Its time to play some fact or fiction where I come up with some statements about a team and our guest tells us whether that statement is fact or fiction. Today's guest it Peter A.K.A HornsFan from the outstanding Texas Longhorns blog Burnt Orange Nation. Thanks for playing Peter!
Jamaal Charles and Selvin Young will be 100% for the game.
Fiction. Charles will be, but Selvin's got some bruised ribs. Not surprisingly, the Longhorn staff are keeping the extent of the injury close to the vest. Anyway, even if we did know, we wouldn't talk about it.
Texas has the best rush defense in the country.
Fiction. It's hard to label anything 'best' period. But we're in the conversation, no doubt. I might be able to answer this question after we face Peterson, though; there's not really a tougher test out there. One of the things that makes me hesitate is the linebacking corps, which has lost Muckelroy (who was really coming on) to injury and is just working freshman Sergio Kindle into the rotation. Senior Drew Kelson missed three games, as well, so there's still some questions with this group.
Colt McCoy is going to have to have a big game for the Longhorns to beat Oklahoma.
Fiction. McCoy only needs to be solid. I think Texas can run the ball on the Sooners, which means Colt need only be a complimentary threat - not necessarily a primary threat.
The Texas secondary has struggled in big games (Ohio State and Iowa State).
Fiction. Struggled might be the wrong word, Matt. They were beaten solidly by Ohio State, but I think it was a scheming mistake. Texas really thought Ohio State would run the ball more; we weren't prepared for their aerial prowess at all. The Iowa State numbers are completely misleading. The Horns did a great job of keeping Iowa State's wide receivers from making big plays. All that yardage was underneath, by design, and not nearly as damaging as the total suggest. It's not a perfect group, but they've certainly not struggled.
The Texas defense will play to stop Adrian Peterson and force Paul Thompson to try to beat them.
Fact. No two ways about it. If Stoops is smart, he'll open things up through the air quickly - I don't think there's going to be much room to run early. The wise move would be to take what Texas is willing to give up through the air early in the game. To the extent that Thompson can move the ball through the air in the first quarter, Oklahoma can better utilize AP as the game progresses.
It would have been better for the Longhorns to have had an off week than to play Sam Houston State.
Fiction. There's not evidence that supports the idea that an off-week is better for a team. I don't think this game is a giant chess match, really. The team that executes better, and plays more physical football, is going to win the game. I don't think either team is going to be doing too much that requires an extra week of preparation in practice, so the game against Sam Houston State was probably better for the team, all things considered. The young quarterbacks got more live action reps, which is undisputedly a good thing.