There will be no winners or losers in Saturday’s Red-White spring game. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday that he doesn’t have enough healthy players at the moment to field two teams. In the past, the Sooners have held a draft, and divided into red and white teams. Two years ago, linebacker Travis Lewis predicted a shutout for his white team, then wore an all-white jumpsuit to the interview room after his side prevailed. This year, however, there will be no bragging rights.
“I don’t think numbers wise it’s feasible to go two opposite teams without a ton of guys shuffling back and forth,” Stoops said. “We’re going to go defense against offense, most of the time, good against good. So that’s how it’ll be.”
And how does he feel about there being no winner?
“You can’t help but win,” he said, “if you’re the only one playing.”
STOOPS ACKNOWLEDGED this would probably be the final time the Red-White game won’t be televised. Since 2005, Stoops has opted not to allow the spring game to be broadcast, but with the imminent launch of an OU network this fall, Stoops conceded the spring game would probably be televised on it in 2013.
Stoops said he considered giving permission for this year’s spring game to be televised, but opted not to allow it.
“Even this year, I probably could have agreed to it, then like I said, keep it more simple,” he said. “I believe in a lot of times, you know how you defend yourself and play defense and offense against yourself better than anyone, so why show everyone how you want to play yourself. In the end, I believe in that. You still get to see players execute and make plays or not make plays.
“I like when it’s really just fundamental, take schemes out of it, and then you get to see raw performance of guys making plays in tough situations.”
STOOPS CONTINUED TO praise true freshman wide receiver Trey Metoyer, whom offensive coordinator Josh Heupel added has been as good as any wideout on the roster this spring.
“That guy is a player,” Stoops said. “I see it every day in practice. A crowd isn’t going to change that. Just probably make him a little more excited.”
IN THE WAKE of the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, Stoops said he has “never heard or been a part of anything like that, even other teams we’ve played where I’ve heard that.” But Stoops said he doesn’t disclose specific injury information, unless a player is obviously out, to protect his players.
“I’ve always believed if a young guy has a chance to play, why would you explain where his weakness is?” Stoops said. “The only reason would be to help the other team, or to help a gambler. I’m in college ball, you’re not supposed to gamble on whatever, so I don’t need to participate in that. To me you’re handicapping the young guy by telling people what hurts on him.”
“He’s made a ton of progress, he’s throwing the ball well, seeing things more clear, making fewer mistakes, getting more comfortable,” Stoops said of Bell. “So it’s been a positive.”
“Same thing, I’ve been pleased,” Stoops said. “Drew works really hard. Continues to do the same thing, look more comfortable out there, staying more and more away from the bad ones. That position that just needs time on the field.”
CENTER BEN HABERN, who underwent neck surgery earlier this year, is back to sprinting and lifting weights, Stoops noted. At the beginning of spring, Habern was still wearing a neck brace. But Habern has since shed the brace.
“I saw him doing sprints today, no neck brace, moving around,” Stoops said. “He’s back to all his lifting. He’s doing well.”
WITH CONSTRUCTION on Headington Hall nearing completion, Stoops was asked what impact the athletic dorm will have on his program.
“I think it’s going to make a huge difference in all of our athletic programs,” he answered. “Not to have a cliché, I believe this, for most all the sports, it’s like a game-changer. It’s going to make a difference in recruiting. We’re all excited about it.”
STOOPS on whether he rides a motorcycle: “No, I did in college. Rode around when I didn’t have much to lose. I had that (graduate assistant) salary, which wasn’t a whole lot. I hadn’t had one since. Don’t plan on getting one either."