This past Saturday was a wild NCAA Football day with a number of Top 25 team upsets. In fact two of the Top 5 teams lost games as well as two more in the Top 10. This thrusts the Sooners right back into the College Football playoff discussion the week after OU lost to Texas and dropped out of the Top 10. OU is still on most of the Top 25 lists as a potential Playoff contender. But this is predicated on the Sooners winning the rest of their scheduled games and winning the Big 12 Championship. This is a tall order but if our Defense can improve to the point of allowing the Offensive squad to run as many plays as our opponents run, then odds are OU can out score any of the rest of the Big 12 teams. So, hang on for OU to run the table the rest of the season and play their way in the CFP games!!
OU is coming off of a Bye week and after a loss to the hated Texas Shorthorns. Lincoln Riley said it was a good week to rest the players and to heal injuries to be ready for the remainder of the season. It was also a dramatic week as well as Riley dismissed Mike Stoops and handed the Defensive Coordinator task over to Ruffin McNeill and moved Bob Diaco to Outside Linebacker coach. This week the team will focus on new defensive alignments and responsibilities in preparation for the TCU game.
Playing TCU at their home field is always a tough task. OU has won there more often than not, but it is always a very physical and close game. The Defense this week will have to be prepared to stop the Horned Frogs more than in our previous games this season to allow the OU Offensive squad time and opportunity to score on a very strong TCU defense.
On 10/8/18, Lincoln Riley and the OU President met with Mike Stoops. The result of the meeting was announced by Lincoln Riley. Lincoln said that he had dismissed Mike Stoops from his position with the OU Coaching staff. Lincoln later announced that he was moving Ruffin McNeal from Defensive Tackles coach to Defensive Coordinator for the team. Riley also announced that he was moving Defensive analyst Bob Diaco to Outside Linebackers coach.
Riley stated that McNeal has been a Defensive Coordinator for 3 previous college teams including at Texas Tech when Lincoln was Offensive Coordinator at that school. McNeal was most recently the Head Coach at East Carolina for 6 seasons before joining Riley’s staff at OU.
The decision to dismiss Stoops finally came to a breaking point last Saturday with a heart breaking 48 – 45 loss to the Texas Longhorns after Kyler Murray and the offense had staged a 21 point comeback to tie the score at 45 late in the game. Texas was able to run and pass at will on the OU defense in the first half and with an additional touchdown in the 3rd Quarter they opened up a 21 point lead.
Though the defense forced three critical stops, helping stem the 21-point fourth quarter comeback, they could not seal the deal. Stoops’ defense surrendered a game-winning drive that culminated in a 40-yard Cameron Dicker field goal in the waning seconds, costing the Sooners a chance at a comeback victory for the ages.