Stoops: Oklahoma won't be daunted by Notre Dame history

Stoops: Oklahoma won't be daunted by Notre Dame history
September 23, 2013, 11:00 am
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Since taking over Oklahoma in 1999, Bob Stoops has brought the Sooners to a few of college football's historic, hallowed grounds: Alabama and Florida State in non-conference play, and in the old Big 12 matchups in College Station, Texas and Lincoln, Neb. 

And, in his first year, Stoops traveled to South Bend and lost to the Irish, 34-30.

His mantra, his way to keep his players from being awestruck is simple:

"(It's the) same way we do when we go to any other stadium, which is nothing. We don't really care," Stoops said Monday. "We go to a lot of places, we've been in a lot of stadiums and they're going to be in a lot more. Get ready to play ball and worry about what's between the lines on the grass, and that's all that matters."

The only Notre Dame tradition -- and it's a questionable one at best -- that'll affect the Sooners on gameday is not having a replay board (which Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said kept him from instant evaluations of a number of pass interference calls last Saturday).

[More: Notre Dame puts faith into its defense as Oklahoma challenge awaits]

History aside, the trip to Notre Dame stands as one of the most difficult road challenges for Oklahoma this year, at least in terms of atmosphere. The Sooners also have road dates in Waco against another powerful Baylor offense, and finish the season in Stillwater for the annual Bedlam game against Oklahoma State.

This weekend's game is Oklahoma's first on the road this year, and it'll be quarterback Blake Bell's first start away from Norman. Stoops, though, is confident his team can handle the noise.

"With our style of not huddling and those kind of things, hopefully we'll be able to handle it in the right way in that we don't count on being able to verbally communicate a lot anyway," he said. "Hopefully we can manage it better than team that do count on being able to verbalize their counts and all the way they call their plays."