No. 1 Sooners seek redemption in Missouri rematch

The rush onto the field was a long hoped-for release for

Missouri fans, a celebration of a monumental upset after so much

heartache over the years – and so much recently against

Oklahoma.

The Sooners haven’t forgotten.

All-American Ryan Broyles remembers being surrounded by

smack-talking fans as he tried to get off of Faurot Field a year

ago following the 36-27 loss that knocked Oklahoma from atop the

BCS standings and damaged its national championship hopes.

”It’s just not a good deal at all,” Broyles said.

Coach Bob Stoops says he doesn’t want his Sooners (2-0) – again

ranked No. 1, this time in the polls – focused on revenge when they

host Missouri (2-1) on Saturday night.

”Revenge doesn’t win,” Stoops said. ”We got embarrassed the

way we played and the way they beat us that we want to play

better.”

Still, he and his coaches did take time this week to show

players the video of the Tigers’ jubilant fans. Make no mistake:

the Sooners want to get even.

”You’re going against a team that beat you last year, prevented

you from going to the national championship, and then they still

think they have another chance to beat you again,” defensive back

Tony Jefferson said. ”It gives you more of wanting to win this

game.”

Jerrell Jackson, who had nine catches for 139 yards and the

go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter last season, provided some

bulletin-board material earlier this week by saying he saw

”nothing tough” about beating the Sooners in Norman for the first

time since 1966. Oklahoma has a current 37-game winning streak at

home, the longest in the nation.

But it’s not as though Oklahoma needed any more motivation.

”I’m pretty sure they’re not going to forget that loss. That

pretty much hurt their season,” Jackson said. ”We understand how

they feel because we had a few losses like that.”

Oklahoma spoiled two of the Tigers’ most successful seasons in

decades by beating Missouri in the 2007 and 2008 Big 12

championship games. Mizzou was ranked No. 1 for the 2007 game and

would have played for the national title if not for its second loss

to the Sooners that season.

Beating Oklahoma for the first time in eight tries, and only the

second time in 20 meetings, isn’t enough to satisfy the Tigers.

”Nothing from that game is going to motivate us to play this

game, because we should already be motivated,” Jackson said.

”They’re No. 1 again. That motivates us to go into their house and

play them and beat them on their own turf.”

Stoops told his team after a 23-13 win last week at then-No. 5

Florida State – which was trying to avenge a 30-point loss in

Norman a year earlier – that ”revenge only lasts for those first

couple plays and then you still have to play 60 minutes of

football,” offensive tackle Donald Stephenson said.

”So, it’s not about revenge for us,” said Stephenson, a

Missouri native. ”It’s about getting better at what we do and

fixing what we need to fix, everything that we didn’t do well last

year.”

Mizzou struck immediately last year, with Gahn McGaffie

returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and then scored 16

straight points in the fourth quarter to take control of a tie

game. Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones didn’t complete a pass in a

brutal fourth quarter.

Stoops said the Sooners have to respect Missouri after what

happened a year ago.

”To me, that’s arrogant to act like they had no reason to beat

us. Sure they did,” he said. ”They played better than us. They

were tougher than us. They outrushed us. They coached better than

us. Whatever you want to say. It has nothing to do with

revenge.”