Mission Accomplished

NORMAN – Travis Lewis gets what Travis Lewis wants.

And what the junior linebacker wanted was a shutout, a feat that the No. 6 Sooners had not come close to getting at any point during their first five games and had not accomplished since last year's regular season finale against Oklahoma State. Lewis can now cross off the shutout on his to-do list following OU's 52-0 beating of the Iowa State Cyclones.

"It's great," said Lewis, who was the only Sooner to have double-digit tackles with 14 Saturday night. "We needed to come out there with a strong performance."

That performance against Iowa State on Saturday consisted of holding the Cyclones to 183 total yards and 10 first downs, which is a kind of day the Sooners (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) got used to last season and had been waiting for this season.

What was the difference in this game and the previous five? Lewis claims it is a mixture of three things that finally came together for the first time all year.

"We finally got healthy, got a few weeks to prepare for a team and we're playing at home," Lewis said. "That's three combinations you don't want to put together."

Lewis' early-week shutout statement was not exactly welcoming, though. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables described the statement as Travis being Travis, and the shutout was just a culmination of work.

"The shutout was a by-product of the investment and hard work and playing with an attitude where our guys were on edge, guys were doing their job," Venables said. "We played much closer to where we are capable of playing."

The shutout could not come at a better time.

First, and probably most importantly, the Sooners are about to go on the road and face their toughest true road-game test in No. 19 Missouri.

"It's huge for us to put a game like this together right before Missouri," Lewis said. "It was nice to put all three phases together and prove that we could do this. But there really isn't much to celebrate. We have a lot ahead of us."

What is ahead of them is a Missouri team that beat up on Texas A&M 30-9 on the road. Just wait and see what the Tigers could do at home with momentum.

Secondly, the first BCS rankings are scheduled to be released Sunday, and the shutout gives OU some style points that may be needed not just this week but later on down the road. Despite prestige of being the top team in the land and the fact that the Sooners played their best game of the year, Lewis hopes he does not see his team atop the list.

"We don't deserve to be number one," he said. "We have only put two good weeks together. We need to bring ourselves together. We need to prove to the nation that we really deserve it. We don't deserve it.

"Put Boise State, Oregon or someone else up there. Let us work our way up there."

Whoever gets put at No. 1, the Sooners know they can look back on this game and say they have what it takes to completely dominate another team's offense. And do not be surprised if the defense does it or comes close to doing again.


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