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OU football: When was the last time the Sooners lost back-to-back games in regular season?
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OU football: When was the last time the Sooners lost back-to-back games in regular season?

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Lincoln Riley was a Muleshoe (Texas) High School student when Oklahoma last lost back-to-back regular-season football games.

The streak goes back to Bob Stoops’ inaugural year as the Sooners head coach. In 1999, Oklahoma lost games to Notre Dame and Texas in consecutive contests.

On Saturday, OU will try to avoid seeing that 21-year streak snapped when it plays at Iowa State. Kickoff for the Big 12 game is 6:30 p.m. in Ames.

OU is coming off a disappointing 38-35 loss to visiting Kansas State last weekend. Add a second defeat and the program’s very slim current hopes of another College Football Playoff appearance will dissipate.

The long-range goals have been replaced by a week-to-week goal, starting with the Iowa State game.

“We take pride in the tradition here. To us, it’s very important,” OU defensive lineman Isaiah Thomas said. “Losing regardless is unacceptable. And to lose back-to-back here is unheard of.

“For us to take this, we have to have a chip on our shoulder. We take a great deal of pride in having that sense of urgency of how we have to finish the game and not just come out strong in the game. We take a lot of pride in that.”

Jeremiah Hall understands that the Sooners will get everyone’s best shot each time they play.

“Just because you’re at the University of Oklahoma, you’re not invincible. Just because we have history, just because we have previous great players it doesn’t mean that we can’t take an ‘L’,” Hall said. “Coach Riley has said to us many times, just because we’ve won previous championships that it doesn’t mean we’re defending champs. We’re not defending anything. We have a 2020 Big 12 championship to go get.

“So with that being said, we can lose, we are vulnerable, we are not superheroes in any way. But like I previously said, we’ve got to go out there, we’ve got to execute better.”

The Sooners have won 40 consecutive regular-season games following a loss to possess the nation’s longest active streak. The second-best mark is from Alabama, which hasn’t lost back-to-back regular-season games since 2007.

Riley has also praised the way the team has responded to losses following regular-season losses while he’s been the head coach.

In 2017, OU bounced back from a 38-31 loss to Iowa State with a 29-24 victory over Texas.

In 2018, the Sooners fell 48-45 to Texas and rallied for a 52-27 victory at TCU.

Last season, Oklahoma fell 48-41 at Kansas State and rebounded with a 42-41 home win over Iowa State.

Last weekend’s 38-35 loss to K-State was unsettling. A 21-point lead with three minutes remaining in the third quarter was lost, which will have to be treated as a tough learning lesson.

“That’s one thing about OU, man. That’s the standard here. The standard’s great. It takes you to great heights, but also when you have a down one, you can’t let it beat you up,” Riley said. “You got to be able to get back up and fight and get right back on track and play the way you should be and that’s going to be our challenge.

“And in that way, I don’t know that it feels any different than any of the losses that we’ve had. We haven’t had to experience it very much but the couple that we have had, I would say it doesn’t feel that much different from.”


View from the sidelines: OU hosts Kansas State in Big 12 opener for both teams

Eric Bailey

918-581-8391

eric.bailey@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @ericbaileyTW

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