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Dean's Blog: More Drama For The Longhorns

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In the nine seasons before OU hired Bob Stoops, the Sooners were 5-29-2 vs. ranked teams. Since his arrival, 50-27.

The most concerning stat for OU as it heads to Knoxville to take on No. 23 Tennessee is the Sooners were 0-4 against ranked teams last season and lost by an average of 18 PPG.

Meantime, the Vols haven’t exactly been tearing up ranked opponents themselves. 

I predicted a 6-6 season from Texas and believe we’re seeing your standard hyperventilation attack after Week 1 that is over the top. But then Charlie goes out and changes coordinators, so…..

Joe Wickline still not calling plays for Texas, which makes the Texas v OSU squabble over the matter pretty clear.

Jay Norvell hasn't called plays since the 2007 season at UCLA. He was Nebraska's OC (2004-06) but Bill Callahan called plays. One report says Jay called plays some at Iowa State 1995-97. Gotta believe Jay will continue zone-read concepts and try to play high-tempo ball. But then there’s the question of making first downs, which makes the up-tempo offense a catastrophe if the chains aren’t moving (see OU key at Tennessee this weekend).

Texas ranked 110th nationally in yards per play in Strong's 1st season and it's 123rd after first week of Strong's 2nd season.

I expect Texas to avoid a catastrophe and improve. But if they implode, it’s not inconceivable that if the money men at Texas force Strong out that the controversial athletic director could go with him.

Gotta believe a QB change is coming and that Jerrod Heard will become the man.

Serena, Spieth and soon to be the two-time champion Buckeyes.  We’ve had a good run of dominance recently. But Alex Rodriguez has been as big of a surprise as anything out there. Tell me it ain’t so, but the timing may be right for some political craziness such as a President Trump or President Biden.  

In last year's matchup with Oklahoma, UT’s offensive line allowed five sacks, setting the tone for a season in which the Vols gave up an SEC-worst 43. They are a year older and much better. In fact, last season it was a total mismatch with OU’s outstanding line led by two all-conference guards drafted in the 4th and 6th rounds and playing in the NFL against that weak Vol line. This year, I give UT the edge. Time for Bill Bedendaugh to work some magic.

UT’s tandem of backs in Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara will probably be the best set OU will see this season. Both five-stars who look the part and played the part v Bowling Green. Hurd is 6-4, 225 and has speed to go with the size and natural ability. Kamara was an Alabama signee who has been in and out of trouble but is in good graces now and will bring his 5-10, 220 pound bundle of speed and energy downhill toward the Sooners Saturday night. OU’s outstanding trio of inside linebackers must have a big night. But a slimmer and better Dom Alexander, a heavier and stronger Jordan Evans, and an eligible and hungry Frank Shannon are the strength of the defense, if not the team.

Cam Sutton is a stud. Number 7 for Tennessee is an elite corner and punt returner. We’re in for a treat if he hooks up a lot with OU’s Sterling Shepard. Several other Vol DBs were exposed against Bowling Green Saturday, but not Sutton.

OU had better watch out or they’ll get a field goal attempt blocked. UT got one in Game 1 and it was no fluke. Important that rookie kicker Austin Siebert get good trajectory or you could see a big play that’ll make OU fans cringe. Also, OU had better improve drastically in punt returns. I assume Shepard will be back there all night and will be much sounder. If not, he wasn’t coached up this week, because he and Joe Mixon were not good at all Saturday night. The Sooners had best play sound on all cover units because UT has the athletes and fundamentals to make you pay.

Heading to the set.

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