The Oklahoma Sooners will look to follow up their big win over Florida State with a victory over Missouri in their Big 12 opener Saturday night in Norman.
Thanks to Twitter, players from both sides have already started talking trash. Missouri WR Jarrell Jackson hinted earlier in the week that there was nothing to fear in the Sooners. Sooners LB Travis Lewis responded on Twitter saying, "Someone made himself bait with those comments...Should have just shut his mouth."
The Sooners and Tigers have played in some really big games in recent years.
In 2007 Missouri faced Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship. The Tigers came in ranked No. 1 and were looking to play their way into the BCS Championship game. The Sooners won that meeting 38-17.
The following year, the two met again with the conference title on the line. Again the Sooners won convincingly 62-21.
Of course, the Tigers got some revenge last season when they knocked Oklahoma out of the No. 1 spot in the BCS rankings by upsetting the Sooners 36-27 in Columbia.
Again the two will meet with the Sooners ranked No. 1. This time however, the Tigers have no shot at upsetting the Sooners. These Tigers are still pretty good, but here are five reasons why Jackson and his Missouri teammates should fear the Sooners and have no chance at picking up a win in Norman.
Anybody that watched last week's Sooner victory at Florida State can tell you that this Oklahoma squad can play some pretty serious defense. It is also one of the most physical defensive teams Oklahoma has had under coach Bob Stoops.
In the Sooners first game against Tulsa, the Sooners defense held the Golden Hurricane to just 14 points. They were even better last week in Tallahassee. The Seminoles were held to 13 points.
The physical play of the Sooners defense took its toll on QB EJ Manual, knocking him out of the game in the second half.
The Sooners held Florida State to just 27 yards rushing. That's solid defense against any team, especially against the No. 5 team in the country.
The Sooners duo of QB Landry Jones and WR Ryan Broyles was already considered one of the best in the country. With WR Kenny Stills stepping up his game and becoming a deep threat, the Sooners passing game has become almost unstoppable.
Stills had the two biggest catches of the game last week against Florida State. The second gave the Sooners the win.
Not only does Stills keep the opposing defense from being able to key on Broyles, but he also gives the Sooners a deep pass threat and gives Broyles more space to work underneath.
Missouri gave up 388 yards through the air and 37 points in their last road game in a loss at Arizona State. The Tigers defense will have its hands full trying to keep the Sooners from racking up some big numbers in the passing game.
Last season Missouri took down the Sooners in Columbia just as Oklahoma had claimed the No. 1 spot in the BCS rankings.
The 36-27 win for the Tigers gave Missouri fans a chance to storm the field as the clock expired. It also added to the theory that Bob Stoops had lost his big game magic.
Stoops has actually used video of the Missouri fans storming the field as a source of motivation for this weeks game.
One thing we all know is that you don't want to face Stoops in Norman after beating him the previous year.
In revenge games at home the Sooners, under Stoops, are 6-0 and have a average margin of victory of 37.7 points. This is a stat not likely to be overcome by Missouri.
The biggest difference between this year's Sooners and the Oklahoma teams of recent years, is that these guys seem to be determined and inspired to win a championship.
That inspiration has come from an unfortunate source. Star LB Austin Box died in the offseason. The team's love for their fallen teammate has been well documented. Captains Travis Lewis and Landry Jones will select a different player each week from the defense to wear Box's No. 12 jersey.
Since the Sooners national championship in 2000, Stoops has had some talented teams who failed to meet expectations. Though three more appearances in the BCS Championship is impressive, at Oklahoma you are expected to win those games.
This year's Sooners seem to be playing with a purpose. Their maturity and focus will play a part in making sure they don't overlook the Tigers after a big win at Florida State. It's highly unlikely that this Missouri team will be able to come between the Sooners and their shot at another national title.
The biggest reason for the Tigers not standing a chance this week against the Sooners is that under Stoops, Oklahoma is pretty much unbeatable.
Oklahoma has the nations longest running home win streak at 37 games. Even the best teams in the Big 12 have found it tough to even stay close with the Sooners in Norman.
Stoops is 73-2 at home since coming to Norman in 1999. The Tigers have not won a game in Norman since 1966. Better Missouri teams have come to town and they have played worse Sooners squads than the one they will face this year. The chances of these Tigers being the team that ends the streak are not very good.