Bevo's Daily Roundup - October 14, 2009

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"No game carries with it the atmosphere, the excitement, the energy
level that the Oklahoma-Texas game does. When you hit the floor of the
Cotton Bowl, there's electricity. And if you don't feel it, you ought
to have your saliva checked." -- Barry Switzer, Former Oklahoma head coach (1973-88)

A play date. The Horns are really excited to see Sammy this Saturday.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is back, and he's showing signs of approaching his old Heisman Trophy form.

And to hear them talk, players and coaches for the Texas defense are delighted Bradford's sprained shoulder has healed in time for him to play Saturday in the nationally televised game at the Cotton Bowl.

"I am (glad) because he's a great player," said defensive end Sergio Kindle on Monday, during the Longhorns' weekly media luncheon. "Literally, being on the (defensive) side of the ball, I've seen that guy work, and he's amazing."

"Anytime you play an opponent," added Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, "you want to play them at their best."

Mack Brown was impressed with Bradford's performance this past weekend.

"I thought Sam looked just like he did last year when he threw five touchdown passes against us," Brown said in Monday's Big 12 teleconference. "If I had not been told that Sam had been hurt, I wouldn't have seen any difference on Saturday."

As the depth chart turns. Now Fozzy Whitaker is listed as the co-starting running back with Cody Johnson. And Mack Brown wants us to lay off Greg Davis.

"Everybody focuses on the running game, but nobody gives Greg Davis credit for calling that double move play for Shipley right before the half," Brown said, referring to Shipley's touchdown reception. "That changed the momentum of the game. And that was a great call."

Mack Brown isn't worried about Fozzy.

"He's really fast, he's really smart," Brown said. "He can do the every-down back stuff. He can do the third-down passing stuff and be the regular back. He had the 12-yard TD run on Saturday when nothing was there. He gave us the spark we needed. He'll be fresh. So if he plays, I'm sure he'll be pumped about it. When he's played, he's been really good. He's just been banged up."

Brown does not understand why we dropped to No. 3 in the polls.

More love for Shipley. Jordan Shipley, Heisman candidate.

In a game where the Longhorns couldn’t get anything done offensively, Shipley decided to put the team on his shoulders and carry it to victory. He had 147 yards on 11 receptions for two touchdowns – one coming from a 74-yard punt return in the fourth quarter.

Shipley should definitely be in the names discussed for the Heisman Trophy – even the ESPN announcers referenced the idea during Saturday’s telecast.

The Heisman Pundit critiques McCoy's performance against the Buffs.

McCoy’s Heisman run, if it comes, begins this week versus Oklahoma.  Given the paucity of marquee matchups on the Texas schedule–a byproduct of the Big 12’s drop in quality relative to 2008–losing to the Sooners would probably be fatal to McCoy’s Heisman hopes, unless the other candidates in the running also slip up.  He should have the full attention of Heisman voters, as Texas-OU kicks off at noon ET, while Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen will be playing at the same time in the 3:30 ET time slot.  Simply put, this is McCoy’s chance to put his stamp on the race.

If McCoy gets past OU, then keeps putting up the kind of passing yardage he has so far, while adding a few four or five-touchdown games and keeping his interception rate low (and his team undefeated), he’ll win the Heisman.

"This game determines a lot for your season and I think it's a big
challenge for us," McCoy said. "Our defense is playing great. Their
defense is playing great. They've had some up-and-downs in preseason
with injuries and things like that. And their record does not indicate
how good they are.

"We understand that going in and know that we have to take care of business,
prepare this week and be ready." - Colt McCoy

We're all banged up going into Saturday's game.

Pat Forde does the RRS. (Barking Carnival was not impressed with Forde's composition.)

But even if the previously shared Heisman Trophy and national championship hopes are now one-sided (all burnt orange), it's still shaping up to be a vital and fascinating game. Oklahoma will be trying to spoil Texas' season. Texas will be trying to maximize Oklahoma's misery. And neither side has forgotten all the ill will over the great Big 12 tiebreaker fiasco of 2008.

The Texas coaching staff is torturing the Horns.

Throughout the week, Texas coaches have arranged to bombard the Longhorns in their locker room with a continued loop of "Boomer Sooner," the Oklahoma school fight song.

Just for the record, there is no plan. Brown will leave when he leaves. End of story.

After some future Texas bowl game, he'll walk into the locker room and seek out defensive coordinator/head coach-designate Will Muschamp.

"Will, it's yours," Brown plans to say, without fanfare.

Just don't expect the curtain to come down anytime soon, despite last November's announcement that Muschamp would someday succeed Brown.

"I feel good," Brown said in a recent interview. "I think Will and I and this program are in a great spot. I'm not old enough to be ready to walk out. And Will is still young enough, he loves what he's doing as a defensive coordinator."

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OU and Texas first squared off in 1900 and have played continually in Dallas during the 
State Fair of Texas since 1929, and in the Cotton Bowl since it opened in 1937. If you want to
talk head-to-head, Texas owns the overall advantage at 58-40-5, but the series is dead-even
at 29-29-3 since 1948 (Bud Wilkinson's second season as head coach at Oklahoma).
- Sooner Sports

DeMarco Murray is the next Adrian Peterson.

"He’s always been a little more physical than I think people have ever looked at or given him credit for, and I’ve always felt that," said coach Bob Stoops. "Everyone thinks of Adrian (Peterson) as being so quick and strong, well, he’s about the same size, so he’s pretty close."

But more impressive for Stoops than the flashy highlights has been the Las Vegas native’s development into a complete player.

"He does the little things, too. Protecting, he’s good with his hands," Stoops said. "He can do everything."

Injury report. Left guard Brian Simmons is out for the Texas game. Ryan Broyles might play.

What the Sooners know about Texas and why they think we might lose.

While they remain undefeated, the Longhorns haven’t been dominant. Texas needed TDs on a blocked punt, an interception return and a punt return to put away lowly Colorado. The Longhorn offense can get one-dimensional quickly without a reliable running game, and the defense has been susceptible to big passing plays.

NewsOK looks at the Sooners' woes in the red zone.

Settling for field goals, instead of touchdowns, is a formula for defeat against any quality opponent, like Florida or Texas. Try as they might, the Bears don’t qualify.

"The most frustrating thing was how we played in the red zone,” Bradford said Saturday. "Obviously, we can’t kick field goals the way we did.”

Actually, Barry, we call that the WildHorn. NewsOK's Barry Tramel loves the Wildcat.

I love the wildcat because it’s different. For the most part, the NFL forever has been a vanilla league. Most teams all do the same thing offensively. Occasionally comes a shotgun, or a one-back, but within 15 minutes everybody is doing it.

The Wildcat is different. The Wildcat is the NFL’s wishbone. The Wildcat says we’re going to run the ball and you know we’re going to run the ball and we don’t believe you can stop it.

Dr. Saturday looks at the Sooner offense.

It's not just Bradford's absence, or any lingering doubts that he's not 100 percent -- the offense has been decimated by the injuries to tight end Jermaine Gresham and top receiver Ryan Broyles in the passing game, and revolving door of ailments on the offensive line that forced a backup tight end to start at center against BYU and has most recently claimed guard Brian Simmons, on top of the severe attrition from last year's offense, which graduated four veteran, award-laden offensive linemen and three of Bradford's top five receivers. After Broyles left the Miami game, the Sooner offense was left with two players on the field at any given time, tackle Trent Williams and either DeMarco Murray or Chris Brown at running back, who played a significant role in 2008.

A Sooner upset would help ease the disappointments this season.

Sooner creativity. Oklahomans are trading game tickets for jobs.

The Dallas native turned to Craigslist, the online classifieds Web site, to apply a more creative approach. His unique message was simple: Find me a job, and my Oklahoma-Texas tickets will cost you a dollar.

"I saw how the job market was, and how hard it is now," he said. "I wanted to flip the tables and get them coming to me."

By the way, did you know that Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford are friends?

 

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For those of you attending the game this weekend...

Remember the parking problems? Dallas thinks they have it all fixed. Right. And all that towing mess...

OU's two losses have put a crimp in ticket demand this year.

Texas-Oklahoma tickets are one of the premier tickets of the scalper’s season. But after OU lost to Miami, ticket supply on the ticket search engine FanSnap.com went up from 5,800 listings to 7,100 listings in just days.

As a result, the average price dropped. In late September, a ticket to the annual Big 12 South matchup cost an average of $530. Monday morning, the mean was $375.

"Oklahoma’s two losses are making it a bit easier to get in this year," Nichole Rozendaal said in an e-mail. Rozendaal works for FanSnap.com, which collects ticket information from over 50 local and national online brokers.

A heart attack waiting to happen. You can get deep fried butter this year at the State Fair.

FYI. Here's the State Fair web site.

 

 

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Here's the rest of the Big 12. Not that they really matter this week.

The North

Everyone is singing the praises of Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Missouri's Blaine Gabbert was courageous.

But when Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel later got his first good look at the pretzeling of sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert against Nebraska last Thursday, he marveled that Gabbert suffered only a sprained right ankle.

But Gabbert never left the game, a testament to his development as a player even on a night he completed just 17 of 43 passes for 134 yards and two interceptions with no touchdown passes.

"He's a tough guy; I admire him," Pinkel said during Monday's Big 12 media teleconference, then calling Gabbert "courageous" at MU's weekly media session.

The Cyclones are pleased with their offense.

Austen Arnaud put it bluntly Monday.

"We felt Saturday as an offense that we couldn’t be stopped," Iowa State’s quarterback said after having time to dissect a 41-36 loss at Kansas. "I think we just ran out of time.

Colorado may play two quarterbacks this season.

Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins benched his son, Cody, as quarterback Saturday at Texas and said sophomore Tyler Hansen would be the starter this week against Kansas.
 
Offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau followed up during the postgame Saturday by saying he didn't want to flip-flop between quarterbacks the rest of the season.

But Hawkins said today during his lunchtime press conference that it's possible both quarterbacks could play Saturday.

Bill Snyder has a huge job ahead.

Texas Tech's 66-14 demolition of Kansas State represents a clear signal that Bill Snyder's turnaround of the Wildcat program will be a tough one.

The Wildcats were singed by Texas Tech quarterback Steven Sheffield, who tossed seven touchdown passes. When backup Seth Doege's late 7-yard TD pass to Brik Brinker is added, the eight touchdown passes allowed by Kansas State was a school record.

"I've never seen anything like that in my life," Snyder told reporters after the game.

 

The South

The Pokes have more receivers than just Dez Bryant.

Hubert Anyiam scored his first career touchdown on a 27-yard catch and led the wideouts with 58 yards on three receptions.

Tracy Moore made the most of his one catch, a 51-yard scoring play.

Dameron Fooks and Justin Blackmon converted key third-and-long grabs to extend touchdown drives in the second half. Josh Cooper, while blanked Saturday, is another threat.

Baylor's Robert Griffin will have surgery on his right knee.

The Bear defense was the bright spot in the loss to Oklahoma.

The Sooners visited the red-zone seven times on Saturday, but only three of the trips resulted in touchdowns.

"We had a bunch of really good red-zone stops," Briles said. "You would rather them not get down there, but when they do, you want to stop them and make them kick field goals, and that is what we did."

Three of the Bears' red-zone stops came from within the 8-yard line. Bradford threw three incomplete passes on those third-down situations, forcing the Sooners to go for the short field goal.

 

 

 

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Do you really think the Aggies care about your opinion? Dennis Franchione was impressed with the Razorbacks.

The Cotton Bowl will host a new bowl game after 2010 regular season.

Tom Starr, who has been working with Dallas officials on the game, said late Monday night that the date would be sometime around New Year's Day. He did not indicate the name of the bowl or who would play.

ESPN speculated that game would involve the No. 7 team out of the Big Ten against an opponent from the Big 12 or Conference USA.

Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, looks at football, dog fighting and brain injuries.

We are all in a state of denial. Jimmy Clausen is the top passer in the country.

Did I say "the best quarterback"? I did not. Florida's Tim Tebow can't throw like Clausen, but he can run and lead and make speeches. Texas' Colt McCoy is a smaller, sleeker Tebow. Neither is a better passer than Clausen, but you could make the argument that they're a better quarterback. Nationally, there is no argument. Last year's three Heisman finalists were Tebow, McCoy and eventual winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma. All returned this season, and they have plenty of quarterback company jockeying for Heisman position this season: Cincinnati's Tony Pike, Kansas' Todd Reesing, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, Miami's Jacory Harris ...

There are some fabulous quarterbacks in college football.

None of them throws the football better than the guy at Notre Dame.

History has not been kind to the top two teams in the BCS standings.

You do not want to be Florida and Alabama this week.

Yes, they're 1-2 in the AP poll and should debut in the same position in the first BCS rankings released on Sunday. Yes, your local hack is all over both of them.

Yes, they're possibly the two best teams in the country.

The first BCS rankings are an early indicator of success, sure, but they can also be a curse. Only once in the previous 11 years have the top two teams in the first set of rankings played in the BCS title game.

 

And finally...

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A must read. Barking Carnival looks at Darrell Royal's role in the greatest rivalry.

This weekend means so much to so many people on both sides that sometimes you can lose track of the history of just how the Texas-OU game became such a vital part of College Football.

There is one individual who encompasses all the emotions, all the passion, and yes all the hate, that this game engenders.

There is also one game in his history of the series that, for me, put all of this on display more than any other — and it was a game that ended in a tie.

I am of course talking of Darrell Royal.

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