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Stoops is reaching back for solutions


Published: Fri, September 9, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.


The last time coach Bob Stoops lost a game in September was in 1998.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is reaching well back in his past to determine how to get the Sooners back on track.
"It's been a long time to start off this way," Stoops said after the Sooners' season-opening, 17-10 loss to TCU.
"I think it's important that we address the issues that we know are there. I think it's also important as a team that we stay together -- coaches and players. The worst thing you can do is start pointing a finger."
Stoops' Oklahoma teams had been 19-0 in September. The last time he was on a coaching staff that lost a September game was in 1998, when he was defensive coordinator of a Florida team that lost 20-17 to Tennessee in overtime in Week 3.
He hasn't coached a team that lost its season opener since 1989 when he was a defensive backs coach during Bill Snyder's first year as Kansas State's coach.
Correcting deficiencies
Stoops pointed out any number of deficiencies following the loss Saturday, and the Sooners are already working to correct those problems.
After noting that the quarterbacks didn't play consistently, he switched from junior Paul Thompson to red-shirt freshman Rhett Bomar at starting quarterback for this Saturday's game against Tulsa (0-1).
More changes are possible on the offensive line, which failed to open running room for tailback Adrian Peterson. And players responded to the loss by calling a team meeting to air their concerns and close ranks.
"A lot of things were said," linebacker Zach Latimer said. "Now it's time to put actions behind words."
Stoops said it's critical to re-establish confidence in the team that has been to back-to-back BCS title games.
He has taken care not to single out any individuals to blame for the loss. He insisted that Thompson -- who completed 11-of-26 passes for 109 yards and committed two turnovers in his first career start -- should not be held responsible and that numerous veteran players did not play as well as they could.


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