Originally Published: Oct 15, 2009 6:43 PM CDT
I believe there are three key things that are pivotal in the OU TEXAS game. I know for a fact that Coach Stoops agrees with the first one and I know for a fact everyone inside the OU program are aware that the overwhelming majority of media and the so-called experts are predicting a Texas win. So, the “US-AGAINST-THE-WORLD” card will played hard on the OU end.
Don’t know what that’s worth, but I do know that in the earlier days of the Stoops Era, this was the theme as his program had to prove themselves worthy of blueblood status.
THIS INEXPERIENCED GROUP HAS BEEN A WEAKNESS AND LOSING LEFT GUARD BRIAN SIMMONS TO INJURY—CONSIDERED THE SECOND BEST UP FRONT—ADD MORE STRESS. THE DEFENSIVE FRONT OF TEXAS HAS BEEN ITS MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE. THEY’VE BEEN TERRIFIC AGAINST THE RUN AND DISRUPTIVE AGAINST THE PASS. THROW IN A MYRIAD OF BLITZ PACKAGES FROM THE BACKEND AND IT’S A TOUGH MATCHUP FOR OU. THERE JOB IS SIMPLE: GIVE SAM BBRADFORD TIME TO THROW AND DO ITS PART IN HELPING ESTABLISH SOME SEMBLENCE OF A RUN GAME.
THIS IS A SERIES OF STREAKS FULL OF GAMES DOMINATED BY MOMENTUM SWINGS. EXPLOSIVE PLAYS—PLAYS OF 20-YARDS OR LONGER—PLAY AN INTEGRAL PART IN DETERMING THE OUTCOME. LAST YEAR IT WAS A JORDAN SHIPLEY KICKOFF RETURN FOR A TOUCHDOWN THAT SHIFTED MOMENTUM AWAY FROM THE SOONERS AND TURNED THE GAME FOR TEXAS. SHIPLEY AND (? MONROE HAVE EACH RETURNED TWO KICKS FOR TOUCHDOWNS. OU’S DOMINIQUE FRANKS IS OU’S FASTEST PLAYERS AND BECOMING A RETURN-GAME THREAT. MOST OF THE EXPLOSIVE PLAYS WILL COME IN THE PASS GAME. BOTH TEAMS EXCEL AT THE QUICK PASS GAME WHICH PUTS AN EMPHASIS ON TACKLING IN THE OPEN FIELD. TEXAS SUCCESSFULLY MATCHED UP SHIPLEY ON OU’S YOUNG MLB WHO REPLACED STAR RYAN REYNOLDS WHO TORE UP A KNEE WITH OU LEADING BY TEN POINTS. OU’s DEMARCO MURRAY IS THE BEST RUNNER ON THE FIELD AND WILL ALSO PLAY SOME IN THE SLOT GIVING HIM LOTS OF TOUCHES AND CHANCES TO MAKE THOSE CRITICAL EXPLOSIVE PLAYS.
MY FAVORITE STAT IS ONE THAT IS SIMPLE AND ONE THAT IS TRIED AND TRUE. THE TEAM WITH THE FEWEST TURNOVERS WINS 80 PERCENT OF THE TIME. ODDSMAKERS HAVE TEXAS AS A THREE-POINT FAVORITE WHICH MAKES THE TURNOVER BATTLE THAT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT. IT’S SAFE TO SAY THAT IF ONE TEAM HAS TWO OR MORE TURNVOVERS THAN THE OTHER THAT IT WILL LOSE. IN THIS GAME MY GUESS IS THAT YOU CAN LOOK FOR TURNOVERS COMING MOSTLY ON BLITZ HITS ON THE QUARTERBACK AND IN THE KICKING GAME.
Make sure and check in with me on Saturday’s chat. I’ll be in the Cotton Bowl pressbox and look forward to hearing from you.