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OU-Florida State will be a big early season test

by Jenni Carlson Published: August 13, 2011

I went looking for these disparaging remarks. I searched Google. I scoured Nexis. About the only thing that came close were some comments by Florida State defensive end Brandon Jenkins.

“Yeah, it's a big game, no doubt,” he said recently. “We think about it some.”

Ditto for that 30-point loss last season.

“It's a big motivation factor, what more can you say?” Jenkins said.

I'm not exactly sure any of that qualifies as trash talk, but with social media being what it is nowadays, who knows what's been posted on Facebook or messaged on Twitter? And hey, I wouldn't put it past coaches embellishing a quote or two.

Whatever the case, the whole thing has the Sooners fired up. Asked about it, several players shrugged it off, but Lewis didn't mince words.

“I'm taking that game a little more personal than the other ones,” Lewis said, giving voice to a sentiment that's likely felt by his teammates.

“If that was me, I would just shut my mouth and play.”

Too bad Lewis won't be able to. Injured earlier this week, he isn't expected to play at Florida State if the trainers' eight-week prognosis holds, and honestly, this is the game where the Sooners will miss him most. It's early in the season. It's in an extremely hostile road environment. It's against a great opponent. Add all that up, and it's a game where leaders and playmakers are vital.

Lewis is both for the Sooners.

Not having him on the field against Florida State increases the degree of difficulty for OU. I'm not sure it will cost the Sooners a victory, but a game that was tilted in OU's favor now looks more like a pick-'em.

So, talk all you want about how conference realignment could add all sorts of big games to OU's schedule, but remember, there are plenty of reasons to be fired up about Florida State.

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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