OU football notebook: Welcome to Morgantown
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Saturday, November 17, 2012
11/17/12 at 6:39 AM
Just about everyone in Oklahoma's traveling party is making their first journey to West Virginia.
How nice is it to face a different team?
"It's definitely exciting," OU cornerback Aaron Colvin said. "It builds more adrenaline sometimes because you've never played them and you want to see what a new environment is like and a new team that we've never played before. I'm excited to go there and play these great players."
Teammate Javon Harris agreed with Colvin.
"I'm excited to see something new," Harris said. "I'm going to go out and get ready for another big game. The atmosphere is great and everyone is going to be excited."
Getting stops: Oklahoma cannot afford to miss tackles against an athletic West Virginia offense.
On a field full of athletic playmakers, Saturday's game could come down to fundamentals.
"Tackling is going to be very, very important," Colvin said. "Our technique is going to be important. We know when they get space, that's what they like. They want to get the receivers space.
"We want to eliminate some of that, so this week we're going to focus on tackling and just playing our technique."
Do-or-die down: Oklahoma's defense has struggled on third-down stops at times this season.
The Sooners rank 74th nationally, allowing opponents to convert on 61-of-147 attempts (41.5 percent) this season. Baylor finished 11-of-20 on third downs last week.
"It's a big emphasis. We always look at that, just like turnover margins," Sooners defensive tackle Jamarcus McFarland said. "Third-down conversions are just as important as anything else; it's just a challenge for our defense."
Bridge from Morgantown to Tulsa: There are two links to the city of Tulsa on the West Virginia coaching staff.
Mountaineers co-defensive coordinator Keith Patterson spent eight years on the Golden Hurricane staff, including the last five as TU's co-defensive coordinator.
West Virginia quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital is in his second season in that role. The former Union High School quarterback also was an offensive graduate assistant on Tulsa's 2008 staff.
No. 13 Oklahoma At West Virginia
6 p.m. Saturday
Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, W.Va.
Radio: KMOD fm97.5, KTBZ am1430
Weather: Sunny with a high near 55 dropping to a low of around 30 Saturday night.
Records: OU 7-2, 5-1 Big 12; West Virginia 5-4, 2-4 Big 12
Last meeting: West Virginia beat OU 48-28 in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2008.
Series: Tied 2-2