Vitals: Oklahoma vs. Texas

Monday, October 3rd 2011, 11:33 pm
By: News 9

Corey DeMoss,

No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0, 1-0) vs. No. 11 Texas Longhorns (4-0, 1-0)
11:00 a.m. CST
Cotton Bowl; Dallas, Texas

Statistical Leaders:

  Oklahoma Texas

Landry Jones
111/155, 1,447 yards, 10 TDs, 5 INTs

Case McCoy
26/37, 335 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Rushing Dominique Whaley
70 carries, 379 yards, 7 TDs
Malcolm Brown
67 carries, 327 yards, 1 TD
Receiving Ryan Broyles
38 receptions, 476 yards, 6 TDs
Jaxon Shipley
16 receptions, 280 yards, 2 TDs

Where to find it:


On Radio: Sooner Radio Network

Injury Report:

Oklahoma: OL Tyler Evans (shoulder, probable); RB Brennan Clay (shoulder, questionable); CB Jamell Fleming (head, questionable); S Aaron Colvin (head, questionable); Ben Habern (broken arm, out 5-7 weeks)

Texas: LB Chet Moss (back, questionable); LB Demarco Cobbs (arm, questionable); S Nolan Brewster (concussion, out for season); QB Garrett Gilbert (shoulder, out for season)

What you need to know…

This year, the Red River Rivalry is back to being one of the most important games on the Big 12 schedule. Texas suffered through a bad year in 2010, but this season both teams enter their annual rivalry game undefeated and near the top of the polls.

The Longhorns' coaching staff went through an overhaul after their disappointing season last year, replacing the majority of their coaching staff. Under new leadership on both sides of the ball, Texas started slow this season, with a mediocre showing against Rice and escaping with a one-point win over BYU.

But UT has improved through recent weeks, turning in dominant victories over UCLA and Iowa State in its last two games. The Longhorns' new systems on offense and defense will give OU some looks it is not used to in this rivalry.

Who you need to watch…

The outcome of this game may well be determined by the play of Texas' quarterbacks. The Longhorns will use a two-headed attack with David Ash and Case McCoy. Ash is more of a dual threat, while McCoy is a better pure pocket passer.

Both quarterbacks have been solid since splitting playing time, combining to complete 70 percent of their passes with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. But they also have not played a defense as athletic and physically gifted as the one they will play Saturday.

The Sooners' defense had one rough game against Missouri, but other than that has played well. The defensive line has been particularly strong, led by ends Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis. The line will be a major key against Texas, especially mobile quarterback Ash.

If the front four are unable to contain Ash, the Sooners likely will need to call blitzes or keep their linebackers near the line of scrimmage. That will open passing lanes in the secondary, which was exposed against Missouri's passing offense.

But Texas' secondary also has been exposed at times this season, which could mean a big day for Landry Jones. Jones has mostly been solid this season, and is coming off a 425-yard performance against Ball State.

But Jones also has been inconsistent at times, and routinely has let his passes sail high. He has thrown at least one interception in each of the Sooners' last three games, and ball security will be at a premium against Texas.

Helping Jones will be the fact that he will have all of his weapons at his disposal for the first time this season. Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills both are healthy, Trey Franks has been reinstated after serving a two-game suspension and Jaz Reynolds has emerged as a big-play threat.