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Archive for Friday, October 10, 2008

Top-ranked Sooners their own worst critics

October 10, 2008

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— So what about the No. 1 ranking and the rest of Oklahoma's impressive numbers from this season? The Sooners still think they can perform better.

Better than the 49.6 points they're averaging. Better than the fourth-best passing offense, the fifth-best overall offense and the 11th-best total defense.

And most importantly, finish better than they did last season.

"We know we can be good, but what do we have to do to be better than last year? I don't think we're going to be satisfied with anything," receiver Juaquin Iglesias said. "Still now with some of the numbers we've put up, we know we can be a lot better. Ten times better. We're not settling for anything.

"We know, as many games as we're winning right now, it's at the end when it counts."

Last season, after a 4-0 start moved them up to No. 3 in the AP poll, they promptly were upset by Colorado. Another upset in a defensive meltdown at Texas Tech in which quarterback Sam Bradford went down with an injury. And then, after they knocked off No. 1 Missouri to win the Big 12 title, came the 48-28 Fiesta Bowl loss to West Virginia.

The result was a change of attitude in the offseason.

"I really don't think it's something that anyone said. I think it's just people took it upon themselves, tired of losing two or three games a year," Bradford said.

That's been the case the past two years for the Sooners. Before last season, it was the onside kick debacle at Oregon and a Red River Rivalry loss to Texas that spoiled a promising 2006 season.

But heading into the meeting with No. 5 Texas (5-0, 1-0) this year has a different feel for coach Bob Stoops - although he's been hesitant to heap the kind of praise on this team that he did only days before the Colorado upset last September.

"I think you could go down the list and probably every guy would tell you what he did wrong on Saturday before he told you what he did right on Saturday," Bradford said. "I think that's something that really helps this team, and it's one of the reasons that we've been successful so far, is because people are hard on themselves."

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