- Associated Press - Thursday, August 28, 2014

LOUISIANA TECH (0-0) at No. 4 OKLAHOMA (0-0), 7 p.m. ET (Pay-per-view)

Line: Oklahoma by 38.

Series Record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Oklahoma has been praised for its Sugar Bowl win over Alabama throughout the offseason, and expectations are sky high. The Sooners need a dominant performance to build on their momentum. QB Trevor Knight needs to show there’s more to him than his Sugar Bowl MVP performance. He improved his passing the second half of last season, but was inconsistent overall.

KEY MATCHUP

Oklahoma offense vs. Louisiana Tech first-year defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Oklahoma is familiar with Diaz, who was defensive coordinator at Texas from 2011-13. In the two years Diaz led Texas’ defense against the Sooners, Oklahoma won 55-17 and 63-21.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oklahoma: Running backs. There is no clear No. 1. Keith Ford and Alex Ross will be the first to hit the field, but keep an eye on talented freshman RB Samaje Perine, who is capable of leapfrogging them both. Receiver Sterling Shepard is ready to be the go-to receiver. Blake Bell will play his first game at tight end after switching from quarterback in the spring.

Louisiana Tech: Cody Sokol, a transfer from Iowa, has been named the starting quarterback over incumbent Ryan Higgins in a battle that lasted through most of fall practice. Running back Kenneth Dixon ran for 27 touchdowns as a freshman, then added 917 yards rushing during an injury-shortened sophomore season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Oklahoma closed last season with four straight wins. … Louisiana Tech is 0-20 against AP Top 25 teams since 2000. … Oklahoma is 5-0 all-time against teams from the Sun Belt Conference. … Under coach Bob Stoops, Oklahoma is 36-2 at home in nonconference games and 71-3 at home against unranked opponents. … Oklahoma is 5-0 in August under Stoops.