Stoops going for first OU win at Colorado in 15 years

Friday, October 24th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) _ Barry Switzer was the coach the last time Oklahoma won a game at Colorado 15 years ago. Bob Stoops lost in his only trip there in 1999.

A lot has changed since Stoops last stepped onto Folsom Field during his first season at Oklahoma. That nine-game unbeaten streak the Buffaloes had over the post-Switzer Sooners has since ended.

No. 1 Oklahoma (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) will try Saturday for its third straight win over Colorado, all within the last year. The Sooners won 27-11 in a regular season game at Norman last Nov. 2, and then beat the two-time defending North Division champions 29-7 in the Big 12 championship game.

While the Sooners are a solid No. 1 in the first Bowl Championship Series rankings, Colorado (3-4, 1-2) has lost four of their last five games while allowing at least 42 points in each game.

Oklahoma, which is averaging 45 points a game, is a 25-point favorite.

In other Big 12 games Saturday, No. 18 Oklahoma State (6-1, 2-1) travels to Texas A&M (3-4, 1-2); No. 19 Texas (5-2, 2-1) is at Baylor (3-4, 1-2); No. 14 Nebraska (6-1, 2-1) is home against Iowa State (2-5, 0-3); Texas Tech (5-2, 2-1) is at Missouri (5-2, 1-2); and Kansas (5-2, 2-1) plays Kansas State (5-3, 1-2).

Oklahoma has made it to late October with an undefeated record for the fourth straight season. The Sooners are 27-0 in games played before Oct. 27 since 2000, the year they went undefeated and won a national championship under Stoops.

Oklahoma State will try to stretch its winning streak to seven games since the season-opening loss at Nebraska.

While the Cowboys have been consistent, the Aggies have been up-and-down. Texas A&M lost 48-12 at Nebraska last weekend, following a 73-10 win over Baylor and a 59-28 loss at Texas Tech.

Texas running back Cedric Benson won't start and may not play against Baylor after being charged this week with criminal trespassing. This is one of the weeks the Longhorns can probably get by without their leading rusher, who has 498 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Longhorns, who bounced back from their embarrassment against Oklahoma with a 40-19 win over Iowa State last weekend, have a 66-22-4 series advantage against Baylor. They have outscored the Bears 200-24 the last four meetings, including 62-0 and 49-10 the last two in Waco.

Iowa State plays its fifth straight Top 25 opponent, having lost to the previous four by an average margin of three touchdowns. And the Cyclones haven't won in Lincoln since 1977, a 12-game span in which they've given up at least 31 points every time and more than 70 points three times.

Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons isn't slowing down, even in losses. He's thrown for 3,209 yards and 24 TDs the last six games, including 552 yards and five TDs in last week's furious comeback that fell short, 51-49 at Oklahoma State after he threw a rare interception.

The fifth-year Red Raiders senior, in his first season as a starter, is already 13th on the Big 12's career passing chart with 4,051 yards. Missouri quarterback Brad Smith is more two-dimensional, having thrown for 1,064 yards and run for 560 more this season.

Kansas State has won 10 straight games against instate rival Kansas, and the Wildcats will have to extend their longest streak in the series to avoid falling two games behind the lead in the Big 12 North.

K-State finally broke a three-game losing streak with a 49-20 win over Colorado last week. Kansas, meanwhile, is 5-2 for the first time since 1985 and its only loss since the opener was 50-47 in overtime at Colorado.