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For OU, losing to Texas is a loss like no other

Regardless of what their coach says, Sooner players say losing to Texas just isn't the same.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: September 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm •  Published: September 28, 2010

NORMAN — Oklahoma defensive end Jeremy Beal didn't hesitate with his answer.

Does losing to Texas feel different than losing to any other team?

"Of course," he said. "Any time you lose to a big rival — your archrival — it's going to feel different."

While Sooner fans have long known as much — they all die a little on the inside whenever OU loses to Texas — Bob Stoops has always dismissed the idea. Sure, the OU-Texas game is big and grand, but the Sooner coach has never admitted to the outcome being any different than any other game.

Losing to Texas, he contends, is the same as losing to Texas Tech or Colorado or Oklahoma State.

With apologies to Stoops, his players aren't buying that. After back-to-back losses to the Longhorns, they have a good perspective on this — or a bad one, depending on how you see those losses — and they say it feels different.

"It does," senior running back Mossis Madu said. "It hurts."

It's the bragging rights forfeited. It's the inside track to the Big 12 title squandered. It's even little things like the trek back to the locker room at the end of the game.

"Whenever we lose, our fans are all gone ... except for a couple, and they're all mad," Madu said. "All you see is orange everywhere and Texas running onto the field to celebrate.

"It really is difficult."

This is a game, after all, that the Sooners point to throughout the year.

A couple weeks ago after a so-so season opener against Utah State, Travis Lewis was talking about OU needing to bring intensity and passion to the field regardless of who they were playing. Doesn't matter if it's Utah State. Doesn't matter if it's Texas.

The Red River Rivalry was a month away, but still, the Longhorns were in the back of Sooner linebacker's mind.

"This is a game we look forward to in the summer and when you're working in spring ball," Beal said.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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