Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bob Stoops Notre Dame Pre-Game Talk

Ok men, listen up.

The officials just came in and we have 10 minutes until we take the field.

Game captains, we are going to defer if we win the toss and kick from the south end zone if they decide to receive.

Really excited about our opportunity tonight against a really tough team over there. Coaches have you well prepared. You know your responsibilities. Watched alot of film. Know their tendencies. What they do really well. Enough said.

Not really interested in what they do tonight. It's up to us to do our jobs.

Really proud of the practice time this week. Very intense. Focused. Coaches, players. Really just everybody. The entire team.

Alot of noise out there about this game. Alot of national attention. Prime time matchup. Everyone's gonna be watchin' you tonight.

Alot of history between the two teams. 47-game winning streak. 15 national championships. 12 Heisman Trophy winners. Not gonna spend much time discussin' that. You've heard it and read about it. None of those guys are gonna make any tackles tonight or score any points or anything.

But I did want to talk a little bit about you tonight. Your opportunity. Your time to shine in a really big matchup of top ranked teams.

You know as we have discussed, these games are why you came to Oklahoma. Want to play against the best. Show the world what you're made of. Well, tonight's your chance.

Everyone of you have a reason to be here tonight. Because you were meant to be here. No one ever said this was gonna be easy. Doing anything great takes time, discipline & sustained energy.

And, you can't do this by yourself. Takes alot of teamwork and help from the coaches, trainers and support staff who keep you hydrated, healthy and ready to play.

At your deepest core, what do you stand for? What are your beliefs? What makes you who you are?

Men, you were meant to be here tonight because you were not meant for an ordinary or mediocre life. You do not exist just to get by and cut corners. The only thing that will satisfy you tonight is what you were born to do. You were meant to accomplish something no one else in the world can do.

Because together tonight, you're gonna go out there and do what you do best. You're gonna run your routes, make your reads, fill your gaps, complete that pass, run through the tackle, wrap em' up, hit em' in the mouth. Let em' know who you are and where they are.

Nothing special about tonight. You've done it all before. Remember that first day of spring practice and that 5-foot two by four? You walked right over it without any problems. Just like your practice routines, off-season workouts, two-a-days in August. Just right up through tonight.

Now imagine raising that two-by-four 10-feet off the ground? You might be lookin' around and thinkin' "gosh, that's kind a high. What if I fall?"

Well, I'm here to tell you that you're not gonna fall. Your not gonna fall because you have already succeeded because of what you guys have been through this year and how well prepared you are to execute our game plan. You could walk over that two-by-four if it was 100-feet off the ground.

We've come along way since El Paso. Not gonna revisit the games but you know what I mean. Alot of doubters out there. Media types. Fans. Hell, even Coach Switzer got on the band wagon and said you weren't good enough after Kansas State.

But you never wavered. Never doubted in yourselves or each other. You've responded and answered the critics. Three exciting wins against Tech down in Lubbock. Really satisfied with how you handled yourselves in Dallas. Big Cotton Bowl win. Handled Kansas last week here.

Now it's time to take the next step on that two-by-four and walk down that ramp and play.

Alot of youngsters in here haven't played in this type of match-up. That's ok. Not gonna worry about how you'll respond because we have been through a couple of tough games this year. Seniors have been through these wars.

When I look around the room, I see some of you fifth-year seniors who walked down that ramp in the BCS National Championship game at the Orange Bowl back in 2008. You saw the preparation, the anticipation and the execution. Same thing here tonight. Ben Habern. Landry Jones. David King. Stacy McGee. Casey Walker. Tress Way. R.J. Washington. Joseph Ibiloye. Really proud of all you guys. You've been with us the longest. You're one of the reasons we're here tonight.

The Cali-brothers. Tony Jefferson. Brennan Clay. Kenny Stills. Really proud of your production, commitment and toughness. Your third year here. Tonight's why you came here.

Tom Wort. Jaydan Bird. Corey Nelson. Really proud of your efforts this year. Toughness. Commitment. Need a big game from you linebackers tonight.

The Belldozer. Blake Bell. Aaron Ripkowski. Trey Millard. Geneo Grissom. Taylor McNamara. Brannon Green. That other bunch over there hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown all year. Bet you'll have something to say about that tonight,huh? You'll be tested tonight.

You Oklahoma players. Gabe Ikard. Aaron Colvin. Bronson Irwin. Gabe Lynn. Javon Harris. Dominique Whaley. Julian Wilson. Chance to play before your home folks tonight.

The Texas guys. All of you. Jamarkus McFarland. Drew Allen. Marquis Anderson. Rashod Favors. Aaron Franklin. Demontre Hurst. Michael Hunnicutt. Lane Johnson. Chuka Ndulue. Adam Shead. Tyrus Thompson. Austin Woods.

All of you were meant to be here tonight.

Some of you are new here.

Justin Brown. About this time last year, hell you were getting ready to play Northwestern weren't you? Come a long way from Happy Valley. But you wanted to be here didn't you? This is why you came to Oklahoma, isn't it? When we met last spring, you said coach can I win a championship here? I said, hell yes. Get on down here and we'll get it done. You were meant to be here tonight.

Jalen Saunders. This time last year you were at Fresno State preparing for Nevada. Right? Well now you get your chance to go up against the big boys and show the nation what you got. You were meant to be here tonight.

Trey Metoyer. You've come along way from Virginia Military Academy. This time last year you were trying to get your head on straight, make your grades and get eligible to play here. Your hard work paid off. Tonight you get your opportunity. You were meant to be here.

Damien Williams. A little bit bigger stage tonight than Western Arizona Juco, isn't it? You wanted to win a championship didn't you? Tonight, you get to up your game and run against the big boys. You were meant to be here.

Sterling Shepard. Your daddy would be proud of you tonight wouldn't he? I've watched you since you were 6 years old. In my camps. At my house. Playin' with my kids. I told your momma that I would give you an opportunity to prove yourself here after your dad died. Tonight's your time to shine. You were meant to be here.

Now, I said I wasn't gonna talk much about the history of this thing. But I got a note from Claude Arnold this week. Played for Coach Wilkinson back in the 1950's. Was on that 1950 national championship team here. He wanted me to tell you this:

"Coach, I played for Coach Wilkinson in 48', 49' and 50'. We won our first national championship that last year in 1950. Didn't play those guys in the gold helmets. But they did end our 47-game winning streak here in 57'. Still bothers me to this day. I know you'll have the men ready. But dadgummit, I sure would like to see a good ole' fashion butt-kickin' Saturday night. Boomer Sooner!"

That's the kind of tradition we have here men. 7 national championships. 5 Heisman Trophy winners. 43 conference championships. 153 All-Americans.

In this room tonight we're represented by a few of those national championships.

Coach Johnson over there. You all have talked to him at one point or another of how much it means to be a Sooner. Well, what you may not know is that Coach Johnson once coached for that team over there. In 1977. Won a national championship there with a quarterback named Joe Montana. But he felt something was missing. Didn't you coach? He had a calling to leave that other school in 1979 and come to Oklahoma. Been here for 33 years. Was a part of the 85' national championship and with us here in 2000. Coach Johnson was meant to be here too.

Coaches Stoops, Shipp, Gundy, Wright, Schmidt and Heupel. All a part of that 2000 national championship. Hell, Coach Heupel played in that game. Led us to a 13-2 win against a really good Florida State team. Coach Stoops' game plan shut em' out on defense. Got a late intentional safety. The coaches were meant to be here tonight too.

Now, not everything is gonna go our way tonight. Need to expect some adversity. But we can overcome it. Nothing they do, you haven't seen already on film. We'll make adjustments and move on. Do what we do.

Only fifth time two top-ranked teams have played here during non-conference play. We've had big games here before though.

Back in 2000 Nebraska came in here ranked #1. We were #2. No one gave us a chance. They came out, punched us in the mouth and got up 14-0. Everyone said see. Just what we expected. Except they didn't know the fire inside each of those players and how prepared they were for the game. Coach Heupel responded and led us to 31 unanswered points and we won on our way to our seventh national championship.

REFEREE: "Coach, you have two minutes."

Ok. Alright. So to close. Let me just say. I'm proud of each and everyone of you. Proud of the way you have prepared, practiced and played leading up to this game. Really proud of the love and trust you have for one another. And not really worried about anything tonight. Just go out there and do what you have been coached to do. Let it all loose. Let those bodies fly around out there hittin' someone. Do what you've been prepared for and play like I know you can play and everything will be fine. We're gonna come back in here at halftime, access the situation, make adjustments and go back out there and bust our tail. And, remember this. You are the player you are because this is the moment you have been preparing for all your life. You were not meant to be anywhere else tonight. You were meant to be here. Because there's only one Oklahoma.

Alright. Let's get in here and go. 1-2-3 Sooners!