Like any Oklahoma fan, the Sooners’ nation always looks at the preseason schedule and circles the date of the annual Red River Rivalry.
The No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) and the Texas Longhorns (3-2, 2-0 Big 12) will meet on Oct. 12 at noon (Eastern Time) at the old Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
Both teams will meet for the 108th edition, as the Longhorns hold the edge 59-43-5, but the Sooners have seen much more of an advantage recently.
Head coach Bob Stoops holds a 9-5 record since his arrival in Norman, and his Sooners have been winners in nine of the last 13 and currently have a three-game winning streak in the series that dates back to 1900.
The nine wins for Stoops has him tied with Barry Switzer and Bud Wilkinson for most wins against Texas in the program’s history.
The aforementioned win streak for the Sooners means a little more, based on the fact that Oklahoma has completely dominated in those games. The Sooners have outscored the Horns 146-58 in the past three seasons, an average of nearly 50 points per game.
Oklahoma just hasn’t dominated Texas in recent years, but has dominated its competition thus far into the 2013 season.
The Sooners have averaged 31.2 points, 455 total yards, and 246 rushing yards per game, while the defense has been the key for them, allowing 13 points, 281.6 total yards, and 168 passing yards which all are tops in the conference.
Oklahoma won in a defensive bout in its last game, a 20-17 home win versus TCU on Oct. 5. The Sooners allowed just 210 total yards to the Frogs, 184 of which came from quarterback Trevone Boykin, but after shutting out TCU in the first half, the defense let the Frogs back in it, cutting the lead to just three after the third quarter.
Senior running back Brennan Clay broke loose for a 75-yard score midway through the fourth to put the Sooners up by 10, but Boykin rushed in for a score two minutes later.
Blake Bell would seal the deal with a couple of long runs as the junior won his third game since coming on as the starting quarterback.
Bell rushed for four touchdowns last season in the Sooners’ 63-21 rout of their long-time rivals.
Rushing will play a big role for both teams come Saturday. Though good for Oklahoma, it doesn’t look too good across the field.
“Texas was ranked No. 15 before a 40-21 loss at BYU in the second game. The Longhorns surrendered a school record 550 yards rushing against BYU and coach Mack Brown fired second-year coordinator Manny Diaz the next day.” (YahooSports)
Brown hired Greg Robinson soon after, who served as the defensive coordinator for one season in 2004. In that game, Texas’ defense gave up 225 rushing yards to Adrian Peterson, but only allowed one touchdown in a 12-0 loss.
The Longhorns have given up 248 rush yards per game which is right up Oklahoma’s alley. They’ve also allowed 465.4 total yards per game. Both numbers are worst in the conference.
VIEW FROM A FAN:
There’s no game that a Sooners fan looks forward to than the RRR. Sure we can’t wait until Bedlam, but there’s something about beating Texas that just gets our blood rushing like no other.
The numbers say it all: rushing is going to play an important role. If the Sooners can start the game rolling, this will be decided by halftime just the like the past two meetings.
Brown should know all about the rushing game, as he was the offensive coordinator under Switzer back in 1984, and led the team to 216 rush yards per game.
Texas is hurting right now, and Brown continues to be on the “hot seat,” even though we don’t suspect him going anywhere.
Bell will have a field day, and may just play two or three quarters. It was evident against TCU, that the quarterback will try and do a little “less” passing, and more “Belldozing,” having the defense debate whether or not he will throw or keep it.
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