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OU football notebook: Cyclones on a roll after naming Jared Barnett starter

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: November 23, 2011

Iowa State, which will square off against Oklahoma at 11 a.m. on Saturday, has won three consecutive games since quarterback Jared Barnett was made the starter. ISU rolled past Texas Tech 41-7 in Barnett's first start, edged Kansas 13-10 the following week and upset Oklahoma State in double overtime last week.

“They have a mentality that they never quit,” said OU offensive tackle Lane Johnson. “They faced some adversity against Oklahoma State and still found a way to win the game. They're not going to fear us. They'll play hard.”

ON ANY GIVEN SATURDAY

Last week's whacky results around the country were a reminder that two, three- and four-touchdown underdogs occasionally post upsets.

“You should never underestimate your opponent,” said OU defensive end Frank Alexander. “It's like the movie, ‘Any Given Sunday.' For us it's ‘Any given Saturday' someone can beat you. If you get too lax, or get too laid back, that's when things can go wrong. We have to strive to get better and play hard every game.”

WILLIAMS TO RECEIVE MORE CARRIES

Freshman running back Brandon Williams ran for 26 yards on only three carries against Baylor.

“We talked as a staff that it was good to see him come in and play well,” said coach Bob Stoops. “He's been more and more consistent in practice in his assignments. Hopefully he can be a spark these next couple of games.”

NELSON GAINING MATURITY

Sophomore linebacker Corey Nelson has been moved around but he's started 10 games. In last week's loss at Baylor, Nelson compiled a career high nine tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss.

“He played well,” said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. “He missed a tackle on a downhill zone (play) on a touchdown (run). But other than that he played real well, he really did. He graded out well.”

For the season Nelson is third on the team in tackles for loss (eight) and is tied with Ronnell Lewis for second most sacks (5.5).

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