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November 3, 2013

A lot on the line for the Sooners in Waco

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s showdown with No. 5 Baylor is just four days away. The excitement in the 12th-ranked Sooners’ locker room continues to build. Everyday there seems to be another reason the stakes continue to build for Thursday’s game at Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Sunday night, it was the latest BCS standings. The Sooners remained at No. 10 and Baylor was still at No. 6. But that will change drastically based on what happens Thursday night.

It’s the kind of national game the Sooners typically play in at least once a season, if not more. There’s always the hype surrounding the Red River Rivalry, and Bedlam has had BCS implications in the previous two meetings. Already, OU experienced a hype-filled week leading up to the Notre Dame game.

It’ll draw on the lessons from those games.

“The Notre Dame game helps out a lot. It was big stage and going to South Bend; that was awesome,” OU quarterback Blake Bell said. “More than being nervous and pressing and all that stuff, I think it’s fun. The reason you come to Oklahoma is for games like this. You want to go out there and play your best.”

The Sooners (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) agree the best way to handle things is to stay loose and embrace the opportunity.

“It’s exciting. We know it will probably be a hostile environment,” OU cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “At the same time, we can’t be affected by that. It’s our game and we have to play within our scheme and our defense.”

Poise is the characteristic that will come to the forefront Thursday night. OU will either show it has it or lacks based on how it handles the situation.

Lately, poise — particularly on the road — has been a defining characteristic of the Sooners. They’ve won their last seven true road games dating back to last season.

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