College Football News and Notes Week 11

Re: College Football News and Notes Week 11

News and Notes - Week 11
Northcoast Sports

WEEK 11

Week 10 is behind us now and the big News for Week 11 is that Northcoast Sports will be releasing our 2007 College Game of the Year on Saturday. This play is 20-5 80% in its history including 7 winners the last 8 years.

New Mexico St could have easily beaten Nevada on Friday night but gave up a 3rd & 4, 31 yd TD run and 3rd & 15, 35 yd TD run by QB Kaepernick. They still led 38-34 when UN got a TD with 1:00 left but NMSt had all 3 time-outs. They drove to the UN 22 in range for a 39 yd FG but a false start forced a 44 yd FG which had plenty of distance but was wide left and UN hung on for the 2 pt win...

At the half Bowling Green had a 24-6 advantage but Akron settled for 20 and 32 yd FG's, fumbled at the BG 29 and also fumbled into the EZ for a TB from the 3 and was only outgained 233-205. In the 2H Akron was SOD at the BG 6, int'd at the BG 28, and SOD at the BG 9. BG also had a 51 yd IR TD in their 44-20 win...

Percy Harvin became the first player in Florida school history to have 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in the same game as the Gators beat Vandy for the 17th straight year...

Iowa St had lost their conf games by an avg of 23 ppg but pulled an upset of Kansas St, 31-20 at home...

For the 2nd straight week, Iowa came back from a 14 point deficit to pull out a win over Northwestern. Iowa trailed 14-0 after 1Q and was outgained 196-11. They did not get a FD until their 4th series when a roughing the P penalty gave them the FD. They trailed 17-14 into the 4Q but got a TD with 7:44 left then after an int, drove 30/3pl for a TD with 3:47 left...

NCSt became the first visitor to get a 1H score in the Orange Bowl vs Miami with the TD with 2:04 left. Since their bye NCSt has been a dog 3 times and has pulled 3 outright upsets...

Wake Forest and Virginia were in a showdown for the top spot in their ACC division and UVA moved into 1st place in the Coastal with a 17-16 win. They got a TD with 2:18 left and WF drove for a 48 yd FG on the last play but missed it. Since the NCAA began keeping records in 1937, no team has ever had 5 wins by 2 points or less in the same season like Virginia has. They have three 1 point wins and two 2 pt wins...

The announced attendance with 23,383 (less than 1/2 capacity) for Ole Miss' home game vs Northwestern St. UM did dominate in the 1Q with a 17-0 lead and 222 yds offense. After NWSt pulled within 17-14, UM extended it to 38-17 before NW got 68/9pl and 63/8pl drives for TD's on their final 2 drives, the latter with 3:16 left...

Tennessee Tech played Auburn closer than the 35-3 final as they gave up a 93 yd IR TD with a 1st & goal at the Auburn 9 in the 4Q. Auburn did score TD's on their first 3 drives of the game and led 21-3 when they pulled starting QB Cox and the offense would generate just 1 more TD with the backups in...

Clemson only led Duke 10-7 when they got a 3 yd TD pass with 1:19 left in the half. Duke was pinned at its own 10 and CU got a safety with :45 left and Spiller ret'd the ensuing free kick 84 yds for a TD and with 16 pts in less than :40, CU turned it into a 26-7 blowout at half and after playing lackadaisical the past few meetings, rolled to a 47-10 win...

Chad Hall reset his school record with 275 yards rushing as Air Force beat Army 30-10. The Falcons hadn't beaten one of their fellow service academies at home in four years...

E Carolina RB Chris Johnson had 301 yds vs Memphis, which was the 2nd highest total in school history. EC had 491 yds rushing in the game...

Indiana became bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 and Kellen Lewis had 4 TD's giving him 23 on the year setting a single season record at Indiana in their 38-20 romp over Ball St...

Colorado led Missouri 10-7 after 1Q when they were int'd at the MO 48. The rest of the game belonged to the Tigers as they scored on 7 of their next 8 drives and had 6 TD's and a FG and in that span. CU produced just 2 FD's and 2 TO's and MO turned a close game into a 55-10 romp...

Michigan led Michigan St 14-3 at the half but the Spartans scored 3 TD's on 4 poss to open the 2H and took a stunning 24-14 lead with 7:40 left. UM got a TD with 6:47 left to pull within 3 and then on 3rd & 12 a 31 yd TD pass with 2:28 to pull out the win. MSU got to the UM 34 but a 4th & 18 pass was incomplete...

USC led Oregon St 24-3 at the half scoring 2 TD's in the final 4:00 and did have a 175-49 yd edge. In the 2H OSU was SOD at the USC 6 and 40 yd lines on their only 2 scoring chances and the 2H was scoreless...

LSU pulled out another cardiac win. They trailed Alabama 27-17 in the 3Q and got a 61 yd TD pass to pull within 3. They got a 49 yd FG to tie but Bama got a 62 yd PR and led 34-27. LSU punted with 6:26 left but then on 4th & 4 at the Bama 32, threw a short pass to Doucet who took it 32 yds for a TD and the tie. On 3rd & 12 JP Wilson was slung backwards by the DL and fumbled and LSU rec'd at the 3 setting up their game winning TD with 1:26 left as LSU escaped...

Illinois delivered as the Early Bird Play of the Week for us in a dominating 44-17 win over Minnesota. The score does not capture the game as Illinois rolled up a 655-337 yd edge with the Gophers getting 140 of their yards on their final 2 drives when trailing 44-10...

Washington, which could have easily beaten Arizona the week before, piled up 388 yards rushing vs Stanford and had a 539-253 yd edge. Louis Rankin had 255 yds, the most for a Huskie since Corey Dillon rushed for 259 vs Oregon in 1996...

Tulane RB Matt Forté had 103 yds vs Tulsa which stopped his bid to tie the NCAA record for rushing for 200 yds or more in 5 straight games. Tulsa led just 21-18 early in the 2H but pulled away for a 49-25 road win...

Toledo's offense is hitting stride with over 800 yards offense vs NI 2 weeks ago and another 600 vs E Michigan in their 52-28 romp at home this past week...

Tennessee scored on every drive but one vs ULL and even had a 70 yd IR TD and 20 yd blk'd punt for a TD for a 59-7 win...

W Kentucky trailed UT Chattanooga 21-14 but tied it with 7:47 left and got a game winning TD with :53 left to pull out the 7 point win...

Chase Clement set a CUSA record accounting for 8 TD's vs UTEP. Three fmbl's in the 2H were the key to this and it appeared all but over with UTEP leading 48-28 early 4Q. Rice rallied for 4 TD's to pull out the miracle 56-48 win...

New Mexico has done a great job in MWC play but has not matched up well vs TCU. Since the Frogs joined the conf, NM is not only 0-3 vs TCU, but TCU has led each game by at least a 24-0 margin and they rolled to a 37-0 win with dominating 23-6 FD and 421-119 yd edges vs what had been a surging Lobo team...

ULM piled up 30-23 FD and 624-499 yd edges vs Middle Tennessee. They appeared to have pulled out the win with a TD with :57 left leading 40-37 but MT got an 89 yd KR for a TD to win by 3 (missing the crucial xp)...

Fresno St led Utah St 31-7 at the half scoring on all 5 of their 1H poss but only won 38-27...

Arkansas' Darren McFadden reignited his Heisman hopes with an SEC record 323 yds vs S Carolina. He became the first Razorback to top 300 yds rushing...

Boston College's luck ran out and it ran out at home. Earlier in the year BC had a couple of fortunate wins vs both Wake Forest and NCSt. For over 57:00 they were being shutout at VT but somehow managed to pull it out. This time, vs an underachieving Florida St team, they lost by 10 at home with FSU's offense piling up by far its best effort of the season with 452 yds as Weatherford hit 29 of 45 for 354.

MISLEADING FINALS AND FRONTDOOR & BACKDOOR COVERS

The pointspread Player of the Week has to be Ohio St's Chris "Beanie" Wells. Bucks led 10-3 at the half vs Wisconsin with a 194-88 yd edge. UW in their last 3 trips to Columbus, had overcome double digit deficits and won all 3. UW took their first 2 drives of the 3Q for TD's and led 17-10 and an OSU cover seemed improbable but OSU scored 4 TD's, the first with 2:41 left in the 3Q on a Wells 31 yd TD run. On their next drive Wells got a 30 yd TD run early 4Q and then after a fake punt was stopped at the UW 25, OSU got a TD with 10:05 left. OSU's frontdoor cover appeared doomed when a 29 yd FG was blk'd with 8:29 left but UW fmbl'd with 3:23 left and on the next play Wells got a 23 yd TD run. UW, trying for the backdooor, got to the Buckeye 27 where they were SOD at the 14 with 1:01 left...

Penn St had a 29-22 FD edge vs Purdue and 461-284 yd edge before PU gained 39 yds on the final 3 plays of the game. PU had a 98 yd return of the opening KO for a TD to give them an early lead but PSU led 13-10 at the half with a 243-105 yd edge. PU went on a pair of long drives to open the 3Q for FG's and a 16-13 lead. Penn St drove 69 yds for a TD with 13:46 left, fmbl'd at the PU 6 (although RB Kinlaw appeared to have stepped OOB at the 17 before the fmbl) then drove 65/12pl for a TD with 3:41 left for the apparent frontdoor cover, 26-16. PU went 60/12pl for a 37 yd FG with 1:46 left for the backdoor cover...

While Connecticut was in control most of the game vs Rutgers, it should be pointed out that Rutgers had a 307-150 yd edge at the half. In the 1H and early 3Q, Rutgers settled for 5 short FG's making those from the 13, 12, 12 and 10 yd lines and missing a 43 yd FG. RU finished the game with 29-18 FD edge & 511-396 yd edges...

Colorado St played a better 1H than their 21-3 deficit would show as they had 3 drives inside the BYU 10 result in just 3 points. They were outgained 245-188 but trailed 21-3 thanks in part to a fake FG which was SOD on the last play of the half. BYU led the game 35-9 and CSU punted with 5:00 left having no shot at the cover but CSU got a 31 yd IR for a TD with 4:00 left, giving them the backdoor cover. BYU drove to the CSU 16 yd line where the game ended...

Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno became the first UGA frosh since Herschel Walker to rush for 1,000 yards. After a 59 yd PR set up UGA at the 2, they got a TD with 6:18 left for the apparent frontdoor cover. Troy was SOD at their own 45 and UGA punted with just 2:48 left. Troy went 91/12pl and got a 5 yd TD pass with :05 left for the backdoor cover...

Miami, Ohio led Buffalo 31-20 when they missed a 35 yd FG with 6:59 left. Buffalo converted on 4th & 2 for a FD to their own 31 and later on 4th & 2 for a FD to the MU 24. The Bulls got a 3 yd TD pass and 2 pt conversion with 2:54 left for the backdoor cover but were still in the game getting the ball back on a punt with 2:27 left they got to midfield but Willy was sk'd and fumbled with 1:30 left.

COACHES ON THE HOTSEAT


Just when you think things cannot get any worse for Nebraska, they have. Last year NU was a 3 TD fav vs Kansas and this year they were a 3 TD dog. NU had leads of 7-0 and 14-7 but KU scored TD's on an amazing 10 straight poss and led 48-24 at the half and 69-31 after 3Q's. The 72 pts were the most ever scored vs NU in their 117 year football history and NU suffered its 5th straight loss for the first time since 1958. KU was 1-37 the previous 38 years vs NU and their avg loss from 1971-2000 was 47-7...

Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham tied a school record with 4 TD rec's vs Texas A&M. The Sooners were even more dominant than the final as they led 35-0 after 3Q's and A&M gained 149 of their 283 yds on their final 2 drives, both for TD's, the latter with :43 left...

Guy Morriss' job is in jeopardy at Baylor. They have lost Big XII games this year by an avg of 30 ppg are guaranteed their 12th consecutive losing season. Morriss left Kentucky because he thought he had a better chance at winning at Baylor and now look where UK is and where Baylor is!

INJURIES OF NOTE

Florida's D was so banged up that backup C Michael Pouncey moved to DT and played a solid game and they held VU to 255 total yards...

Oregon QB Dennis Dixon was inj'd in the 4Q with UO up 35-16 vs Arizona St and did not return...

Patrick Cowan is still not 100% for UCLA and he hit just 7 of 18 for 65 yds and left the game in the 3Q with an injury. Converted WR Osaar Rasshan hit just 3 of 10 passes but they were for 78 yds and he also had 57 yd rushing. UCLA did trail 34-14 before scoring the games final 13 points...

Jeremy Young got his first start in 5 games after an inj and S Miss rolled UAB 37-7 in a game they led 37-0. SM had a 456 yds offense in the dominating win.

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN

In 2003 Oklahoma St led 16-7 vs Texas in the 1Q but lost 55-16. In 2004 they had a 35-7 1H lead before losing 56-35 to the Horns. They led 28-9 in the 1H vs Texas but lost 47-28 during the Longhorns National Title year. This past week it looked to be locked up and sealed it for the Cowboys. OSU led 35-14 in the 4Q and went for it on 4th & 3 at the UT 35 but was SOD. UT scored TD's on their next 3 poss to tie it with 3:22 left. OSU got in position for a chip shot 32 yd FG but missed wide right. UT got the miracle 40 yd FG with no time left to cap a 24-0 4Q rally and give them the SU win.

TURNOVERS CAN BE A FACTOR

The official TO total for USF vs Cincinnati was 8 but that does not sum up the actual TO's they suffered during the game. Twice USF was SOD which is basically like a TO and on another play, had a punt blk'd and ret'd for a TD. USF had a 481-375 yd edge and 27-14 FD edge but even with their "eleven" TO's in the game, USF had a shot at the win but dropped a 2nd & 10 TD pass from the 18 and their 3rd & 10 pass on the final play fell incomplete.

STREAKS

Florida Int'l almost had Div IA's longest losing streak end at 20 games but with Arkansas St trailing 16-10 they got a pair of TD's in the final 5:00 to lead 24-16. AKSt got a TD and 2 pt conversion to tie and Darren Toney who had 2 int in the 3Q ret'd the KO 59 yds to the FIU 39 setting up the game winning FG with :02 left as ASU escaped...

The nation's longest single series losing streak which was 44 year old ended as Navy beat Notre Dame. It was the Midshipmen's first win in the series since 1963 when some guy named Roger Staubach was QB'ing the Midshipmen. The Irish did not trail until Navy ret'd a fumble 16 yds for a TD in the 3Q. Surprisingly, with :45 left and the Irish in position for a 41 yd FG, they opted to go for it on 4th & 8 and was sacked for a loss of 7 yds. The game would go to 3 OT's and ND's failed 2 pt conversion saw them end up 2 pts short.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 11

Weis names Clausen starter against Air Force
November 7, 2007

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Jimmy Clausen is back as Notre Dame's starting quarterback.

The freshman, who lost his starting job after struggling against Boston College on Oct. 13, will start Saturday against Air Force. Evan Sharpley had started the past two games, a 38-0 loss to USC and a 46-44 loss in triple overtime to Navy.

Brian Hardin, director of football media relations, announced the decision after practice Wednesday. Coach Charlie Weis, who usually meets with the media on Wednesdays, was not available for comment. Hardin said Weis would talk about his decision after practice Thursday.

Clausen has a better completion percentage than Sharpley, but Sharpley has been more productive. Clausen has completed 81 of 141 passes, a 57.4 completion rate, for 618 yards with five interceptions and one touchdown pass. Sharpley has completed 77 of 140 passes, a 55 percent completion rate, for 736 yards with three interceptions and five touchdowns.

Weis indicated after Notre Dame lost to Navy to fall to 1-8 that Sharpley would likely start again against Air Force. But after reviewing game film Sunday, Weis said he was undecided. On Tuesday he said whoever looked better at practice this week would start.

Weis said at the time he named Sharpley the starter for the USC game that he was doing so because Sharpley was steadily improving and because Clausen, who had been sacked 23 times, was banged up. He said Tuesday that Clausen was getting healthier.

Sharpley was 34-of-60 passing for 257 yards with one interception and two touchdown passes in his two starts. He was sacked nine times.

Clausen was rated by some as the top high school player last year. He became the first Notre Dame quarterback in at least 56 years to start his second game as a freshman, then started the next six. He did not play against USC or Navy.

Weis has said part of the reason Clausen has struggled is because he's had trouble adjusting to the speed of the game.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 11

Florida State LB Ball suspended
November 7, 2007

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State linebacker Marcus Ball has been suspended for Saturday's game at No. 11 Virginia Tech for a violation of team rules.

Redshirt junior Rodney Gallon, who would normally take Ball's place behind starter Dekoda Watson, tweaked his left ankle and left practice early Wednesday and his status for Saturday is uncertain.

"We will have to see what happens tomorrow with Rodney," linebackers coach Chuck Amato said. "We have a lot of options."

Ball returned to the lineup in last Saturday's 27-17 win over Boston College after missing two games with a sprained left ankle. He is third on the team with three pas?terback Xavier Lee will also miss Saturday's game against the Hokies (7-2, 4-1 ACC), the second of his two-game suspension for a violation of the team's academic policy. Neither player will travel with the team.

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Stanford WR suspended for one game

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford sophomore wide receiver Richard Sherman has been suspended for the Cardinal's game at Washington State on Saturday because of poor sportsmanship on the sidelines during a loss to Washington.

"It was something the coaching staff agreed to," Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh said on Tuesday. "He will not be allowed to participate in any football activities this week."

Sherman was called for a personal foul during last Saturday's 27-9 home loss to the Huskies. Soon after, television cameras caught Sherman on the sidelines pointing and screaming, apparently at teammates, while special teams coach C.J. Durkin tried to quell the situation.

Sherman leads Stanford with 38 receptions for 646 yards and four touchdowns.

Harbaugh also announced at his weekly press conference that sophomore running back Toby Gerhart will redshirt the season after injuring his knee against San Jose State.

Gerhart, who also plays baseball, has a tear in his PCL and was not available to play. He gained 140 yards in his only game of the season.

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Reports say Morriss out as Baylor coach
November 8, 2007

Associated Press

WACO, Texas (AP) -- Baylor coach Guy Morriss won't return for the remaining year on his contract after being unable to produce a winning record in any of his five seasons, two newspapers reported Thursday night.

Morriss, 18-38 at Baylor, will coach the final two games of the season for the Bears (3-7, 0-6 Big 12), the Houston Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News reported on their Web sites in stories citing sources. Baylor plays Saturday at fourth-ranked Oklahoma.

Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw told The Associated Press on Thursday night that the status of Morriss' future hadn't been determined.

"What I told you before is the truth in this case. We'll evaluate the program at the end of the season," McCaw said by phone.

A message left on Morriss' cell phone wasn't immediately returned. A phone message left at the home of Harold Cunningham, chairman of Baylor's regents, also wasn't returned.

The Houston Chronicle, the first to report that Morriss wouldn't return, cited two people close to the athletic program. The Dallas Morning News cited two high-ranking university sources.

After Oklahoma, which the Bears haven't beaten in four tries under Morriss, they finish the season at home against Oklahoma State on Nov. 18.

The Bears were guaranteed their 12th straight losing season, all since moving to the Big 12, when they lost 38-7 at home to Texas Tech on Saturday. Baylor's lone touchdown didn't come until the final minute of the game.

Baylor has lost its Big 12 games by an average of 30 points since going 3-1 in non-conference games.

In Baylor's first conference game under Morriss four years ago, the Bears pulled off a shocker by beating two-time defending North Division champion Colorado. Morriss also delivered the first Big 12 road victory, in 2005 at Iowa State, and then last year the Bears won three Big 12 games in the same season for the first time after having won more than one only once.

Still, the Bears are 7-32 in the Big 12 under Morriss, who is a combined 1-7 against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Morriss came to Baylor from Kentucky after the 2002 season when he replaced Kevin Steele.

Now the Bears are apparently looking for their fifth coach since Grant Teaff won 128 games and took them to eight bowl games in his 21 seasons (1972-92).

Among the potential candidates is Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker and Baylor icon Mike Singletary, who is in his third season as assistant head coach for the San Francisco 49ers. Before that, he spent two years on the Baltimore Ravens staff.

When Singletary was interviewed for the Baylor job before Morriss was hired, Singletary had no coaching experience.

But Singletary then became an NFL assistant. He has since been interviewed for three NFL head coaching jobs, including with the Dallas Cowboys last winter, and would seem a likely candidate for future jobs.

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Oklahoma State suspends LB Collins for rest of season
November 8, 2007

Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma State suspended linebacker Chris Collins Jr. for the remainder of the season Thursday after he pleaded guilty to a felony aggravated sexual assault charge in Texas earlier this week.

A jury in New Boston, Texas, recommended a five-year prison term that would be served on probation Wednesday for Collins, who pleaded guilty a day earlier to the aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl. He is due to be formally sentenced Dec. 10, when a judge will determine whether to take the jury's recommendation and whether to make Collins register as a sex offender.

"Chris Collins will not play in the remaining games on the 2007 Oklahoma State University schedule. We will not make a final decision on his long-term status on the OSU football team until we have fully reviewed and considered this matter in the wake of what has happened this week, and had a chance to talk to Chris in detail," Marlene Strathe, the university's interim President, said in a statement Thursday.

University spokesman Gary Shutt said Collins would be allowed to keep his scholarship and remain in school in the meantime.

Collins, now 20, was one of four men charged following an after-prom party in May 2004, when he was 17. An affidavit indicated the girl said she could recall Collins being on top of her and kissing her neck, and contains a statement from one of the other men that he saw Collins and the girl having sexual relations.

"Chris remains with his family in Texas," Strathe said in the statement. "Since arriving at Oklahoma State University, Chris has been a model student and we will continue to encourage and support him as he pursues his educational goals.

"We will withhold further comment until we make a final decision, at which time we will report it to the media."

Collins had missed five games this season due to injury before returning Saturday to record five tackles in a 38-35 loss to No. 14 Texas. He had 31 tackles in five games this season. Last season, he was the Cowboys' leading tackler through six games before an injury forced him to miss the second half of the season.

The Cowboys host No. 5 Kansas on Saturday.

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Reports say Morriss out as Baylor coach
November 8, 2007

Associated Press

WACO, Texas (AP) -- Baylor coach Guy Morriss won't return for the remaining year on his contract after being unable to produce a winning record in any of his five seasons, two newspapers reported Thursday night.

Morriss, 18-38 at Baylor, will coach the final two games of the season for the Bears (3-7, 0-6 Big 12), the Houston Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News reported on their Web sites in stories citing sources. Baylor plays Saturday at fourth-ranked Oklahoma.

Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw told The Associated Press on Thursday night that the status of Morriss' future hadn't been determined.

"What I told you before is the truth in this case. We'll evaluate the program at the end of the season," McCaw said by phone.

No. 4 Sooners seek 17th straight win against hapless Baylor
November 9, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -One team has everything to play for, including a Big 12 title and even an outside chance at a national championship. The other team has little more than dwindling pride and its coach's job status at stake.

Must be time for Oklahoma to play Baylor again.

In as close to a sure thing as the Big 12 has to offer, the Sooners have never lost to the Bears in 16 all-time meetings. It's one of only two series in the conference that have seen one team win every game, along with Texas holding a 7-0 record against Iowa State.

So, the No. 4 Sooners (8-1, 4-1 Big 12) had to find new reasons to get fired up to play the Bears (3-7, 0-6) on Saturday. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson compared Oklahoma's final stretch to a tournament, and he reminded players that it was Baylor four years ago that even in defeat helped reveal a weakness in pass protection that ultimately helped the Sooners go from surefire national champions to a two-loss team.

``We can't overlook them. Every game is the most important game now,'' Oklahoma cornerback Reggie Smith said. ``We've got to make sure we win out. We can't lose any more games. We've got to win every single game so we can have a chance to win the South and go on to a Big 12 championship and whatever else happens.''

The Sooners catch Baylor just after the last glimmer of an improbable run at a bowl game was wiped away and the questions about coach Guy Morriss' job security started coming in.

``I, for one, am not going to roll over just because it's Oklahoma, and I don't think our kids are going to do that either,'' Morriss said. ``We took some extra time to see what we could do against this Oklahoma team. We just need to go up there and get after them.

``Who knows what's going to happen, but I think this team has some character and resolve and will go up there and play hard.''

The Bears took Oklahoma to double overtime in their last trip to Norman in 2005, but that was when the Sooners were a young squad rebuilding after back-to-back trips to the BCS title game. The same players who were young and inexperienced then are now helping make Oklahoma the nation's third-highest scoring offense (44.2 ppg).

Redshirt freshman Sam Bradford is coming off his second five-touchdown performance of the season in a 42-14 win against Texas A&M last week that was also Oklahoma's second turnover-free game this season and featured its best rushing output in conference play.

All around, a bye week seemed to get the Sooners back on track and help them kick some nasty habits.

``You can't make that determination after just one week, but it's something to where we're going to strive to get better, and hopefully we can make big improvements,'' said Sooners safety D.J. Wolfe, who leads the team with four interceptions.

``When it starts getting down to conference championship time and bowl game time, you want to be at your peak out there as a team.''

That's not good news for the Bears, who were able to keep it close into the fourth quarter against Texas three weeks ago but got walloped by a combined score of 89-20 the past two weeks by Kansas State and Texas Tech. In a freakish development, safeties Dwain Crawford and Brandon Stiggers both suffered broken legs last week against Tech, with Crawford's coming in pregame warmups.

Perhaps the best motivation is trying to play spoiler against the fifth-place team in the BCS standings.

``You've got to do something. We better go out and play,'' Morriss said. ``It is about personal pride and how you want to represent your football program and yourself. This is another game. Let's go have some fun and go play. When it comes right down to it after you settle in and start to play, it's all about self-motivation and personal pride.''

Or simply not getting embarrassed.

``You don't want to go out there and look stupid on national television,'' Baylor linebacker Nick Moore said. ``We want to go out there and give it our best.''

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