Venables not blaming recent struggles on post-Texas hangover

Nov. 1—Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables disagreed with the notion that his team has been overlooking opponents following its big win over Texas.

The Sooners needed to stop a two-point conversion two weeks ago against UCF before suffering their first loss of the season to Kansas on Saturday. Both of the Sooners' last two games have been marred by penalties, turnovers and allowing big plays.

Last week's loss delivered a big hit to the College Football Playoff hopes that were only possible because of what the Sooners accomplished in the Cotton Bowl. It was the highest-ranked Texas team the Sooners had beaten since 2004.

But when asked about the connection between the timing of the win and the team's recent performances, the Sooners' coach said he looks at it differently.

"Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't," Venables said. "I don't look at it like that. I just look at what we need to do better. What we did well, what we need to do well this week. That's how I look at it, and when we win, we celebrate."

Venables emphasized that his team remains focused on the task at hand each week.

"Maybe outside the locker room, that's the belief," he said. "But that's not how people inside the locker room think. We don't think like that. I'm just not going to go with ... if I believe it's true, I'll say it. But you asked me and I don't agree with that just because of the examples I gave you."

The Sooners have had up-and-down performances throughout the season. They led SMU by just three points early in the fourth quarter and was in a one-score game against Cincinnati two weeks later.

With four games left in the regular season, Oklahoma's still tied for first in the conference after finishing fifth last season.

Danny Stutsman's status still unknown

It appears there won't be a definitive answer on whether the team's star linebacker will be available on Saturday against Oklahoma State until near game time.

During Tuesday's press conference, Venables said he "feels good" about Stutsman, but that he probably won't know Stutsman's status until Saturday.

"He feels pretty confident, but we'll see," he said.

Stutsman went down with an apparent ankle injury late in the first half against Kansas. The junior played briefly early in the third quarter, but didn't return for the rest of the game.

Venables didn't have anything more to add about running back Tawee Walker, who left Saturday's game late with an injury.

Tarik Masri is the sports editor for The Transcript covering OU athletics and area sports. You can reach him by emailing