Everybody around the country knows there are not many (if any) better atmospheres than inserting one-half crimson and cream on side of the field against one-half of burnt orange (they divide at the 50-yard line which is a sight to see).
The Longhorns suffered a tough defeat at home to West Virginia and the defense took one on the chin defending Andrew Buie, Geno Smith, J.D. Woods, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin.
Those Mountaineers can ball and score on arguably any defense on the planet, but the Longhorns were gashed left and right all game long.
They have not played well all season now, but the loss of Jordan Hicks should not be that huge of an excuse. Oklahoma State and West Virginia will put some yards and points up on anybody so the 74th ranked defense (404 YPG) has nowhere to go but up if they survive their rivalry weekend with the Sooners.
Texas’ secondary was expected to be among the best in the country, but the tackling from Kenny Vaccaro has been disappointing.
Quandre Diggs and Carrington Byndom has also been a bit shocking in terms of how bad everybody in the back four has performed, and the Sooners still have the pieces to make you pay with Landry Jones spinning it.
Oklahoma’s offense has not been too disappointing if you magically take away the Kansas State disaster, but unfortunately we cannot. Landry Jones was abysmal in that home loss that could end up costing OU a Big 12 title, but at least Blake Bell redeemed himself this past weekend againt Texas Tech after losing that crucial fumble to the Wildcats.
Bell ran for 2 TD towards the goal-line and now running backs Damien Williams and Dominique Whaley should be able to control more game clock, especially against a struggling Longhorns run defense (83rd, 182.4 YPG).
Hicks is expected back at linebacker for the Horns to shore up a very suspect defense, but the offense has played against nobody talented on defense save Kansas State.
In that game Oklahoma was unable to stay consistent in several departments and the turnovers was what did them in. Texas can come after and harass the quarterback as good as anybody in the Big 12.
Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor brought the heat to Geno, but that kid is playing on a different level these days. While OU can counter with a solid running game of their own, TX should be loading the box up since the Sooners do not have to type of superstars that WV has.
The true story that nobody is really talking about enough is the major improvement this offense has made under quarterback David Ash. Threading it for over 1,200 yards with 11 TD compared to just 1 INT is nothing short of a miracle.
It helps to have Mike Davis, Marquise Goodwin and Jaxon Shipley running routes however. Throw in a solid running game with Jeremy Hills, Joe Bergeron and Johnathan Gray (Malcolm Brown too when healthy), and this offense is not far behind even somebody as potent as West Virginia (nobody is better though).
In what is a highly anticipated game that could feature several lead changes, bank on this one coming down to the wire. Last year was a good ole fashioned beatdown with the Sooners taking 55-17.
This time around the Burnt and Orange will find a way to come out victorious thanks to the heroics from David Ash.
Time: Noon Eastern
Experts Pick: OU by 3
Danny V’s Pick: Texas 31, Oklahoma 28