Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops disagreed with a question on the weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference that the Sooners might have an edge Saturday night in Bedlam because OU has more experience than OSU in big games.
"Last year they had an opportunity. They were in a similar situation a year ago," Stoops said. "Oklahoma State had BCS possibilities. They have some experience with it. We do (as well).
"Our guys have talked about that. Some of guys that have been here four or five years, even our juniors, have been in this situation in 2007 and 2008 when we went into these last games with opportunities to keep pursuing Big 12 championships and national championships."
For the ninth time in 11 years OU enters Bedlam with an opportunity to win the South.
"Our guys need to embrace it," Stoops said. "That's we've been doing around here. Hopefully we can do it again."
Since both teams have dynamic offenses and both defenses that have been inconsistent most forecast a shootout.
This isn't the first time the Sooners have faced a dynamic OSU offense led by talented "triplets" at the three main skill positions.
The difference this time is OSU offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen is calling plays.
Does Stoops see similarities between the Cowboys and Texas Tech offenses Holgorsen was involved with?
"There are some principles that are still there but they're different," Stoops said. "Dana has put his own fingerprints on it for sure the run game. You see quite a few differences in the willingness to run the football. That's the biggest one. But you still see some things that are the footprints Tech has done in the past."
It's the biggest challenge this season for OU's defense.
OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden is second nationally in passing yards. Running back Kendall Hunter is fifth nationally in rushing. Justin Blackmon leads the country in receiving yards.
"The biggest thing is they execute well and they have a lot of good playmakers," Stoops said. "Put the two of them together and you have a high powered offense."
The Sooners counter with an offense that features quarterback Landry Jones, ranked third nationally in passing; wide receiver Ryan Broyles, ranked first in catches per game and third in receiving yards and running back DeMarco Murray, OU's all-time leader in touchdowns.
"I've been very pleased throughout the year with what we've been doing (offensively)," Stoops said. "If you just look at like opponents, when you look at us Big 12 statistics-wise, we're in the top two or three right there with about everybody."
Since OU ended a four-game Big 12 road losing streak at Baylor, Stoops was asked if the dominant road win will help build confidence heading into what appears to be a winner-take-all showdown for the South title.
"I don't think that's an issue," Stoops said. "The bottom line is we played well. Players made plays when they had opportunities. We've done that the last couple of weeks. Our confidence is great right now. Our guys feel really great about what they're doing and excited about the opportunity that's in front of them."
In rivalry games special teams sometimes play a key role.
"The last few games, really for the most part throughout the year we've (played well)," Stoops said. "I think we're leading the league in punting when you just look at conference opponents. Our returns have been solid. (Kicker) Jimmy Stevens the last several weeks has been very good in making all his kicks.
"We feel positive and good about it. We've really played well for the most part in our kicking game."
BOX, FINCH SHOULD PLAY
Middle linebacker Austin Box and running back Roy Finch suffered injuries at Baylor but Stoops expects both to play Saturday night in Stillwater.
"We're very optimistic," Stoops said. "Both guys (Sunday) tested out very well. This morning, same thing. They're actually going to do some limited work today. We feel very optimistic that they'll be ready to play."
Was Box an ankle or a recurrence of his back injury?
"I'm not discussing what anything is when guys are going to play," Stoops said. "I did that last week with DeMarco (Murray). If guys are going to play there's no sense dialoging and being specific with what's bothering them and what isn't."