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The Voice Of Longhorn Nation Sounds Off On OU/Texas

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We are less than 48 hours away from kickoff so I guess that means we really need to start breaking the game itself down. To  get us started I’ve invited Scott Fuller (A.K.A. Squirrel) to jump aboard the Machine to discuss the Red River Shootout with us. Scott is the Site Owner / Administrator of Longhorn Nation where nearly 4,000 members go to get and share information on Texas athletics.

 

I had six questions for Scott and outside of giving us a straight up score prediction he answered all of them for us. Here we go.

 

On paper Oklahoma and Texas seem to be just about identical. They are separated by just two points (OU 49, TX 47) in points scored per game and on the defensive side of the ball we find the same difference in points allowed per game (TX 11, OU 13). Where do you see these teams being different from one another?

 

S.F. - That's part of what makes this matchup so odd, the teams are so similar. The biggest difference has been the press coverage of OU versus the largely ignored Texas, if anything. Texas also has an overall rougher schedule in the weeks past the OU game.  (ESPN just did an article on the "Big 6 and Little 6" of the big XII - Texas is the only team that has to face all other 5!)

 

This game will feature two of the best quarterbacks in the country in Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy. Do you think it is fair to say that McCoy has done more with less skill position talent than Bradford has?

 

S.F. - I think McCoy has done more with less widely known skill position players, and certainly more without a definitive go to running back.  (Problem is, that 'more' has come through the legs of Colt, himself - most Texas fans hate seeing him in the open field knowing that Chiles has not stepped up as the #2 we all needed & hoped for)

 

Coming into the season I tabbed the Longhorn receivers and secondary as the weaknesses of the team and to this point they have been anything but that. Have you been surprised by the performance of these two units.

 

S.F. - I think everyone has been, unless you weren't watching last season.

btw... 4 of the 5 teams Texas played are in the TOP 51 in passing offenses in the NCAA - (Rice#10, Arky#33, FAU#47, UTEP#41, Colorado is actually the lowest at #72)

1 of the 5 teams OU has played are in the TOP 51 in passing offenses in the NCAA - (Cincinatti at #26, Chat#79, Wash#73, TCU#99, Baylor#94)

 

What concerns you the most about this match-up?

 

S.F. - Quite simply: containing OU's skill players.  To accomplish this we need to put Bradford on his back, early and often - or at least pressure him.  Our front 7 need to continue to pressure the QBs as they have the last 3 games.  Oklahoma, however, will be the best O-line we've seen all year, though - a very tall order.

 

Game plan for us. Texas can beat Oklahoma by…?

 

S.F. - a.. Again - Pressure Bradford. A combination of pressure and a serious hit was the basis for Texas Tech beating OU last year.
b. Bend but don't break. A lot of people point out the yards
Texas gives up on defense, but the key has always been giving up yards without giving up points.
c. Keep the offense varied. We have a lot of weapons, we should use them all to keep the OU defense guessing. But that should be pretty obvious.
d. Dominate the lines. This will make a difference on both sides of the ball.

 

Care to give us a score prediction?

 

S.F. - No, because I'm always wrong. I would say I imagine it will be close, and that the last spread I saw may be too large. On paper I think OU has the slight advantage on the sidelines (only because Applewhite and Muschamp are 5 games into their Texas careers) and on the field (skill pos)  - but this is one of the most heated rivalries in all of college football - tides can turn and fortunes can change on 2 to 3 huge plays.  That's all it takes.

 

Good luck (I really don't mean that ;-P), and Hookem!

 

Thanks for your time, Scott!