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OU Football: Week 9 Notebook

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma Sooners face No. 10 Texas Tech this Saturday, a big opportunity for the Sooners to make a move in the Big 12 standings and hand the Red Raiders their first loss of the season. Coach Bob Stoops and players met with the media on Monday to discuss the matchup with Texas Tech. Here are some news and notes from the press conference.

• Kicker Michael Hunnicutt said new special teams coach Jay Boulware has had a big impact on the special teams by adding a lot of energy to the unit.

• Hunnicutt said he feels like he's been a stabilizer at the kicker position for the Sooners, something they havent had in several years.

• In Texas Tech's stunning upset of the Sooners in 2011, Hunnicutt missed a field goal that would have cut the Texas Tech lead to seven points with 2:52 remaining, but missed it off the upright. "I think about it a little bit," Hunnicutt said. "It definitely made me a better kicker. It was a really rough game, but it made me stronger mentally. I've never felt so bad after a game."

• Center Gabe Ikard said it is very important for the OU offense to control the clock to keep the Red Raiders' explosive offense off the field. "Our complete focus is preparing for Texas Tech and a very tough defense," Ikard said."They move around a lot and give you a bunch of different looks."

• Ikard was very emphatic talking about how the OU offense was just a couple big pass plays away from breaking the offense open. "We've got great players on offense and we're better than the numbers we're putting up when it comes to points," Ikard said. "We've got to be better."

• Ikard said the reverse pass from Lacoltan Bester to Sterling Shepard was a play the Sooners have been working on in practice for three years. He also revealed his preferred touchdown celebration should he ever find the end zone as a player. "I would punt the ball in the stands," Ikard said. "I would take the 15-yard penalty. I would walk over to Coach Stoops, he'd yell at me, I'd say, 'I'm sorry, I had to,' and hopefully I'd be on Sportscenter and made fun of for it."

• Bob Stoops said Ikard and Sterling Shepard were the Sooners' players of the game.

• Stoops said Julian Wilson should be back at practice on Tuesday. He said Adam Shead should be fine and that Torrea Peterson should be back in action this week if he takes care of all his academic obligations.

• Stoops said the reason Kansas was so effective running the ball in the first quarter was because the OU defensive line was not lining up properly. "When they move, you have to move," Stoops said. "Obviously, the other two and a half quarters, we did pretty well. They only had 28 yards (rushing) the entire second half, running the same plays and the same formations." Stoops said that was the reason for the animated conversation between himself, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.

• Running back Keith Ford fumbled in the first quarter and didn't see the field for the rest of the game. Stoops said the fumble was the reason for that.

• Stoops said co-offensive coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell were the ones that decided the reverse pass was ready to go for a game. "After I saw Lacoltan throw it, I'm wondering why we don't throw it a couple of times a game."

• Stoops talked a little bit about the atmosphere in 2008, when Texas Tech came to Norman as the No. 2 team in the country and undefeated at 10-0. "It'd be awesome if we can recreate that here and everyone jump in and do their best to affect the game," Stoops said. "We've got to do our part. We know it's a lot easier to be excited when you're playing well."

• The Oklahoma defense made some changes in the offseason to get more speed on the field to combat the wide-open passing attacks of the Big 12. Saturday will be the first time the Sooners will get to see how those changes work, and Stoops said he's excited to see how things go. "It's going to be challenging," Stoops admitted. "I say it all the time, but there's no magical schemes. You still have to make plays when you have opportunities, regardless of what scheme you're in."

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