Sooners Are Ready for Raucous Doak Campbell

NORMAN, Okla. — When the Sooners and Florida State Seminoles meet this weekend in Tallahassee, Fla., it's going to be a special, special atmosphere.

There's no doubt about it.

College Gameday. A pair of Top 5 teams. A night game at FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium with 82,300-plus in attendance.

The buzz in the panhandle of Florida is all about these two top five teams clashing, including the nation's No. 1 team in OU and fifth ranked FSU, and the potential for FSU to reestablish itself as a national power while OU hopes to remain on top of the AP and USA Today/Coaches Polls by securing a massive road victory.

So, it's a heavyweight battle, to say the least.

"Oh yeah, this game has definitely been hyped up," said OU offensive tackle Lane Johnson. "You know, Florida State is a top five team in the country, us being No. 1. There's a bunch of hype that goes with that."

But while OU hasn't defeated a Top 5 non-conference opponent on the road since doing so against Ohio State back in 1977, heading into a raucous environment against a formidable opponent is not a situation the Sooners are foreign to.

Just ask OU head coach Bob Stoops.

"You know, that's the thing, honestly, let's think about it...I mean, I say this is in a humble way--when we show up, it's usually that way," Stoops said. "You know, wherever we go, we don't usually walk in and it's all subdued and nobody's excited to see us. So, you know, it'll be I'm sure exciting and wild, but we've seen that. And hopefully we'll respond to it the right way and handle it and perform well."

If comments throughout the week are any indication, the Sooners will be ready for it.

"It's going to be fun and, you know, all we can do is embrace it," said OU left tackle Donald Stephenson. "You know, that's why we came to OU, for these types of games. And I'm glad I'm lucky enough to play in it."

Defensive back Aaron Colvin has this to say:

"I mean, the environment's going to be crazy. We won the game last year, so they're going to have a chip on their shoulder. They're going to bring out all of Tallahassee to come out there and support them, so we have to be ready for that environment."

And fullback Trey Millard also gave his thoughts on playing on such a huge stage.

"I think it's always just been just a football game," Millard said. "So, I mean, the hype, they're a great team. You get excited for it, but I think that at the same time you just got to focus and know that it's still just a game."

Still, it's hard to simulate such an environment, but throughout the week, OU has done the best it can by blaring the famous FSU War Chant over the loud speakers at practice.

"I mean, you practice how you're going to play and they're going to be War Chanting all game," said OU left guard Gabe Ikard. "It's going to be really, really loud. So, we've had that cranked up all week just getting ready for the energy that that crowd's going to bring to the game."

It's something defensive end Frank Alexander even admitted he's excited to experience.

"Yeah, it's always good to actually see it in real life, you know, because as I was a child growing up, I used to watch Florida State and stuff like that and see the Indian coming out there doing his deal," Alexander said. "So, I think that's real big but I don't think we'll get to see it though."

So, don't expect the Sooners to be in awe of the environment.

Instead, expect them to embrace it in what is one of the nation's games of the year.


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