It's not often that this game can be considered an elimination game for both teams in regards to the Big 12 championship, but that is what we have this year. This is only the second meeting between Bob Stoops and Mack Brown when both teams had one conference loss coming into this game (2007). The loser of this game is assured to not win the conference championship this year. Two losses would be insurmountable. Mathematically, you could devise some weird tie-breaker scenario that the loser might be crowned Big 12 champion, but realistically it's more plausible figuring out electoral college outcomes than some scenario where the loser has a shot at the title.
So, even though there is not too much hype for this game, the 107th meeting between OU and Texas is HUGE. The winner has a chance at real national success. The loser has to plod through the season trying to create some goal. That sounds horrible. It will be the first time since maybe 1999, that a realistic chance at a conference title is gone for the Sooners before the midpoint of the season. I can't stomach that thought.
The Texas defense has been majorly whiffing on tackles lately. Apparently Longhorn defensive coordinator Manny Diaz just being present isn't enough to enable the Texas defense to be the best ever (doesn't it seem that Texas is always going to have their best defense ever every year?). The Longhorns hope that one week is enough time to tighten up against a Sooner offense that's capable of rolling over teams, even though evidence is mostly contrary to that. So it's gut check time for both outfits. Can the OU offense permanently stay out of the mud it's been in since Ryan Broyles went down? Was last week's game against Tech a break out game? Who will live up to their potential? That, my friends, will decide the outcome of this game.
On the other side of the ball, the OU secondary is the best that Texas will face this year, however the Sooner ability to stop the run is suspect. Texas is more than capable of plowing through the Sooner interior and eating some serious clock. Stopping the run has always been the key to this game. Never has a team rushed for less yards than the other and won this game in the Stoops-Brown era.
The bevy of Sooner receivers run crisp enough routes to take any heat Landry Jones may feel from the Texas rush. Solid performances by Damien Williams and Dominique Whaley help balance out the attack. Don't forget about Trey Millard please!!!! (That was a plea to Josh Heupel.) Sooner defensive coordinator Mike Stoops revisits his dominance over a Texas offense without a proven quarterback. Longhorn quarterback David Ash is not the legend that Texas fans are trying to conjur up.
The Sooners focus on stopping the run. Ash is exposed when trying to carry the Longhorn offense. He's not quite there. Landry Jones is proven when he's got help. His complementary pieces comes through. Sooners take it more comforably than we all hoped, 38-27.
If inconsistency is the name of this game for the Sooners, Texas will win. The receivers can't get open fast enough. There is just not enough time yet for Landry and the receivers to gel. Our running game is not utilized to compensate. Sooners ridiculously digress backward. Texas can't run away with it though. The defense holds its own, but like in the Kansas State game, they can't carry the load for the Sooner offense for four quarters. A low-scoring game favors the Longhorns, and they commit fewer mistakes. Texas wins 20-17.