Archive for Friday, December 21, 2001

Miami’s Stoops leaning on brothers

Oklahoma coaches giving Miami assistant coach advice on defending Nebraska

December 21, 2001


— Miami defensive backs coach Mark Stoops has received some advice from his family this week.

Stoops has spoken with his brothers Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and OU co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Mike Stoops about how to defend Nebraska as he prepares for the Rose Bowl.

"We always share ideas about football and about schemes and systems," said Mark Stoops, whose team plays Nebraska on Jan. 3. "We talk often about things, and certainly we've talked a little about Nebraska this week, ways to fit their option and ways to play it."

Oklahoma was one of the few teams this season to slow down Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch. He had 13 carries for 21 yards and accounted for 123 yards of total offense, his second-lowest total of the season. But he caught a 63-yard touchdown from end Mike Stuntz for the Huskers' final score in their 20-10 win against OU.

"They played them as well as anybody has, but not good enough" Mark Stoops said.

Obviously, the key to stopping the Nebraska offense is containing Crouch. Though Miami runs a different scheme defensively than Oklahoma, Mark Stoops said there are some general things they can share about stopping the Heisman Trophy winner.

"With their offense, this year in all critical situations the ball is going through him in some way, shape or form," Mark Stoops said.

"He's going to run it, he's going to pitch it or he's going to throw it, or catch it like he did against (Oklahoma). They're going to win or lose with him."

Mark Stoops also has gotten some advice about playing for a national championship from his brothers.

Oklahoma beat Florida State 13-2 in the Orange Bowl to win the 2000 national title.

As Oklahoma prepared for the game, Mark Stoops spent time with the team and his brothers, watching practice and how Bob handled the Sooners players throughout the week.

Now Mark Stoops is ready to join the family as a champion.

"I'll take it," Mark Stoops said. "I don't want to be the only one without a ring."

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