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“The little things are kind of what messed us up last year. We had suspensions, we had things going on and now we know that that hurts the team. We know that those things hurt the team majorly, guys missing class and off-the-field issues and you missing those guys on the team. The camaraderie starts to fall apart.”

The Sooners already had a wake-up call this season, losing at home to a Kansas State team that has since moved up to No. 4, and handled that adversity by posting impressive back-to-back wins away from home. Jones said it was a matter of guys loosening up.

“I think you’ve just got to get out of your own way,” Jones said. “You’ve got to just realize this is a game and it’s supposed to be fun, and you’re supposed to have fun, so why play tight? Why do all those things? Why worry about so many different things that really you can’t control.”

In the back of their minds are thoughts of the 2008 season, when they lost to Texas but were able to rebound and play for the BCS title. Another loss would eliminate those hopes, though.

“It’s kind of the same type of situation that we’re in now,” Jones said. “We just have to keep this momentum, keep building on it and who knows what’s going to happen? There’s a lot of football left.”