Game Of The Week: #15 Texas vs. #13 Oklahoma
It’s the Red River Shootout! Time to kick back with something deep-fried (I’ve always wanted to try fried peanut butter and jelly, myself) and enjoy what should be a good football game.
The Texas Offense: At this point in the season, the Longhorns are averaging 46.8 points per game, and much-improved QB David Ash has thrown 11 TDs to just 1 interception. The running game, however, ranks just 38th in the nation, a stat that makes sense given that the RBs for the Longhorns, Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray, are still just a sophomore and a freshman. Given what the Longhorns’ defense has looked like thus far, the offense will have to put up a fair number of points to keep Texas in this game. They’ll need to make sure that the run game is established early, and that Ash gets time in the pocket.
The Texas Defense: The Longhorns are allowing an average of 404.2 yards of offense per game this year. For a top-tier team, that figure is much too high. In Week 1, Texas allowed Wyoming to throw for 276 yards. A week later, the pass defense was tightened up as New Mexico had just 35 yards passing, but the Lobos also had 206 yards rushing. Clearly consistency is an issue. The Longhorns absolutely need to manage to stop the run and pressure Landry Jones- who can get rattled- or it will be a long day for them in Dallas. Keep an eye on junior DE Jackson Jeffcoat, whose dad Jim played several years for the Dallas Cowboys. Jeffcoat and fellow DE Alex Okafor are probably the top two players on the Texas defense.
The Oklahoma Offense: The Sooners, behind (or, I guess technically in front of) QB Landry Jones, are averaging 38.8 points this season. Jones has an array of talented pass-catches at his disposal, notably Kenny Stills, Justin Brown, and Sterling Shepard. You can add Fresno State transfer WR Jalen Saunders to that embarrassment of riches, as he received his eligibility from the NCAA yesterday, effective immediately. As far as the running game, Dominique Whaley and Damien Williams are more than capable of racking up the rushing yards when called upon. The offense, particularly Jones, had a rough outing two weeks ago against Kansas State, but redeemed themselves last week by beating Texas Tech handily. Establishing the running game early will allow the Sooners to use play-action later on, a ploy that could be useful against a struggling and inexperienced Texas defense.
The Oklahoma Defense: Number one, the Sooners need to limit how much Texas can run the ball. That keeps them from having play-action opportunities later in the game. Number two, they need to get pressure on David Ash. The Sooners game plan must be to get him moving and take away his time to set his feet and deliver the ball accurately to his receivers.
Prediction: This isn’t going to be a repeat of the 55-17 whitewashing of last year, but I do expect the same ultimate result. The offenses can go toe-to-toe with each other, but at this point I don’t see the Texas defense stopping the Oklahoma offense with all that much success. Oklahoma 31, Texas 21
Don’t forget to tune into “College Football Warm-up”, every Saturday morning from 9 -10am !