SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Oklahoma players' college football passports are filled with stamps from impressive locations all over the country.
Here's what some current and former OU players and coaches had to say about their experiences:
Senior linebacker Corey Nelson: “When you go to historic places like Notre Dame, Florida State, Alabama, it creates a different atmosphere and stirs up a different kind of feeling in the players and I'm sure the fans as well.”
Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell: “I think that's the great thing about being at Oklahoma, and that's why these kids wanna come here is to play in these types of games versus nonconference opponents that are so highly regarded. … Kids dream about performing in these types of games.”
Senior cornerback Aaron Colvin: “This is gonna be a very good team and a traditional school that has a lot of history. We know the crowd will be hostile just like Florida State was.”
Former OU fullback J.D. Runnels: “I wasn't there, but I can imagine that (Tuesday) was probably the hardest practice those kids have gone through, just knowing the practice schedule. It's totally different, man. It's a different mindset.
“There's a different feeling walking around there (during weeks of big road games). All the coaches are intense. There's no mistakes made those weeks. Everybody's on point. You're getting ready to go into a crazy atmosphere. Everybody's on their A-game right now.”
Co-offensive coordinator and former OU quarterback Josh Heupel: “We're always playing top-tier teams, and this certainly is no different. Our kids enjoy the opportunity to go and compete against the best.”
OU coach Bob Stoops: “We don't go on these trips to tour or go to wine country or anything else. We're pretty much there to get ready to play. … That's why the bowl experience is popular and positive for the student-athlete. So many of them come from areas and don't have opportunities like when you do go to the Rose Bowl to walk around Hollywood and experience L.A. in positive way like that. Go to Miami for the Orange Bowl and stay at a five-star hotel and get treated that way. They haven't had that chance, so it's really a positive experience.”
Senior fullback Trey Millard: “You come to Oklahoma to play in a lot of big games and this is going to be another one this week.”
Sophomore defensive end Charles Tapper: “It's a lot more exciting because it's our first national game on NBC. Guys are telling us to be calm and not scared. We're not scared. They just think we're scared. It should be a lot of fun.”