|Red River Rivalry
|Written by Julian Dread.
The Red River Rivalry is back in full effect this weekend, with both teams entering the game ranked in the Top 5. Now that's a rivalry. Take that, Michigan and Ohio State. Last year, both teams entered the game already posting a loss in conference play, more or less killing the hype. This year couldn't be any more different.
The two teams are led by Heisman candidate quarterbacks, and the winner of this game will widely be fast-tracked to the national championship, although Missouri (and probably Kansas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech) will probably have something to say about that.
Everybody in the locker room is fired up about it and that week is here," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said last Saturday. "You want an opportunity to win the (Big 12) South and continue to compete for a national championship. ... We've handled our business up to this point."
The Sooners are the best team in the land and come in with a scary good offense, led by quarterback Sam Bradford, who has weapons all around him, and has only thrown three pics all year, two of which bounced off of his receivers hands.
Bardford's counterpart on the Longhorns sideline, Colt McCoy, is having his best season ever. Unfortunately for McCoy, his team lacks the threats of the Sooners, making his task that much harder in Dallas. With a paucity of home run threats in the backfield, McCoy has been the team's leading rusher. Expect the Sooners to key on McCoy's running lanes, and force him to eat them with his arm.
Whether Texas' OC Greg Davis can actually scheme a plan to get receivers Jordan Shipley and Quan Crosby open downfield is a question that may determine the game.
McCoy's defensive teammates should pick up the slack, though, and limit the Sooners to the offensive field day they've been having against other teams this year. Texas' front seven are as good as it gets in the Big XII, and their young defensive backfield has outperformed expectations.
"I would have told you five weeks ago that I'd be scared to death to play this schedule with that secondary," Brown said earlier this week. "But it's a different secondary than it was five weeks ago. Those guys are growing up fast. Our secondary has not been as bad as advertised."
But keeping the Sooners in check will be a difficult task. Bradfor has four veteran receivers, all of whom have at least 13 catches and three touchdowns this season. Keeping them in check while getting pressure on Bradford may be the thing that determines this game. And that's a lot to put on a bunch of freshmen and sophomores.
Last updated on October 10, 2008.