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September 23, 2011

That Sooners are healthy is amazing

NORMAN — Oklahoma enters Saturday night’s Big 12 Conference opener against Missouri with a relatively clean bill of health. Assuming linebacker Travis Lewis plays — and he’s expected to — the Sooners will be at full strength.

OU’s good health is a miracle considering the brutal nature of last Saturday’s 23-13 victory over Florida State. I’ve covered every Sooner game since the 2004 season and nothing over the previous seven seasons compares in terms of the physical exertion of last Saturday night.

“My body was sore after that game. I sat in the ice tub for a good five minutes, trying to get my body right,” safety/linebacker Tony Jefferson said.

He wasn’t alone. The ice baths in the Switzer Center were so busy Sunday it nearly required an appointment to get in. Running back Dominique Whaley was one of many that spent some tub in the ice tub trying to get his body healed after a night of high-speed collisions.

“Everybody is in there on Sunday,” he said. “You have to get healed up. No one takes any chances.”

Submerging yourself in ice cold water is not a pleasant experience. Some would call it torture. But it does have healing powers.

The Sooners’ ability to heal will be on display this week. That Florida State game is going to be one of OU’s defining moments of the season, good or bad.

It was a great victory. OU hadn’t won a non-conference road game over a team ranked in the top five since the 1970s.

The price it paid for doing so leaves some wondering if it was worth it. That will be answered Saturday night when the top-ranked Sooners host Missouri at Owen Field.

It shouldn’t take too long to find out. There are some pretty easy ways to find out if a team is still feeling the effects of the previous week’s game.

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