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Sooner Quotes on the Cyclones

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The Sooners are now in the driver's seat to play for the Big 12 championship in San Antonio with their next stop being Ames, Iowa to take on the Cyclones. One thing we've learned this season is that anyone can beat anyone so you had better come to play. So are the Sooners in danger of overlooking the Cyclones. I'm gonna say that they learned their lesson at Colorado.

"Going to Iowa State, Gene Chizik does an outstanding job. He has a long track record of success. Watching Iowa State, they play hard and are very sound in all of their schemes. You would expect that with Gene and his background. They are very fundamentally sound in how they move the football. Their quarterback, Bret Meyer, is an excellent player. Their big receiver, Todd Blythe is an excellent go-to-guy. They have good quality players, and Gene and his staff are doing an excellent job."

There are several players on this Oklahoma squad who are having great seasons but middle linebacker Curtis Lofton is having one of the best. Stoops had this to say about Lofton's success.

"I think it is just his overall raw ability. He is very powerful in the way he hits and moves. He is also very athletic in the way he can change directions and cover. As a middle linebacker, he may be one of the best we have had athletically when you look at his strength, size and quickness. He is a very bright guy and is really fun to coach. I know Coach Venables loves him because of his attention and the way he gets things, he just understands it."

Of course another man on the Sooner defense causing problems is the Big 12's leader in sacks, Austin English.

"By evidence in what he has done, he probably been more productive than anybody we have had if you look at his performance in tackling and sacks. He is really just an excellent athlete and a very tenacious player. He definitely has a chance to be one of those special guys. Already this year he has been more productive than anybody we have had in the past couple of years."

The Sooners have posted back to back wins over top 25 teams but Coach Stoops acknowledges that there is still room for improvement.

"I feel overall that we need to make strides in some areas more than we have. I feel we should still be able to run the football better than we have. I feel in our blocking we are letting some guys roll off of us or cross our faces once we have them in position, things like that. I still see on one or two occasions defensively where we are in position and don't make the proper read or cover a certain route like we are supposed to. Still we are having problems dropping the football after we possess it. We are still fielding a punt when we shouldn't. We are setting ourselves up in some positions that I don't feel are hard to overcome. To me, if we are really playing on top of our game, we can do those things. We have made some progress in some areas on penalty issues and our fourth quarter plays and making plays when we need to. There are a lot of positives, but I feel there are some simple fundamentals where we can be sharper. If those areas can become shaper then we will be a better team."

OU plays on the road for the first time since losing to Colorado in Boulder. Should there be any fear of another meltdown?

"We have been on the road several games this year. It is always a challenge. In the Colorado game we played half of the game pretty well and didn't play well when we had to. We'll see if we can't put together four quarters this week."

Player Quotes

"Anytime you go on the road it's a tough environment, but it's something where we put a little extra focus into the preparation coming into. We look to have a different outcome than last time. "Anybody can beat anybody on any given week. Coach Stoops preaches to us and he gave us a sheet of the upsets so far this year. We have to go into it with the mentality that we can't be beaten and we're going to play our game." - Safety DJ Wolfe on playing at Iowa State
"You can never sit there and lose focus, even if you don't mean too. It can happen without you realizing it. Last time the offense put up a lot of points and we just lose focus thinking that is always going to happen. It is like a little crack in the window and they find it. One person looses focus, then another, then another and before you know it they are kicking a field goal to win the game. " - Defensive Tackle DeMarcus Granger on what they learned on the road at Colorado
"This is college football, the athletes at Iowa State are just as good as anywhere else. If they have a good game and we don't then anything can happen. We respect their team and we know they are going to play hard no matter what their record is." Running back Jacob Gutierrez on Oklahoma's mindset