The greatest Saturday of the college football season is upon us and it's been a long, long time since Oklahoma entered this game needing to win it so badly. Of course all things are possible and for that reason alone you can't count the Sooners out. Of course there are reasons for concern. Here are five of them!
5. Texas Leads The Nation In Rush Defense: The Longhorns are only allowing opponents 48.2 yards per game on the ground and 1.7 yards per carry. Oklahoma must move the ball on the ground to win this game and that appears to be a tall task at this moment. The Sooners are currently averaging 4.4 yards per carry and have rushed for 8 touchdowns. In Oklahoma's two biggest games to this point (BYU/Miami) OU has rushed for 118 and 153 yards respectively. I would say that Oklahoma's rushing yards need to be somewhere between those two numbers for the Sooners to be in position to win.
4. The Injury To Brian Simmons Adds To Offensive Line Woes: Oklahoma quarterbacks have been sacked a total of 5 times this season, Texas will be looking for that many on Saturday. Their linebackers and defensive linemen are licking their chops for the opportunity to go up against this group of offensive linemen who've struggled this year just to get the snap count down. The Longhorns are going to do their best to get shots in on Bradford and protecting him is a must. If Bradford can't remain standing then the offense won't be functioning properly.
3. The Texas Defense Already Has Eight Interceptions: That equals their total from 2008. Bradford is going to be throwing from the run and receivers are going to be dropping passes. Turnovers would most likely lead to Oklahoma's doom against the Longhorns.
2. Tight Games Aren't Swinging In Oklahoma's Favor Right Now: I don't see this being a blowout by either side and that's what worries me. When a game grows tight, particularly late, this team seems to go into a conservative shell. It's not as bad as off tackle left and off tackle right but it sure seems that way. The offense doesn't seem to get the needed first down and the defense doesn't get the needed stop when the game tightens up.
1. Jordan Shipley Appears To Be Unstoppable: We all remember what Colt McCoy's roommate did to the Sooners in last season's game against the Sooners and the kid is even better this year. He's averaging 116.6 receiving yards per game and has caught three touchdown passes. He's also returned two punts for scores this season and last week against Colorado he recorded 273 all-purpose yards. I cringe at the thought of him running across the middle against linebacker coverage.