Here we go. After a wild but expected shootout in Morgantown on Friday night, the Oklahoma Sooners once again prevailed over West Virginia and earned a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game. There, the Texas Longhorns await a highly-anticipated Red River rematch.
Lincoln Riley’s team has a chance to avenge its lone loss on the season while also winning an unprecedented 4th straight Big 12 title and potentially securing a spot in the College Football Playoff. With everything on the line to play for, motivation won’t be hard to find.
On Monday, Riley spoke about the challenges that lie ahead of Oklahoma this week, what he thinks about David Beaty helping out the Longhorns, his vision for the future of OU-Texas and more in his weekly presser.
It’s a tradition that spans decades. Texas players and fans throw the horns hand sign up, and Oklahoma (and others) throw them down. West Virginia’s David Sills was penalized for throwing the horns down a few weeks ago, and now a question remains — what constitutes as a penalty and what’s fair game? Riley briefly spoke about what the team plans to do this week to prepare for any possible infractions.
“We’re working on some clarification, but I will make sure it is fully clear to our guys what they can and can’t do.”
David Beaty coached his final game as the Kansas head coach on Friday, and then it was reported (and confirmed by Herman) that Texas planned to bring him in this week to help the Longhorns game plan for Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship. For what it’s worth, snow has caused some travel issues for Beaty, so a conference call might have to suffice. Riley shared his thoughts on the two parties coming together at this time of the season ahead of the title game.
“Coach Beaty can do what he wants to do. I don’t like the precedent of being able to bring in somebody from a league in the same year. I don’t think that’s good for the conference, but it’s not against the rules, and if they want to do it, it’s fine.”
Most teams are banged up across the board at this time of the season. Oklahoma is no exception, and in the case of some positions, the depth chart is quite thin. Trey Sermon is one of the key impact players that hasn’t been totally healthy, but he saw limited action against the Mountaineers last week. Riley shed some light on the status of players who have been battling injuries as of late.
“I don’t think that we had anything the other night that would keep somebody that played in that game from playing in this game this week, but at the same time, I don’t expect to have anybody back that wasn’t available against West Virginia.”
In the 113 meetings between Oklahoma and Texas, 17 have taken place outside of the Cotton Bowl, but for generations, the games have always taken place in Dallas. This Saturday will be the first time the Sooners and the Longhorns have played in a venue outside of Dallas city limits, as the Big 12 Championship Game is in nearby Arlington. Riley talked about what he would like to see in the future for regularly-scheduled OU-Texas bout.
“I go back and forth. I do think it would be really cool at some point to play Texas (in Norman). I think it would be really cool for OU to go to Austin and play, but I don’t know how you take it out of the Cotton Bowl. I don’t know how you do it. You obviously can’t have it both ways. That game’s too historic, the venue’s too historic. Would it be awesome playing home-and-home with it? Of course, but you can’t take it out of the Cotton Bowl.”
Full press conference links
On Monday, Kenneth Murray was all business, and that’s what Sooner fans should want to hear from one of the team leaders. He continued to assert the team’s main focus for this week. It’s not about Texas, it’s about winning another championship.
Much has been made of Marquise “Hollywood” Brown’s speed vs. that of Kyler Murray. On Monday, Brown was asked if the two speedsters have ever raced, or will ever race. His answer? Well, apparently Murray has declined the challenge in the past, and in the fall they both agreed to shut it down for good.
I know I’m not the only person who would pay good money to see this happen, but unfortunately it will likely never come to fruition.
Like Kenneth Murray and Marquise Brown before him, Kyler Murray put more emphasis on this weekend’s game being about winning a Big 12 Championship more so than it being about facing Texas in a rematch. No matter the venue or the time of year, the preparation and the goal remains the same for these Sooners.
However, that’s not to say that Kyler didn’t contribute to a bit of this week’s OU-Texas buzz.
Kyler Murray asked if he respects Sam Ehlinger’s game: I have no comment on that. #Sooners
— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) November 26, 2018
As a follow up to the question about David Beaty helping Texas this week, Riley was asked about possibly bringing in his brother Garrett Riley, who was an assistant for the Jayhawks staff under Beaty.
Lincoln Riley was asked if his brother—a former KU assistant—would come in to help with preparation for Texas with news of former KU coach David Beatty helping Texas.
— RJ Young (@RJ_Young) November 26, 2018
Laughter from Riley and the media members filled the room, but it would actually be a hilarious counter-measure if he in fact called him in, if for no other reason than to troll both Beaty and the Longhorns.
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