at the break. But Riley insists nothing about that impressive outing came easy.
“When we got on a run and scored some points here, we played. We did some things at a high level and we had some guys that made some outstanding individual plays,” he said. “To sit there and think that it was easy or that it wasn’t a challenge every snap is just not right. It wasn’t easy then. We had to earn everything that we did.”
Sooners co-offensive coordinator Bill Bedenbaugh said you always know a Gary Patterson defense will be prepared.
“They understand what you’re trying to do on offense. Their defensive lineman play blocks as well as anybody I’ve ever played throughout the years,” Bedenbaugh said. “They really understand the blocking schemes and what you’re trying to do on offense by formation, backfield and things like that, so you have to change things up with them.”
For the rematch, Riley said, there should be fewer surprises for both teams.
“Both teams are gonna have a better feel for each other’s personnel. So I don’t think there will be as many surprises,” Riley said. “These guys are really, really darn good on defense. I mean, they are. And it’s a challenge.”