The Sooners will meet the Texas A&M Aggies Saturday, April 18 in Norman for the first round of playoffs. It will be a walk down memory lane for both teams.
The Aggies met Oklahoma in the first round of playoffs last year, and it was A&M who came away with the 15-14 win. But this season, there are a few different wins that should give Oklahoma the added confidence that they need in order to reverse their fortunes from last year.
The biggest confidence boost that favors the Sooners is their defining 15-8 win against SMU. OU handed SMU their only loss in the LSA North Division this season.
Now when comparing opponents, the Sooners were unable to find a weak spot against the Texas State Wildcats and lost in San Marcos 15-4. While A&M was able to take the Wildcats into overtime and win 11-10.
For the Sooners, the season has been full of firsts, which adds a level of excitement for the players, and should welcome more team confidence and passion.
Oklahoma wrapped up a 10-2 regular season. OU was able to win the LSA North for the first time, they were able to finish their division schedule undefeated and they never lost back to back games this season.
Meantime, when evaluating the entire season, the Aggies have not been as successful as the Sooners. A&M still has two regular season games on the board, this weekend against Nebraska and TCU, but for now their record is 6-6.
While that is a challenging way for the Aggies to end their season, Oklahoma was able to take Nebraska at home by one goal and beat TCU by 10 goals in Ft. Worth.
A good gauge for the next Sooner game could be that SMU was able to beat the Aggies by three goals. UNT was able to keep A&M to a five goal game when the Sooners were able to keep the Mean Green under 10 goals.
Granted, the LSA has become as confusing as the Big 12 in football. Texas State lost to SMU, but OU beat SMU, and then A&M took State into overtime. These teams are all very close in talent, meaning mentality will play an enormous roll in the eventual winner.
Senior Captain Ryan Thyrring said that he believes that after SMU they might’ve been too confident and then realized that in a loss against Texas State. He admitted the score wasn’t pretty, but that they can’t be judged because of one game.
“We didn’t even put up a fight against [Texas] State. We did ride our high horse too long but that win [UNT] is an important one for us because, I don’t want to say that it guarantees us the one seed, but it does.” Thyrring said.
But Thyrring, a face-off midi with a 70 percent save percentage, looked at the season positively when it was getting started.
“At the beginning of the season, I could have told you that we were going to be the one seed,” Thyrring said. “Because that was the goal and we didn’t think that there would be anyone that would be able to keep it from us. But SMU is one team [that we thought could] and we jumped on that opportunity early and we took the advantage [that we could].”
Thyrring said that he believes that for this season, that they have been a stronger home team and that can be attested to their performance against SMU at home in February.
The team anticipated their first playoff game to be either the Longhorns or the Aggies, and now with the Aggies officially on deck, the Sooners have been practicing throughout the week to prepare for next weekend.
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