Troubles in Enemy Territory

NORMAN, Okla. – It's not a secret that the Sooners struggle on the road. They have lost six of their past 10 games away from Norman, and their only loss during the 2010 campaign was at Missouri.

So, what's been the difference between playing at home and playing on the road for OU, who has won 35 straight games at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium?

Senior defensive tackle Adrian Taylor doesn't have an answer to this mystery.

"I wish I could answer that question, honestly, because if I told you something I'd just be making it up," Taylor said. "I'm dead serious. I've been asked that question every year since I've been here and I've yet to figure that out."

Still, Taylor does know a few individual things despite not knowing the answer to the big picture.

"I just know it's not a lack of effort; it's not like we're not playing hard," Taylor said. "It just happens like that sometimes."

And that next sometime could be this upcoming Saturday against Texas A&M if they do not learn from what happened in Missouri, which Taylor called the most hostile environment the Sooners have played in this season, and figure out the answer to the troubling road question.

Tiger fans were loud and rowdy hours before kickoff and long after they stormed the field, and Kyle Field is famous for being one of the hardest places to play because of its 12th Man. So, the Sooners shouldn't be surprised if they are treated similarly if not worse during the start to this road trip.

"We can't let the crowd affect us because they're not the ones playing," Taylor said. "We're the ones playing on the field, and they shouldn't be able to affect the game because you can control what you can control. You can't control what they do."

Prior to this season, the Texas A&M game was seen as a trap game or a possible loss not because of how talented the Aggies were said to be, but rather because of Kyle Field, a place where the Sooners are 4-1 during the Stoops Era. Because of how the fates have decided to treat the Aggies, who are 4-1 at home and 5-3 overall, though, this game does not seem to have the upset potential that it had two months ago.

Then again, the Sooners have proven to be a less than stellar road team, so a win is far from a certainty.

"You just gotta play for four quarters; play us and not allow other things to distract you, said senior defensive end Jeremy Beal, whose six sacks is a team high. "You gotta play Sooner football."


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