Monday, October 7, 2013
First glance: Oklahoma Sooners
By Max Olson
A look ahead at No. 12 Oklahoma going into the annual Red River Rivalry matchup in Dallas. The Longhorns and Sooners meet again on Saturday (11 a.m. CT, ABC).
All-time record vs. Texas: 43-59-5
Last game: Oklahoma knocked off TCU 20-17 in a game that ended up being a bit of a close call. The Horned Frogs ralled with a 10-0 run in the third quarter and cut the deficit to 3 with less than three minutes left, but Oklahoma was able to run out the clock and improve to 5-0. Its defense stepped up considerably, holding TCU to 44 rushing yards on the night and zero first downs in the first half.
Last meeting with Texas: A bigger blowout than even the final score -- Oklahoma 63, Texas 21 -- would suggest. It was long over by halftime, when OU led 36-2 and the lone UT score came on a blocked extra point. The Sooners thoroughly dominated in all aspects. Landry Jones, Trey Millard, Damien Williams; the list goes on and on of who stepped up for OU. A nightmare day for Texas that got even worse when Jackson Jeffcoat was lost for the season.
Key player: A number of Sooners should prove problematic for Texas’ defense, but it all starts with Blake Bell. No team have given up more rushing yards to quarterbacks than Texas in 2013. Bell has brought a serious spark since taking over the job and led tough victories over Notre Dame and TCU. He rushed for four short-yardage touchdowns against Texas last season but has proven capable of so much more as a junior.
Why Oklahoma might win: Better team, already won two tough games, better quarterback, clear offensive identity, conference’s best defense, Bob Stoops, Texas struggling, OU more physical, OU more confident, the past three years, etc.
Why Oklahoma might lose: Texas is desperate, that’s for sure. A fourth straight humiliation from the Sooners could send this season off the rails and seal Mack Brown’s fate. OU would have to make some major mistakes and Texas would have to play a very sharp game with a fast start on offense and a lot of defensive stops. The Longhorns have yet to put it all together and play a strong four-quarter game. Is this the week?