“You don’t even acknowledge it. Guys are expected to play at a high level for us. It’s a 100-yard field. It’s no different than any other. You’ve got to block all that out regardless of where you’re at,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “It didn’t do us a lot of good last year playing at home. You’ve got to go on the road and play great defense and it will be a great test for us regardless of what you guys say or think.”
But the line of demarcation between good teams and elite ones has always been the ability to win tough games away from home. The Sooners’ schedule is set up where they must win big games away from Owen Field this season. Currently, they have three games on the schedule against ranked teams. All three of them — No. 22 Notre Dame, No. 19 Baylor (Nov. 7) and No. 11 Oklahoma State (Dec. 7) — will all be on the road.
If OU wants to contend for a national title or a Big 12 Conference title, it has to play well on the road. Saturday’s game could be a litmus test for the rest of the season.
“How are we gonna play in a tough environment? When things don’t go well, how are we gonna respond? Are we gonna do the little things that you have to do to win on the road in a tough environment and be a championship type football team?” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We’ll find out a lot.”
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