Bob Stoops: 'We've Got to Be a Little Realistic' About the Situation at Oklahoma

The Sooners' Hall of Fame coach said patience is key to a successful rebuild, and even described how OU can beat Texas with a backup quarterback.

Brent Venables doesn’t have to go far to find good career advice.

One of the best in the business has a desk in the Switzer Center and a spot on Venables’ phone, and is there whenever Oklahoma’s football coach feels the need to reach out.

On Tuesday, just days after OU lost 55-24 at TCU, Bob Stoops offered Venables — and Sooner fans — a little advice.

During his weekly segment on KREF’s “The Rush” with Teddy Lehman and Tyler McComas, Stoops said he was optimistic that OU would bounce back under Venables.

“Yeah, it's hard to take,” Stoops said, “but I think we've got to be a little bit realistic about it.

“I think what showed is we played a really good TCU team at their place and they played well. You know, they've got a lot of experience in particular, they're really experienced.

I think they're all juniors and seniors. And we, overall, we didn’t play as well as we’re capable of. And then we got several guys hurt, including our quarterback (Dillon Gabriel) in the second quarter, (safety) Billy Bowman, our tackle (Wanya Morris), a couple more guys were out. And it doesn't take much to, all of a sudden.

You know, we didn't we just couldn’t match up overall. And that's unfortunate. But … I would ask people to give it some patience. Brent’s gonna need time to rebuild this whole roster.”

With Gabriel likely out this week against Texas after suffering a concussion Saturday in Fort Worth, the OU quarterback snaps would seem to fall to backup Davis Beville.

Stoops had some suggestions for how to maximize Beville’s opportunities against the Longhorns.

“I think as much as anything, play to his strengths,” Stoops said. “You know, the set of plays that he really loves you, you find. You've got to be able to run the football.

And then you have some, you know, move him out of the pocket off of the run game.

You know, get him moving, you know, boots, play action, whatever. Trying to, you know, not be predictable where the quarterback’s gonna be. And you've got to be able to run the football.”

Stoops reminded everyone that the winner of the Red River Rivalry finished with more rushing yards in 17 of his 18 contests.

“The team that won this game, virtually every year, ran the football the best and took care of the football the most,” he said.

When asked about how to keep the program moving forward through challenging times, Stoops sounded he had done it a time or two.

“As much as anything, you know, be consistent with your message,” Stoops said, “what you want of the guys, what you're asking of ‘em. I believe Brent will do that. He's a great coach.

And you need to find a way to continue to be positive and trust your system, trust what you're doing.”

Stoops even recalled a moment in 1996, when he was Steve Spurrier’s defensive coordinator at Florida, the Gators had been undefeated but just lost a bitter rivalry game with Florida State ahead of their SEC Championship Game showdown with Alabama.

Instead of doubling down and going back to work, Stoops said, Spurrier backed off.


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