Game day odds and ends before OU-Texas scrum

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:27 pm

By: News 9

Originally Published: Oct 2, 2010 9:43 AM CDT

It’s here again. The older I get the less time it seems there is between OU-Texas games. When you played, it was the opposite, especially if you lost. The game can’t get there soon enough for coaches who lose the season before.

As anxious, concerned, confident or shaky fans are after seeing their beloved gladiators lose several in a row are, can you imagine what a head coach feels like?
Mack Brown was a wreck in the press conferences after losing to Bob Stoops and the Sooners the third, fourth and fifth times in a row. The infamous, “I’ll speak for Chris” (Sims) moment will live in Red River Rivalry infamy.

Bob Stoops desperately wants to end his 1-4 losing string. For the man who never backs off, this is one where he is concerned. Stoops doesn’t lose 5 of 6 to anyone. Or will he?

Perfect weather. Sunny, not too hot (82 the expected high with 8 mph winds) and the apprehensive  feeling of “what should we expect of these teams after what we’ve seen so far this season?”

Here are some tidbits you might find of interest:

-Texas starting WR Mike Davis won’t play because of a knee injury. Davis is a freshman who was the No. 2-ranked HS WR in the countrythe twelfth overall. But he only has 16 catches and the next three receivers have 15, 14 and 13 receptions.

-Did you know UT QB Garrett Gilbert was the Parade and Gator Aid National Player of the Year in 2008? He’s no loser.

-UT is 7-0 against the spread in its last seven games after a home loss by double digits.

-But UT is 1-6 against the spread in the last seven gamesmeaning they’ve not played up to the expectations of odds makers.

-Twenty times in the OU/Texas series has OU been ranked in the top ten while Texas has not.  OUs record in those games is 16-3-1 (and, by the way, Gibbs lost two of those in 90 and 91. In other words with real coaches were 16-1-1).  Stoops is 3-0 when OU is ranked in the top ten and Texas is not.
-Four times in the OU/Texas series has this game been played on the first Saturday in October (1978, 2000, 2006 and 2007). OUs record in those games is 3-1 (and 78 and 2000 are two of my all-time favorite OU/Texas games). October 2 is the earliest this game has ever been played.
-In the Stoops era OU has been ranked #8 once when playing Texas.  That one time was 2007 when first time OU/Texas starter Sam Bradford lead OU to victory 28-21.

-When did the game become known as the Red River Rivalry? I believe it was when marketing first hit center stagesuch as the AT & T Red River Rivalry. Money had all of a sudden become a major factor.

-The over/under is a very low 44 pointsodds makers saying a total of 44   points will be scored. Only one more game this weekend has a lower total. With OU a 3-4-point favorite, they expect a final score of 24-21, OU.

-Prediction time: I’ve felt all week this game would be something like a 13-10 game. But the more I think about it the more I see more points. Because I see the Texas offense better than the majority of OU fans and so many national pundits. The TD/Int ratio of 4-4 for UT’s Garrett Gilbert is misleading. He’s had two INTs tipped at the LOS and one Hail Mary to end a half.

The bigger reason is how the OU defensewhich ranks LAST in the Big 12 and  a ridiculous 97th in NCAA standingscan be expected to hold Texas to 10 points. 

Of the two offenses and two defenses, the UT defense is the strongest unitstill No. 2 nationally after last week’s loss to a UCLA team that ran successfully ran option most of the day. I don’t see OU having success running the ball. UT will come out with incredible energy. They will get consistent pressure on Landry Jones. He’s not had a history of handling blitzes well. So I can’t see OU’s offense scoring a bunch of points. OU needs the turnover trend of 2010 continue. The Sooners are No. 4 and Texas is near the bottom. If that continues, and the kick game is a push, I give OU an ever-slight advantage.

I’m saying OU wins 21-20.  DB


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