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Sooners see 2014 season hopes sink to 8-5

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Oklahoma's football team had high hopes for this season after finishing last year with a Sugar Bowl upset win over Alabama.

OU was expected to contend for the first College Football Playoff, but after starting 4-0, OU won just four of their last nine games, and ended the season with their worst performance of the year in a 40-6 loss to Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Florida.

Five Sooner turnovers, a struggling offense, and a porous defense combined for a 34-point defeat, matching the second worst loss of the Bob Stoops' era, and the second worst bowl loss in school history.

"About this season? Nothing much other than the eight wins," Bob Stoops said when asked about this season's positives. "When I first took the job, all everybody told me was, 'Just beat Texas.' Well, that doesn't fly, I knew it didn't then and it still doesn't. So this was very disappointing in the way it finished. We were prepared. I have no issue with the way we practiced. We didn't have anyone late for curfew or late for a meeting. We practiced every day the way we have. The same formula worked last year and it didn't work this year and that's the bottom line."
Following the loss, several analysts said head coach Bob Stoops needs to make changes to his coaching staff.
"I'm not going to discuss any of that. I'm pretty good about not making any knee-jerk reactions. When you look at our track record over the past 16 seasons, I think we're the only team in the country who has eight or more wins over the past 16 years. And we've had a few championships and we've done it the right way. I'll take stock of everything and continue to evaluate what we're doing," he said.
"Bob's his own, he'll tell you what he's thinking. Those aren't my decisions. We certainly need to do a better job coaching, that's for sure," said co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.
"It's heartbreaking," said Samaje Perine. "Coming in with such high expectations, like you said, it's hard to go out like this. We wanted to give the seniors a better way to go out than like this. But unfortunately, we couldn't do that. Now, we have to go into the offseason looking to get better."
"It's the little details, you can point fingers here or there, but the fact of the matter is it's a combination of a number of things," said Trevor Knight. "It's just like I said, it's all about being on the right side of that fine line. The fact is, we weren't on it tonight. We weren't on it in the other four losses. We just got to be better."
"For some reason, we haven't been showing up on Saturday and giving it our all or effort. We all gotta be all in. Some guys are wandering off, and some guys are worried about this and that. Now we see, you gotta learn from that. We've gotta take guys by the collar and say, 'Come with me,' you know? We aren't on the same page and we gotta be on the same page," said Eric Striker.
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