Bob Stoops: 'Impossible to not be excited'

Bob Stoops will coach his 14th Red River Rivalry on Saturday. But he says the exhilaration of the game is the same as it was in the beginning for him.

“It’s impossible to not be excited,” Stoops said Monday during his weekly news conference as his Sooners prepare for Texas. “Just incredibly exciting and exhilarating. It’s what you want in sports.”

Stoops is 8-5 in the game, and has won the last two over Texas coach Mack Brown.

“I know what’s like to walk down the tunnel,” Stoops said, “and the importance of this game.”

The Sooners and Longhorns are both 1-1 in the Big 12. The winner of the game will be no worse than third in the Big 12 race, with a chance to be tied for first.

Even though Texas gave up 48 points in a loss to West Virginia, Stoops said he’s still impressed with the Longhorns defense.

“They are talented and a good bunch,” Stoops said. “It’s hard to determine having to gauge against the offenses of Oklahoma State and West Virginia. But I believe they’re a really good defense when you look at them. They can get you in some bad plays.”

The Sooners, however, have been playing better defense. They picked off Texas Tech QB Seth Doege three times, including Javon Harris’ 46-yard touchdown return.

Even so, during the game ABC analyst Chris Spielman said the Sooners don’t have the NFL talent they usually do on defense. Stoops took issue with the comment Monday.

“That doesn’t matter to me, his opinion,” Stoops said. “I bet we end up having guys in the NFL.”