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OU Football: Week 13 Notebook

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma Sooners closed out an undefeated home slate on Saturday, taking down Iowa State, 48-10. Oklahoma closes the season on the road beginning this week with a trip to Manhattan, Kan. to take on Kansas State. Coach Bob Stoops, who would pass Barry Switzer as the all-time winningest coach in OU history with a win, and players met with the media on Monday to discuss the matchup. Here are some news and notes from the press conference.

• The Sooners have never lost to Kansas State in Manhattan since Bob Stoops took over in Norman. OU last lost to KSU on the road in 1996. Overall, Stoops has lost to Kansas State just twice: once in the 2003 Big 12 championship and last year in Norman.

• The Sooners have been dreadful in red zone defense this season, ranking 116th in the country in that category.

• Stoops was in ultra-stealth mode on Monday in regards to who will start at quarterback and updating injuries from the previous week at Baylor. Stoops didn't reveal who was still injured or what their injuries are, saying he didn't feel it did the team any favors to divulge that information before the game. Stoops had the same thoughts on the quarterback position, not tipping his hand as to who would start against the Wildcats.

• Stoops did name the players of the game for the Sooner. Dominique Alexander and Frank Shannon were recognized for their efforts on defense. Jalen Saunders and Derrick Woods were the winners for special teams, while Aaron Ripkowski and the offensive line were recognized for their efforts that allowed the Sooners to rush for 405 yards against Iowa State.

• Kendal Thompson came in at quarterback in the fourth quarter and led the Sooners on a touchdown drive in his one series directing the offense. Stoops said his performance gave him more confidence in Thompson's ability to perform well during games and said he is "in the mix" to start at quarterback this week. Stoops reiterated he will not start Thompson just to see how it goes.

• The Sooners got off to another slow start on Saturday and has now not scored a first quarter touchdown since Sept. 28 at Notre Dame. Stoops said the slow starts are very frustrating, especially since the offense is executing later in the game without undergoing any major changes. Stoops said he feels his team comes ready to play, but can't put a finger on why there hasn't been much success out of the gate.

• Safety Gabe Lynn and running back Brennan Clay both expressed their disdain for 11 a.m. kickoffs, citing the 7 a.m. wake-up call as the big reason why. However, Clay did say it was nice to be done with the game early and enjoy the evening.

• Center Gabe Ikard said he was happy with the way the offense performed, particularly in the second half on Saturday, but said offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has taught the unit to never be satisfied with a performance. Ikard acknowledged there are plenty of things the Sooners can continue working on to get better. "There's just no pleasing that man," Ikard joked.

• Kansas State wide receiver Tramaine Thompson went to Jenks High School with Lynn. Lynn said Thompson has been holding last season's KSU win over his head, but was looking forward to exacting revenge on his high school teammate.

• Lynn added that if the Sooners could close the season with two road wins against Kansas State and Oklahoma State, the Sooners should be very pleased with their season, considering all the uncertainty and the injuries that have surrounded the team this season.

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