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Red River Reclamation

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DeMarco Murray's 65 yard touchdown run knocked the Longhorns down then Sam Bradford and Malcolm Kelly stomped on their throat.

The Red River Rivalry belongs to Oklahoma , maybe not in the all time series standings, maybe not in the Eyes of Texas, but certainly since the turn of the century! The Oklahoma Sooners have been the most powerful force to blow into the Cotton Bowl in six of the last eight years. Two senior classes have graduated in Austin not knowing what it is like to win the Red River Shootout while Bob Stoops has never graduated a class of his players without the sweet taste of victory in their mouth at some point in their Sooner career.

Looking at the match-up between the coaches it's clear to see why those clad in Burnt Orange loathe Bob Stoops unashamedly while the Crimson and Cream Machine like Mack Brown exactly where he is despite the fact that he err... Vince Young... brought a national title to the lone star state. Bob Stoops owns Texas ! His record shows it, his recruiting shows it and his swagger shows it. That's right I said swagger. Call the man conceited or arrogant all you want but in that quiet moment when you are all alone you know that you secretly wish you had a coach with the confidence and the track record of Stoops. Longhorn fans want to jump on every NFL rumor and pray openly that Stoops will make the jump and remove that thorn from their side while OU fans hope that Mack Brown literally stays at Texas until the cows come home. I wonder why that is?

As for the latest installment of this storied rivalry, Holy Cow what a great game it was! Texas , by far, played their best game of the season while Oklahoma 's offense came back to life after taking a week off in Colorado to guide the Sooners to a 28-21 victory.

The Longhorns continued to expose a Sooner weakness that will haunt Oklahoma if they can't make the adjustments needed to shore up the short middle passes. That alone not only kept Texas in the game but gave them a legitimate chance of winning the game. Oklahoma , on the other hand, did what they couldn't do last week against Colorado . They answered the call at crunch time! Don't forget how much was riding on this game. Oklahoma is still within reach of the conference championship while Texas is sitting in the basement with the Baylor Bears. When the game, and the season, was on the line Oklahoma moved the ball and Texas couldn't.

Three Factors
While there is still a lot to digest and more to discuss then I'll be able to include in this post, in my opinion the outcome of this game hinged on three factors.

1. Sam Bradford - Two years ago Oklahoma entered this game with a redshirt freshman quarterback and were run off the field. This year Oklahoma was in the same position but with a very different outcome. Bradford 's poise and confidence in his team was exceptional allowing him to complete 21 of his 32 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns.

2. DeMarco Murray - He's going to be around for a few more seasons so Longhorn fans should familiarize themselves with the name. Even though we've seen flashes of his brilliance all season this was truly his breakout game. With Allen Patrick struggling Murray gave the Sooner offense a different dimension that the Longhorns couldn't adjust to. He carried the ball 17 times for 128 yards (7.5 ypc) including an electrifying 65 yard run to put Texas on the ropes.

Get used to it Texas. He's going to be here for a while!

3. Turnovers - Oklahoma's defense played a solid second half giving up only one score while forcing two Texas turnovers, both of which we costly to the Longhorns. Jamaal Charles was stripped of the ball at the goal line preventing a Texas score and another late Texas drive ended when Reggie Smith intercepted a tipped Colt McCoy pass.

For the last two seasons we've had to listen to how the tide is turning between the Sooners and Longhorns and how it was Oklahoma's time stand behind Texas.  Saturday in Dallas the Sooners reclaimed what has already been theirs for about eight years now.