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Red River Rivalry Has Texas Favored by 3 Over Oklahoma
The old Cotton Bowl will be alive and kicking come this Saturday when Texas and Oklahoma meet in the Red River Shootout. This game doesn’t have quite the hype it did last year when #1 Oklahoma went up against #5 Texas, but anytime these two storied programs strap up their chin straps it’s a big game. Oddsmakers at BetUS opened this game Texas -3.
Texas is coming into this game like everyone thought they would, undefeated, and for the most part untested. Their biggest victory so far was a 34-24 win over Texas Tech that wasn’t as close as the score would suggest. Many people have pegged Texas as the team that is going to take on the #1 Florida Gators in the BCS Title game, but Texas doesn’t need to get ahead of themselves.
Oklahoma has not had the start that the Sooner faithful had expected. They are 3-2 on the year with losses to BYU and Miami, but all is not lost. OU is 1-0 in conference play and still very much in the hunt for a Big 12 Title. QB Sam Bradford will be back, and will have a game under his belt which is very important. If the Sam Bradford of 2008 is the one that shows up this Saturday we are going to have a great matchup between QB Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford, and the winner will be the front runner to take home the Big 12 South Title.
To be honest this is a very hard game to peg a single matchup that will have a bigger influence on the final result then any others. Both Texas and Oklahoma are very good offensively and especially defensively. The one thing that sticks out to us about this game is the matchup of Oklahoma’s defensive line and Texas’ backfield. The one game that Texas has been tested was in their last one against Colorado. The 38-14 score doesn’t make it seem like it was close, but Colorado had a 14-10 lead at halftime and Texas had to score 28 unanswered points.
The one thing that Colorado was able to do was shut down Texas’ rushing attack. Even with Texas’ putting up 38 points they still only had 46 yards on the ground. Without a running game Colt McCoy had a lot more pressure on him and it took longer for him to find his rhythm. This is the one area where we think Oklahoma can win this ballgame if they execute.
Oklahoma arguably has the best defensive line in the country. When a team is able to get pressure with their front four it makes it a lot easier on the whole defense. Expect the Sooner defense to come after McCoy early and often to try and get him to make some early mistakes.
The team that is able to get out of the gate fastest is going to have a great chance at winning. If Oklahoma is able to take away the running game that takes away the play action pass, and makes Colt McCoy’s life a whole lot harder, and if they are able to get some 3 and outs early and give their offense good field position then Oklahoma is capable of putting this game out of reach early with their offense.
THE FINAL VERDICT
The great thing about College Football is that all is not lost if a top team loses a game. Sure, their National title hopes certainly diminish, and in the case of Oklahoma, their title hopes are done, with 2 losses, but there is still plenty to play for. In this case, the Big 12 Title is still up for grabs and in any case, beating a hated rival can make the season even in the case of a winless team.
So many rivalries in college football are nip and tuck games each year in college ball. Nail biters decided by last 2nd field goals year in and year out. Not the case with the Red River Rivalry. Over the last decade, all but one game has been decided by double digits, and that one was a touchdown game. So, a spread of 3.5 would not have come into play since 1998.
Texas won this one a year ago yet Oklahoma still went on to the Title game. Look for Texas to leave no doubt this time around and pull away late. Texas -3
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