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“It’s more difficult when you first walk out there because you know it’s just a huge, huge rivalry game that’s been going on for a long time … and just the tradition of that game,” Jones said. “At first, it’s a little nerve-racking but then you just have to settle down and just do what you do out there.”

Neither team has been able to establish a consistent running game this season and both have been unhappy with their defensive performances lately. Texas expects to get the speedy D.J. Monroe more involved, either in the backfield or as a receiver, and both teams are hoping for improved tackling.

“We haven’t been playing our greatest football this season, we have a lot of doubters and a lot of people skeptical about what we can do,” Oklahoma safety Quinton Carter. “So, we have a lot to prove.”

A win would bolster the Sooners’ case as a true national title contender, while Texas wants to halt its skid at one loss. And, of course, there’s the matter of bragging rights.

“You can work yourself into a frenzy but in the end that doesn’t cut it,” Stoops said. “It’s being prepared and it’s executing when you get the opportunity.”