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Cowboys want to ruin OU's season

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State gets another chance to spoil Oklahoma's season, although doing so may be tougher than ever.

The No. 2 Sooners are more balanced than any other Oklahoma team coached by Bob Stoops. Quarterback Jason White is playing like a Heisman Trophy winner again, and Adrian Peterson is the school's best running back in decades.

"Offensively, they are extremely good," Oklahoma State coach Les Miles said. "They have all facets."

The 20th-ranked Cowboys have won two of the last three against their archrivals heading into Saturday's game. Another win by Oklahoma State would again throw the Big 12 and national title races for a loop — and give Cowboys fans a reason to gloat.

"The bragging rights thing is really for the fans," White said. "I think for the teams, the goal is winning the Big 12 conference."

While the Sooners (7-0, 4-0) have become more diversified offensively, the Cowboys have done just the opposite. Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1) relies heavily on a powerful running game, led by tailback Vernand Morency.

The nation's third-leading rusher, Morency averages 164.7 yards. As a team, the Cowboys run for nearly 270 yards a game.

Stopping the run is Oklahoma's strength. The Sooners are fifth best in the nation, allowing 76.4 yards per game.

"I know they're big, but I feel like we're stronger than their offensive lineman are," Sooners defensive tackle Remi Ayedole said.

Stoops rejects the notion that Miles has his number. Stoops is 1-2 against Miles.

"They beat us a couple of times, that'd be for you to say why," Stoops told reporters. "In the end, whenever you get beat somebody played better than you and coached better than you. That's happened."

The Sooners paid back the Cowboys in a big way last year with a 52-9 victory in Norman. Stoops poured it on late with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes for emphasis.

That defeat — and the sense that the Cowboys are always second-fiddle to the Sooners in this football-crazy state — have made this year's game all the more important for Oklahoma State. "We went down there, and they blew us out," Cowboys safety Jamie Thompson said. "I've got a bad taste in my mouth and want to come back here and just do what we can to get a win."