When Bob Stoops was the head coach at Oklahoma, there was never any love lost between him and Texas. That’s why it was strange when he spent most of Saturday speaking highly of the Longhorns.
Stoops joined the FOX Big Noon Kickoff team this offseason and was on the desk as an analyst during the Week 1 games this weekend. Ahead of the match-up between No. 21 Texas and No. 23 Louisiana, the former Oklahoma head coach couldn’t help himself and claimed that he sees the Longhorns taking a major step forward this season.
“Yeah, this isn’t easy for me to say, it kind of pains me to say this, but I believe they’re going to have a strong year,” Stoops said, per 247Sports. “I believe it’s going to start today against a really good Louisiana team, they’re going to be a strong team. I believe he’s hired a strong staff. They have had Top 10 recruiting classes here for the last 10 to 20 years, and I look closely at the defense. The new coordinator, Pete Kwiatkowski, is a really strong defensive coordinator and has proven and has done well. And you got Steve Sarkisian as a play caller and a quarterback coach. He’s had great success and I believe with a couple of young quarterbacks Hudson Card and Casey Thompson, he’ll do a good job.”
Just before the Longhorns kicked off, Stoops joked that he wasn’t sure Oklahoma fans would forgive him for his praise of the Sooners arch-rivals.
“It’s hard to believe I’ve been sitting here bragging about Texas all day. I may not be able to get home tonight,” Stoops said, via Taylor Gaspar Estes of 247Sports.
Bob Stoops on @CFBONFOX: “It’s hard to believe I’ve been sitting here bragging about Texas all day. I may not be able to get home tonight.”
— Taylor Gaspar Estes (@TaylorEstes247) September 4, 2021
Texas must’ve heard the rare praise from Stoops, because the Longhorns put on an impressive display in Steve Sarkisian’s first game with the program. Star running back Bijan Robinson stole the show with 176 yards from scrimmage and two total scores to lift Texas to a 38-18 victory over the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Saturday was just the beginning for the Longhorns, who have hopes of competing for a Big 12 title this year. They’ll continue that pursuit next weekend, on the road at Arkansas.