Oklahoma started the college football year as a favorite to play in the BCS Championship Game. Texas entered the 2011 season just looking to be Texas again and rebuild from a 5-7 campaign that led to a shakeup of Mack Brown’s coaching staff. The Sooners have been solid so far in going 4-0 as expected, while the Longhorns have rebounded well by winning all four of their games. The Red River Rivalry is always highly anticipated, and this year’s version should be excellent with two undefeated teams. Texas has won four of the last six in the series and beating the Sooners would signal that the ‘Horns are right back to national prominence. Bob Stoops knows his Sooners must play well at the Cotton Bowl to achieve OU’s conference and national goals.
Who Wins the Red River Rivalry?
This year's Red River Rivalry will be closer than expected, but the outcome will be exactly what everyone is predicting pregame — Oklahoma over Texas. There are just too many playmakers on the Sooners' roster, starting with quarterback Landry Jones and receiver Ryan Broyles — who is 13 catches away from breaking the NCAA all-time receptions mark. Mack Brown Texas Football just doesn't have the passing game to field a balanced attack; the revolving door of Case McCoy and David Ash won't get it done against an OU defense anchored by defensive end Ronnell Lewis and linebacker Travis Lewis. Big Game Bob Stoops already aced his first test of the season at Florida State, expect Oklahoma to win the top prize at the State Fair in Dallas this weekend.
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
I like Oklahoma to knock off Texas in Saturday’s Red River Rivalry matchup. There’s no doubt the Longhorns are going in the right direction after last season’s disappointing 5-7 record. However, I’m not sure the combination of quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy is ready to win this game. Also, Texas’ young secondary will be challenged by Oklahoma’s passing attack, which is one of the best in college football. Even though Texas was down last season, it still hung tough against Oklahoma. The Sooners can’t afford to give the Longhorns any breaks in the turnover department and if they can jump out to a big lead, I’m not sure Texas can rally from 14 points down. Although the Longhorns may fall short on Saturday, it’s a great learning experience for a team primed for a run at the conference crown in 2012.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
I still think you have to go with Oklahoma, but it would not shock me to see Texas pull off the upset. The Sooners’ defense has battled through injuries and inexperience, and I can see them causing some problems for the young Texas quarterback duo of David Ash and Case McCoy. The Longhorns’ defense has looked solid under new coordinator Manny Diaz, but it will be a challenge to keep up with the fast-paced OU offense. Texas must play ball control/time of possession football with freshman running back Malcolm Brown and keep the potent Sooners’ duo of quarterback Landry Jones and receiver Ryan Broyles off the field. Because of Jones’ experience in big games, I’ll take the Sooners to win another tight game in the Red River Rivalry.
Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
I like the Sooners to win. The Texas youth and inexperience at key positions (Case McCoy, Malcolm Brown, Jaxon Shipley) will have one of two effects on the game: 1) The bright-eyed and bushy-tailed youngsters will be completely overwhelmed with the magnitude and atmosphere of one of the single greatest college football events and Oklahoma rolls big. Or 2) What you don't know can't hurt you. The youthful Longhorns will be completely oblivious to the importance of the situation and will play with blinders on - keeping the game close for four quarters. I don't think the outcome of the game will be any different either way - the Sooners winning - but if the Kids are, in fact, All Right, Texas will cover the 10-point spread.