Those eyes. Those crazy freaking eyes. They will haunt your dreams.
Look into his eyes
The darkness will overwhelm
Revenge he shall have
Mike Stoops crazy eyes haiku? Mike Stoops crazy eyes haiku.
It's not very likely anyone in the crimson and cream, be they player or coach, need a reminder about what transpired last year in Waco. And yet as early as Monday, there were multiple Oklahoma defensive players quoted as saying the defensive coaches had encouraged them to watch the film from last year's game. Javon Harris, who many will remember struggled mightily in the game, even said he was watching film during his most recent class. It certainly does not come as a surprise, given how poorly the Oklahoma defense played in last year's game it makes sense the coaches would use it as a tool as they prepare for Saturday.
The point of all this being, Oklahoma will not be lacking for motivation come Saturday afternoon. For whatever reason, the Baylor game from last season seems to have struck a chord with so many. It's frequently the game called upon whenever one attempts to describe the Sooners defensive struggles from last season.
Maybe it's because it was Baylor's first ever win against Oklahoma. Or maybe it was because of the manner in which Robert Griffin III lead his team back to victory. It's probably safe to just adopt an 'all of the above' method, accept it, and move on.
What many seem to forget about last year's Baylor squad is that is was much more than just RGIII. His immense talents were quite obvious, but he was also working with a plethora of weapons at his disposal. Whether it was Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams, Terrance Ganaway, or simply Griffin extending plays with his legs, the Baylor offense was a multi-headed monster that was nearly impossible to slow down.
While not on the same level from a talent perspective, this year's version certainly hasn't slowed down with respect to production. The Bears come into Saturday's game with the No. 1 total offense in the country averaging a cool 581.5 yards and nearly 44 points per game. The only team to hold this Baylor offense under 40 points all season was Iowa State two weeks ago.
A spread offense lacking an explosive run threat at the quarterback position plays right into everything Stoops loves to do on defense. Now before any Baylor fans rip me a new one, I am aware that Nick Florence is far from a statue in the pocket but he's a significant step down from Griffin as well. The Baylor run game has picked up in recent weeks following former highly touted recruit Lache Seastrunk's insertion into the Bears offense. So this OU defense won't have the luxury of ignoring that aspect of the Baylor offense, which obviously makes things all the more difficult.
All that said, this is exactly the kind of team Mike Stoops was genetically manufactured to destroy. My confidence in Mike Stoops and this Oklahoma defense aside, it's certainly not as if I'm predicting a shutout. Far from it in fact. I fully expect Baylor to get their points, but I expect the OU defense to get a number of stops and will be very disappointed if they don't force multiple turnovers as well.
In any other year, this would likely be a pretty tame Oklahoma crowd. Middle of the afternoon kickoff against a team, fair or not, most OU fans expect to run over, doesn't exactly equate to a stellar home crowd if history serves. Nor has it always proved to illicit the most, shall we say motivated performance from OU teams in the past. However, after last year I'm pretty confident the OU players won't be the only ones seeking some revenge this Saturday. Is it going to be a Notre Dame type of atmosphere? Um, no. But it should be much rowdier than your typical 2:30 pm crowd and that can only play to Oklahoma's advantage.
I suspect I wasn't the only one happy to hear the coaches using last year's miserable performance as motivation. Based on what the players have said so far this week, it seems to be working as many have specifically mentioned their desire for some redemption following the loss last year. A motivated Oklahoma football team has typically been a dangerous Oklahoma football team in the past, which should bode well for Saturday.
There are a lot of varying theories on revenge in this world we live in. When it comes to the game of football, I happen to subscribe to the belief that revenge is rarely a bad thing.
If nothing else, would you want to come back to the OU sideline with those crazy freaking eyes angry and waiting for you?
I thought not.