The 113 Sooners listed on the current roster have spent the last 14 days, aided by a bye week, preparing for Saturday's contest with the No. 15 Kansas State Wildcats. But one of the most important numbers comes to the forefront on gameday: 85,000.
"I'm sure we'll have a great crowd," head coach Bob Stoops said. "Everybody's anticipating the opening of the Big 12 season, so hopefully our crowd will engage and be a factor."
The last time Stoops called upon the home faithful was in 2008, prior to a 65-21 thumping of second-ranked Texas Tech surrounded by pure crimson chaos, shown above.
The importance of a raucous crowd is no myth. It affects the experience. It affects the players. And most importantly, it affects the game. Senior defensive end R.J. Washington explains what it means for the student-athletes that will represent Oklahoma on Saturday night when the Sooners face unbeaten Kansas State:
Two of the Best
Oklahoma's series with Kansas State is the fifth-most storied in school history with 92 meetings between the two. The Sooners have only faced Texas (106), OSU (106), Kansas (102) and Missouri (96) more times. OU has won 71 of those games against the Wildcats, including five straight and eight of the last nine.
In Oklahoma's first game since the Sept. 11 attacks, the 2001 contest pitted the No. 3 Sooners against the No. 9 Wildcats. The Sooners won, 38-37, after surviving a K-State rally. OU led 35-14 in the third quarter after Nate Hybl completed a 75-yard touchdown pass to Antwone Savage.
The Sooners had to overcome the Wildcats twice in the 2000 season to ultimately win their seventh national championship. Below is the full 2000 Big 12 Championship, where No. 1 OU clinched its spot in the national title game by defeating No. 8 Kansas State, 27-24. A surprise option pitch on fourth-and-inches turned into a 22-yard gain by Quentin Griffin set up Josh Heupel's 17-yard go-ahead touchdown pass.
For photos from the win, click here. Additionally, below are links to highlights from other classic games in the storied series. 2000 (OU wins 41-31) | 1992 (OU wins 16-14)
K-State DB Jarard Milo "A lot of people talk about last year's game and how we didn't do so well. It's a big game for us. Last year was a blowout game. This year, there is a fire in all of us. We want to go down there and get the win."
Senior WR Justin Brown
"They're a very sound team. Looking at them, they play good defense. They're honest. They don't make any mistakes. Everybody is on the same page. It's going to be a good game."
K-State DB Dante Barnett "Our secondary is capable of stepping up and stopping Jones and getting a couple interceptions. We have a lot of experienced players who have been around the conference for a while. They know what they are doing. We should be able to execute."
Fr. WR Trey Metoyer "They play sound, physical and they're smart. They're a real fundamental team. We just have to go out there, outthink them and outplay them."
Sr. RB Dominique Whaley "I expect a very fundamentally sound team. They're very disciplined. They don't give you too many chances to make mistakes."
Jr. FB Trey Millard "They're really solid in their gaps. They're all where they're supposed to be. They are just a good team. They know what they're doing and they do it."
AUSTIN WOODS FEATURE An inspiring segment on junior offensive lineman Austin Woods, who is battling Hodgkin's lymphoma, will air at 10 a.m. CT on Saturday on FS Oklahoma as part of the Sooner Sports Game Day show. Make sure you tune in for a look at his journey and more on OU. Sooner Sports TV Schedule #BeatKstate Support the Sooners by using the #BeatKstate hashtag in your tweets and Instagram posts all week. One of your posts might appear on SoonerSports.com: #BeatKstate on Twitter
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