Senior safety Quinton Carter is altering his tackling style to compensate for a neck injury in addition to trying to avoid being called for a helmet-to-helmet penalty.
"I really don't think about it during the game," Carter said. "I'm just out there playing. (I'm) trying to help myself with health issues, trying to change my tackling style a little bit. The rules are in place. You have to play by the rules."
The challenge is hitting a moving target.
"It's kind of hard to adjust within fractions of a second when a guy ducks his head, and you hit him," Carter said. "But there's been a big focus on it in the NFL with guys getting hurt."
Carter suffered a neck injury against Missouri, an injury that has lingered.
"I was kind of dizzy from contact or whatnot, kind of blanked out for a second," Carter said. "And then my neck hurt, like I had a really bad nerve. It's pretty sensitive now."
Asked if he suffered a "stinger," Carter responded: "It's like a really bad stinger. I've had stingers in the past, and this doesn't compare to any of those."
OU is known for its up-tempo offense. Texas A&M plays just as fast. The Aggies lead the nation with 690 offensive plays. The Sooners (687) are second.
Texas A&M's defense has improved, but the Aggies face their toughest challenge against the Sooners, led by quarterback Landry Jones, wide receiver Ryan Broyles and running backs DeMarco Murray and Roy Finch.
"They present challenges from a personnel standpoint but also schematically and tempo-wise just getting lined up," said A&M coach Mike Sherman. "You see on tape a lot of times players just not getting lined up on those bubble screens if you're not matched up at the right time. They really press with the tempo."
AGGIES HAVE RB DEPTH
Texas A&M lost Christine Michael, one of the conference's leading rushers, to a season-ending leg injury last week. The Aggies will start Cyrus Gray, who has rushed for 414 yards and averages 5.3 yards a carry. He rushed for 117 yards against Kansas and 102 against Texas Tech.
"It's sort of the like the Philadelphia Eagles that have two really good quarterbacks," said OU senior safety Jonathan Nelson. "If one gets hurt it's no big deal. There won't be a drop off. We can't just sit back in coverage. (Gray) is a good running back."
A&M GAINS MOMENTUM
In a lopsided loss to Missouri, the Tigers took advantage of a mismatch with Texas A&M's two freshmen offensive tackles, but the Aggies' offensive line play improved in wins over Kansas and Texas Tech.
"We have three freshmen on offense still working through some issues," Sherman said. "They've picked up some confidence in themselves, particularly the two tackles the last couple of weeks. But everything is relative. Oklahoma is a pretty dang good football team.
"We'll need that again this weekend. But our guys feel good about themselves. When we were down 7-0 (to Tech), the good thing was our team never panicked even when they were blitzing us early. That was new for us. We survived that pretty well. We took a step in the right direction."