Sooners prep for the Sugar Bowl
NEW ORLEANS, LA - The Oklahoma Sooners haven't played a game in 27 days since their Bedlam route over Oklahoma State. While the Sooners accomplished their goal of a Big 12 Championship, there's still one final task at hand: a Sugar Bowl victory over the Auburn Tigers.
Friday morning the media had the chance to meet with the Sooners offense. OU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley was asked about the long layoff and how it impacts the team's preparation.
"You're always tempted to do some new things in this," said Riley, "but not too much because we've done pretty well so far and we don't want to get too far away from what's helped us. We've tried to approach the first part of it almost like a spring practice or a fall camp. We're just working to get better at fundamentals, developing guys. We've gotten closer, we've tried to keep it as much like a game week as possible so they can get in that mode."
Among the story lines heading into Monday night's game is OU running back Samaje Perine, who is just 83 yards shy of Billy Sims all-time rushing record at Oklahoma. Sims' record of 4,118 yards has stood since 1979. While surpassing that mark would be a major accomplishment, Perine says he's more concerned with helping his team get a win over the Tigers.
"After the game and down the road it will probably mean more to me than in that moment, just because I'm focused on giving us the best opportunity to win," said Perine. "If it happens I'll probably be excited about it down the road."
Oklahoma last appeared in the Sugar Bowl in 2014, when former OU quarterback Trevor Knight led the Sooners to a 45-31 victory over Alabama. Monday night will mark just the second all-time meeting between 7th ranked Oklahoma and 14th ranked Auburn. The first match-up came in the 1972 Sugar Bowl, where the Sooners prevailed 40-22.