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Thursday, July 18, 2013
The 2013 all-OU-Texas team

By Jake Trotter

What if you combined the 2013 rosters of Oklahoma and Texas? Who would start? Who would ride the pine? SoonerNation and HornsNation have teamed up to answer that question:

OFFENSE

QB: Blake Bell, Oklahoma

This was the toughest call to make. David Ash has started 18 games to Bell’s zero, but, given Ash’s wild inconsistency, do we really know that much more about him than Bell? Bell could very well struggle this season, but he hasn’t struggled yet. That gives him a slight edge over Ash, as I outlined earlier this week, which the fans agreed on.

Johnathan Gray
Texas tailback Johnathan Gray took over the starting role as a freshman and will carry the load for the Longhorns in 2013.
RB: Damien Williams, Oklahoma

RB: Johnathan Gray, Texas

Both teams have to feel good about their running back situations, due to depth and due to these two players. Williams outplayed Gray last year, but Gray produced when he got the carries. Gray figures to be a bigger part of the Texas offense this season, and Williams, with a full year of health, could be a threat to rush for 1,400 yards.

WR: Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma

WR: Mike Davis, Texas

If running back isn’t the strength of each team, the wide receiver position is. Saunders and Davis are two of the best receivers in the conference along with Oklahoma State’s Josh Stewart and Texas Tech’s Eric Ward. Saunders did his damage underneath coverage last season, while Davis was a big-play threat and placed fourth in the Big 12, averaging 16.5 yards per catch. With the speedy Saunders moving from the slot to the outside, he could have a similar yards-per-catch average.

FB/TE: Trey Millard, Oklahoma

The Sooners played Millard enough at tight end last year for him to qualify here. OU’s tight end position after Millard is still a mess, but Texas’ is not much clearer, as the Horns signed two junior college tight ends to their 2013 recruiting class.

OT: Daryl Williams, Oklahoma

OG: Trey Hopkins, Texas

C: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma

OG: Mason Walters, Texas

OT: Josh Cochran, Texas

Ikard and Williams might be the two best linemen, but Texas appears to have the deeper group. Ikard is a multi-year All-Big 12 performer, and Williams’ strong 2012 season was overshadowed by Lane Johnson. But the Longhorns return starters Hopkins, Walters and center Dominic Espinosa, who was edged out by Ikard on this list. Tackle Tyrus Thompson filled in nicely for the Sooners when Williams got hurt last season, but Cochran is more seasoned.

DEFENSE

DE: Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

DT: Malcom Brown, Texas

DT: Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma

DE: Cedric Reed, Texas

Phillips is really the only Sooner that belongs here, underscoring OU’s concern along the defensive line. Sooners ends Geneo Grissom, Charles Tapper and Mike Onuoha have potential, but Jeffcoat is an All-American candidate and Reed came up big in the Alamo Bowl with 1 sacks in Texas’ win over Oregon State.

LB: Peter Jinkens, Texas

LB: Jordan Hicks, Texas

LB: Corey Nelson, Oklahoma

The Sooners are fortunate to have anyone on this list, considering they hardly played linebackers last season. It feels like Nelson has been around forever, but he really has never played much. He’ll get his chance this season, and could be in for a big year. Like OU’s Frank Shannon, Jinkens appears to be on the verge of breaking out. Hicks, however, is the class of this group, and could be an All-American if he can stay healthy.

Aaron Colvin
Cornerback Aaron Colvin has never lost to Texas as a Sooner. Can OU make it four wins in a row this season?
DB: Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma

DB: Carrington Byndom, Texas

DB: Adrian Phillips, Texas

DB: Quandre Diggs, Texas

Colvin is the best player of this bunch, but how much help he’ll have in the secondary remains in question. It’s not unthinkable that the Sooners could play two or three true freshmen in their secondary. Byndom and Diggs have plenty of pro potential, though neither one of them even earned All-Big 12 honorable mention last season. They’ll have to elevate their game with Kenny Vaccaro gone. Phillips gets the nod as the fourth defensive back, more so due to the Sooners’ lack of experience here.

SPECIALISTS

P: Anthony Fera, Texas

K: Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma

PR: Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma

KR: Roy Finch, Oklahoma

The Sooners ought to have a dominant edge here. Saunders and Finch are liable to go the distance anytime they get the ball. Hunnicutt, meanwhile, is a solid option at a position the Longhorns could have problems.