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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sooners ready to face Pac-10 officials again

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Oklahoma certainly isn't hoping for a replay of what happened on its last trip to play a Pac-10 team.

The third-ranked Sooners are headed West to play Saturday night at Washington, a game they considered canceling two years ago after a tough loss that came when an official's call went against them in another Pac-10 stadium.

"It was already scheduled and you know how hard it is trying to get games," coach Bob Stoops said. "Washington already came here. We're living up to the agreement."

A week after Oklahoma beat the Huskies at home in 2006, the Sooners went to Oregon. That was the game when a Pac-10 officiating crew incorrectly awarded a late onside kick to the Ducks, who scored twice in the final 72 seconds for the 34-33 upset victory.

The replay showed that an Oregon player touched the ball before it traveled the required 10 yards, which means Oklahoma should have been given possession. That video also showed than an Oklahoma player actually recovered the ball, although that aspect of the play was not reviewable under the instant replay rule.

Two days after what should have been an Oklahoma victory, Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen apologized for the mistake. The officiating crew that worked the game was suspended for a game, and the replay official who didn't overturn the call took an extended leave of absence.

Oklahoma officials said then that they might cancel their trip to Washington if the Pac-10 didn't change its rule requiring league officials to be used in its home stadiums.

That rule hasn't changed.

"That's the way it is," Stoops said. "We'll go play and play as well as we can."

The Sooners (2-0) have scored more than 50 points in victories over Tennessee-Chattanooga and Cincinnati. Washington (0-2) lost 28-27 to No. 18 BYU last weekend after an extra point was blocked with 2 seconds left, following their 44-10 loss to No. 16 Oregon.

Despite the fiasco with Pac-10 officials, Stoops is glad to be playing a quality team from another Bowl Championship Series conference.

"We need to meet that kind of challenge," Stoops said.

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