With the OU/Texas game less than two weeks away the question of confidence has come up several times. My question is, how can either team come into this game with confidence? Oklahoma has the advantage of winning six of the last seven Red River Shoot-Outs and Texas enters coming off last season's blow-out and a national championship.
The only game you can build you confidence off of last season's performance is the first game of the season. The Red River Shoot-Out will be the Sooners 5th and the Longhorns 6th games of this season. At this point in the season confidence is built upon on field performance and both teams are found lacking.
Both teams will enter the October 7th match-up having played a Top 25 opponent and both teams have suffered a loss to that opponent. The Longhorns fell to the top ranked Ohio State Buckeyes and the Sooners dropped a game to the 14th ranked Oregon Ducks.
In both games the defenses struggled. Oklahoma gave up over 500 yards of offense to Oregon and Troy Smith passed for over 250 yards, mostly to wide open receivers, against the Longhorns leaving the reality that neither team was as good as the pre-season hype.
The most startling thing is that it's not just Top 25 opponents who are moving the ball on OU and Texas. Oklahoma has held only one of its four opponents to under 100 yards rushing and Texas is giving up only 189.5 yards passing per game but against their two strongest opponents, Ohio State and Iowa State, the Longhorns surrendered and average of 266 yards through the air.
Oklahoma will face their strongest rushing opponent of the season in Texas and the Sooners will be somewhere between Ohio State and Iowa State in offensive competition for the Longhorns.
Both defensive game plans will be to stop the run game and force the quarterbacks to beat them. Sooners and Longhorns alike, raise your hands if you are confident that your team's defense can stop the opposing team's offense?