The ninth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners held a 35-14 halftime lead over Iowa State on Saturday. With the game seemingly out of hand, plenty of Sooners fans left either at halftime or at the start of the third quarter.
The result? A somewhat empty stadium lacking crowd noise and energy.
Lincoln Riley was asked about the partially emptied crowd during Monday’s media session. Riley took accountability for his team’s performance, citing it’s up to them to play to their standard. Iowa State ended up coming back and making the game close in the second half.
“It’s our jobs as coaches and players that we gotta play to our level no matter what,” Riley said on Monday afternoon. “That is certainly our job and I would never put that on our fans.”
While Riley takes accountability for his team’s second half performance, he also points out the difference the crowd makes.
“We have one of the great fanbases in America and when it’s rockin’ in there, does our team feel that? Hell yeah they do. And when it’s not, do they feel that? Hell yeah they do. Yep.”
You can watch Riley’s full response in the video below.
Lincoln Riley on the stadium energy after some fans left after the third quarter.
"We have one of the great fanbases in America and when it's rockin' in there, does our team feel that? Hell yeah they do.
"And when it's not, do they feel that? Hell yeah they do. Yep." pic.twitter.com/oMM6kL8amm
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) November 11, 2019
Oklahoma certainly felt the difference in the crowd’s energy in the second half. Iowa State stormed back, outscoring the Sooners 27-7 in the last two quarters.
But Oklahoma stopped an Iowa State two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter to come away with a one point victory.
The Sooners will get back to action this Saturday in a pivotal Big 12 contest against Baylor.