Earlier this morning, I wrote about the team’s troubling mentality in Saturday’s loss, and Mark Stoops expanded on that even further in his press conference today. Stoops was brutally honest about his team’s performance, telling reporters that no one played better than he thought they would after looking at the film and there’s plenty of blame to go around. In fact, when told that some of his players (Bud Dupree) felt the team was overconfident going into the Western game, Stoops was stunned. “We have a long way to go. Anybody that doesn’t understand that has got some issues that we need to sit down and talk about.”
How does a team that lost ten games in one season turn around and believe in itself again? Stoops said that his staff’s focus will continue to be getting his players into the right mindset and teach them to react better when things go bad:
“The big thing for me is finding the right chemistry and psychologically getting them ready to play and getting them over the hump. …I saw some wide eyes out there. We’ve got to get over that and cut it loose and play.”
Stoops noticed that after Western’s hot start, players reverted back to bad habits, trying to make the big plays instead of focusing on the small details: “When bad things happen, we need to handle it a little better emotionally.” That means teaching the players not to flinch in the face of adversity, a motto Stoops says also applies to himself and his staff during the rebuilding process.
“Bad things are going to happen. That’s not the worst thing that’s going to happen to us. …I knew what I was getting into and I know what I’m into. We’re not going to flinch.”
No sugarcoating there. Nick Roush will be by with a full recap in a little bit.