No. 1-ranked Sooners brace for Texas

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2003

NORMAN, Okla. - Derrick Strait grimaced, then shook his head and started laughing.

The Oklahoma cornerback hasn't provided bulletin board material in four years and wasn't about to start now.

''Man,'' he said, furiously rubbing his hand across his brow. ''I don't know why he would say that. I'd rather go out on the field instead of talking.''

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Strait was referring to comments made by Texas receiver Roy Williams, who said this summer that Oklahoma's secondary is ''the weakness of their whole defense.''

The answer will come Saturday at the Cotton Bowl, when No. 11 Texas (4-1, 1-0 Big 12) plays No. 1 Oklahoma (5-0, 1-0) in their annual grudge match.

Strait, from Austin, Texas, doesn't really need to say anything. He hasn't lost to the Longhorns since starting as a freshman. He has a national championship ring; Williams doesn't.

And Williams has been virtually shut down by the Sooners in the previous three games - 11 catches, 148 yards and no touchdowns- with Strait shadowing him much of the time.

Still, ''we don't have too much to say to each other,'' Strait said, still shaking his head at Williams' comments.

In other Top 25 games Saturday, it's No. 2 Miami at No. 5 Florida State, No. 3 Ohio State at No. 23 Wisconsin, Syracuse at No. 4 Virginia Tech, Florida at No. 6 LSU, Auburn at No. 7 Arkansas, No. 8 Georgia at No. 13 Tennessee, Stanford at No. 9 USC, and No. 10 Nebraska at Missouri.

Also, it's Notre Dame at No. 15 Pittsburgh, No. 16 Northern Illinois at Central Michigan, Penn State at No. 18 Purdue, No. 21 Michigan State at Illinois, No. 22 Kansas State at Oklahoma State, and No. 25 Virginia at Clemson.

On Friday, No. 20 Michigan plays at No. 17 Minnesota and No. 18 TCU at South Florida.

No. 2 Miami at

No. 5 Florida State

A rare underdog, the Hurricanes (5-0) will try to find a way to hold off the Seminoles (5-0) without running back Frank Gore, out for the year with a knee injury. Jarrett Payton, whose fumble late in the game almost coast Miami a win over West Virginia, takes over.

''Normally, I go in the week just trying to figure out if I'm going to go in and get some carries,'' said Payton. ''Now, I have to get out here and be the man.''

Brock Berlin better have his arm warmed up. Last week, the Miami quarterback attempted a school-record 54 passes in the win over West Virginia.

Florida State has the nation's top scoring defense (7.4 ppg) and has held all five opponents under 300 yards total offense.