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OU Football: Week 7 Notebook

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

It's finally Oklahoma vs. Texas week, as two of college football's biggest programs collide in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, arguably the greatest scene in all of college football. Monday, Bob Stoops and players met with the media to talk about the Sooners' game with their archrival.

• OU center Gabe Ikard was quick to point out the reason behind all the excitement for OU-Texas. "Everyone loves this game," Ikard said. "We get Friday off from school for this. (Seriously) there's no game like this one. It's one of the reasons you come to play football here."

• Ikard said it's strange to be a big favorite in a game like this, but added that betting lines and things like that disappear in rivalry games.

• Ikard said the biggest reason the past two years have been so lopsided in Oklahoma's favor has been turnovers. "I don't think it's one of those things where we have significantly done something (better)," Ikard said. "Those two lopsided wins the past two years, they didn't take care of the ball as well as we did."

• Cornerback Aaron Colvin talked about how significant losing Corey Nelson was for the Oklahoma defense. "Certain people are going to have to step up," Colvin said. "Young guys are going to have to come in and step up and everyone is going to have to do a little extra."

• Colvin said Nelson would continue to contribute and be a leader from the sidelines, even though he wouldn't likely play in a game the rest of the season.

• Colvin, Ikard and fullback Trey Millard have the possibility of being one of the few Oklahoma classes to go 4-0 against Texas. That accomplishment is not lost on any of them. "I would love to walk away from my career here undefeated against Texas, since it is such a big rivalry," Colvin said.

• Millard said the Sooners have had a mental edge in the past few years against Texas thanks to great weeks of preparation prior to facing the Longhorns.

• OU coach Bob Stoops said the players of the game against TCU were Charles Tapper, Eric Striker, Corey Nelson, Chuka Ndulue and Frank Shannon for their play up front for the defense. OU held TCU to 210 total yards and 44 yards rushing.

• Stoops wouldn't commit to playing quarterback Trevor Knight against Texas at times to give the Sooners an added wrinkle on offense. "We'll see," is all Stoops would say on the matter.

10/7/2013 RELATED STORY: Sooners And Longhorns To Wear Special Uniforms For Red River Rivalry

• Texas has had a history of bringing in plenty of four- and five-star recruits while Oklahoma has slipped a bit in that regard recently. "We like the stars we have," Stoops said when asked about the perceived talent difference between the two teams.

• Stoops said the Sooners' three-game winning streak in the series doesn't give the Sooners an added advantage going into Saturday's contest. "One year to the next, to me they're totally different teams," Stoops said. "They are, we are, that's a long time ago now."

• Stoops said the Texas defense under Greg Robinson has changed some compared to when it was under the direction of Manny Diaz. The Longhorns are blitzing a bit less and have mixed up some of their schemes.

• While the Longhorns are seemingly in turmoil, thanks to another subpar year leading to questions about Mack Brown and DeLoss Dodds' retirement, Stoops said he isn't concerned with what is happening in Austin because, "a lot of it doesn't concern me."

• Stoops said when he first arrived at Oklahoma, people told him to beat Texas and everyone would be happy. "They were lying; you've got to win them all," Stoops quipped. "Last year, I didn't see anyone patting us on the back after the year, right?"

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