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First Look: The Texas Longhorns

Its no secret who Oklahoma's opponent is this week and what is on the line in Dallas. For more than a decade this game helped determined who would represent the Big 12 South in the conference championship game. Recruits have been swayed by its outcome, national rankings have fallen and national championship runs have started based on what happens at the Texas State Fairgrounds in early October. 

Both teams will arrive to the Cotton Bowl undefeated and nationally ranked. The Sooners have hovered around the top of the polls all season while the Longhorns are slowly climbing the ladder. Despite a 4-0 record with road wins at UCLA and Iowa State there's still the perception out there that the Longhorns are getting by on smoke and mirrors. 

Longhorns Football Schedule

Rice Sat 09/03 W 34 - 9
BYU Sat 09/10 W 17 - 16
@ UCLA Sat 09/17 W 49 - 20
@ Iowa St. Sat 10/01 W 37 - 14
Oklahoma Sat 10/08 11:00 AM CDT
Oklahoma St. Sat 10/15 2:30 PM CDT
Kansas Sat 10/29 TBA
Texas Tech Sat 11/05 TBA
@ Missouri Sat 11/12 TBA
Kansas St. Sat 11/19 TBA
@ Texas A&M Thu 11/24 7:00 PM CST
@ Baylor Sat 12/03 TBA

Under new offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin the Longhorns are running a gimmick offense. Not that the won't just line up and try to run over you at times or go with a conventional passing attack but they are also going to try some Tom Foolery. Gadget plays have become the norm in Austin and Oklahoma's defense had better be prepared. Not only does Oklahoma's defense have to prep for a conventional offensive attack, they are have to be ready for two quarterbacks who could actually end up being on the field at the same time as well as multiple players lining up in multiple positions

Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
2011 - David Ash 4 103.0 13 19 68.4 213 53.3 11.2 2 0 14 19 4.8 1.4 0 1 -13


Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
2011 - Case McCoy 4 103.0 26 37 70.3 335 83.8 9.1 2 0 5 4 1 .800 0 1 -4

Both quarterbacks are young but effective. Turnovers had killed the Longhorns all last season and had been an issue early on this season. However, since the young guns were inserted into the offense during the BYU game there have been zero interceptions thrown  and a combined 69% completion percentage. Not bad for a bunch of freshmen...but there's more.

Jaxon Shipley is leading the team in receptions and averaging 17.5 yards per catch while doing so. Early indications are that he's going to be every bit as good as his brother was if not better.

Rushing Receiving
G Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Rec Yds Y/G Avg TD
2011 - Malcolm Brown 4 67 330 82.5 4.9 1 1 -1 -0.3 -1 0

Another freshman the Sooner defense is going to have to deal with is running back Malcolm Brown. He seems to be getting better and better as he becomes more adjusted to the college game. He's only scored once but his 4.9 yards per carry average shouldn't ignored.

On the defensive side of the ball the Longhorns have the best scoring defense in the Big 12. They are only allowing opponents to average 14.8 points per game which is just ahead of Oklahoma's 15.3 points allowed per game. Opposing quarterbacks are only completing 52.4% of their passes for an average of 178.3 yards per game. The Longhorns have only given up two touchdowns through the air this season while snagging six interceptions. 

The are a little more susceptible against the rush but not by much. Opposing running backs are averaging 3.5 yards per carry and the team is allowing an average of 111 yards per game.

Texas' opponents this season have a 9-9 combined record - Rice (1-3), BYU (3-2), UCLA (2-3), Iowa State (3-1).