Sooners are stoked

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Their special teams and defense have been getting criticized in the buildup to Thursday’s national championship game, and the Sooners apparently are sick and tired of hearing it. That’s the impression the OU players projected at Media Day at Dolphin Stadium on Monday.

“When people say we can’t do something, we go out and do it,” OU linebacker Travis Lewis said.

The popular feeling out there is that the Sooners can’t play any defense. Lewis and the other Sooner defensive players find that insulting. “I’m going to come out of that tunnel ready to rip somebody’s head off,” Johnson said. “This is the national stage, so we’ll have a chance to show everybody how we play defense. I can’t wait.”

The OU defense is using the perceived lack of respect as motivation for the game. The Sooners also are getting themselves jacked up over the fact they are listed as a three-point underdog even though they are the No. 1 team in the BCS Standings.

“We like that,” Lewis said. “It gives us something to prove.”

The Sooners also are motivated by the fact the game is being played in Florida and they could be going against a pro-Gator crowd Thursday night.

“It doesn’t matter where we play. The fans don’t play the game,” defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “It’s between these two teams. It would be the same even if we were playing this game on the practice field.”

Earlier at Media Day, OU coach Bob Stoops sent out a recruiting pitch to Florida State and Miami fans, urging them to become Sooners’ fans for this one game.