<
>

Planning for success: Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma has outscored Texas 146-58 on its way to winning the last three Red River Rivalries. It seems like the Sooners’ average victory of 29.3 points would give OU a clear mental advantage heading into Saturday’s game at the Cotton Bowl.

Yet, the Sooners refuse to admit any type of psychological edge heading into the game, even with the Longhorns’ stumbling their way to a 3-2 record this season.

“I don’t look at that at all,” coach Bob Stoops said. “One year to the next. To me, they’re totally different teams. They are, we are, that’s a long time ago now. So in the end, you earn it year to year with what you’re doing, not because you may have won it the year before.”

But the Sooners have done it in dominant fashion, averaging 496.7 yards per game including 677 yards in their 63-21 win in 2012. OU has made the plays when it matters, converting 51.9 percent of its third down conversion attempts while averaging 6.91 yards per play on third down in the three victories.

Those stellar performances have allowed seniors like cornerback Aaron Colvin, guard Bronson Irwin and running back Brennan Clay to have their eyes on going undefeated against the Longhorns during their careers.

“It would be pretty cool to go 4-0 against Texas,” Irwin said. “It’s important to win every game, but being that this is one of the biggest, if not the biggest rivalry we have, it’s important for everyone involved. I’m looking forward to it.”

Yet if Irwin hopes to achieve his dream of never losing to the Longhorns he believes the Sooners will have to approach this game as if they haven’t had any previous success against UT.

“This is a new year,” Irwin said. “You see it every year; teams turn around and have different offensive or defensive styles. We got the best of them the last three years, but they’re going to give us their best on Saturday.”

The Sooners understand their win streak over the Longhorns has been hard-earned and UT, regardless of how it has played this season or in previous meetings, has the talent to beat OU anytime they meet on the Cotton Bowl turf.

“It’s a new year,” quarterback Blake Bell said. “They have different guys, we have different guys. Each year, it’s going to be tough. We have a lot of talent, they have a lot of talent. We’re going to come out there and give them our best shot and we’re going to be ready.”