Three former Dallas Skyline High School linebackers are set to play Saturday on Owen Field, with Oklahoma's Corey Nelson and Frank Shannon hosting TCU's Paul Dawson.
Shannon and Nelson lead the Sooners this season with 27 and 21 tackles, respectively, and Dawson, a junior, has recorded 10 tackles and appeared in all four of the Horned Frogs' games.
Dawson attended Trinity Valley Community College out of high school before transferring to TCU.
“For me, it's like a rivalry game,” Shannon said. “My best friend's on the team. I don't wanna lose to him, so we've gotta win.”
NORVELL PROUD OF RECEIVERS
Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jay Norvell was blunt regarding his wideouts' performances after the Sooners' first two games of the season.
Norvell gathered his group for an intense meeting between Oklahoma's games against West Virginia and Tulsa, telling the receivers that what they'd done to that point was unacceptable.
Oklahoma's wideouts appear to have received the message loud and clear. They've been noticeably better, especially sophomore Sterling Shepard, who has recorded 229 yards and three touchdowns, including a 54-yarder last week at Notre Dame.
“We had guys that were really prideful today, really willful, and that's what we talked about,” Norvell said after the win over Notre Dame. “It wasn't so much about scheme; it was about playing with pride and playing with a great will. They wanted to play well for the pride of Oklahoma.
“Really, it didn't have to be as close as it was. We missed some opportunities in the red zone. But I was really proud of Shep, really proud of (Lacoltan) Bester, Jalen (Saunders) played hard. It was a very good collective effort by everybody.”
GRISSOM: SOONERS THINKING NATIONAL TITLE
Oklahoma junior defensive end Geneo Grissom didn't mince words when discussing his expectations for his still-unbeaten team in 2013.
When asked if he wishes he could enjoy last week's 35-21 win at Notre Dame a little longer, Grissom said, “No. It was a great win, a great accomplishment for us. But we're looking at bigger things. We think we can win a national championship this year. And that's what we're striving for.”
Grissom — who started his OU career at defensive end, then switched to tight end and back last season — said the key to the Sooners' defensive success has been an increased focus on being more physical.
The Sooners' senior-dominated defensive front was heavily criticized last season, and then was depleted by graduation, leading to many questions about the unit entering 2013.
But so far, the defensive line has played well under first-year position coach Jerry Montgomery.
“Everybody was saying we weren't the best D-line coming into the season,” Grissom said. “We were able to prove some more people wrong (against Notre Dame).”
SOONERS PREPARE FOR BOYKIN
Oklahoma's defense knows what TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin is capable of, having seen his athleticism up close and personal in last December's 24-17 victory in Fort Worth.
Boykin threw for 231 yards and an 80-yard touchdown pass in the game, and added 36 yards and a score on the ground.
“He's a real good scrambler, but at the same time he can throw the deep ball,” said OU junior nickelback Julian Wilson. “We were watching film today, he was throwing balls 60 yards off the scramble. We've got to focus staying on our man once he scrambles.”
Sophomore linebacker Eric Striker, on his unit's lack of playing time last year:
“Now that we're a part of it, you see what we can do.”