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Talkin Texas: Oklahoma Week (Part 2)

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PB: We saw McCoy have a very good-not-otherworldly game against Colorado in large part because--in my view--it's becoming a little -too- clear where and how McCoy is going to beat you. And it ain't diverse enough to dominate as competition increases. Correct me where I'm wrong and/or tell me what's got to happen Saturday to keep OU from honing in on our bread and butter.

Big Roy: I think that's a serious issue to be determined by the quality of the OU secondary. Can the take away the underneath passes that have become our bread-and-butter?

PB: That's not a talent issue, though, is it? Whatever we think of their back seven, they are athletic enough to execute a defensive game plan centered on our known strengths. I guess what I'm trying to get at is: Assume I'm right that OU can and will limit to some meaningful degree our Known Strengths. Where does our boost come from?

Big Roy: Maybe there has to be a hero come from nowhere like Chris Ogbonnaya did against Colorado. Fozzy Whittaker could be a huge boost if he's healthy enough to play. Brandon Collins and James Kirkendoll have shown some elusiveness. I think the other major x-factor is Greg Davis. Does he come up with an innovative game plan that can break big plays like Jermichael Finley did last year or will he lay a 2004 12-0 egg? Where is your confidence level on Greg Davis showing some major wrinkles he's keep in reserve just for OU?


PB: Two points here: First, your answer sort of highlights the problem, insofar as "hero out of nowhere" highlights that beyond our Known Strengths, there has been Nothing. Second, in bringing up Finley, you touched on another point I was about to make: it's this Saturday where Irby's presence will most be missed. Combining those two points together, then, what do we have left? I'd say there are two known universes we need to explore: (1) With Fozzy and (2) Without. Envisioning a more balanced game plan -with- him is feasible. But let's slog through without.

If I'm Oklahoma, I'm spying McCoy with Keenan Clayton, playing Quan and Shipley tight within 10 yards of scrimmage, and betting my defensive line takes care of the rest if Texas is forced to wait for something to open up deep. Assume that's OU's strategy and don your offensive coordinator cap: What's your counter?

Big Roy: I'd like to scrap the two tight end look and go four wide receivers to spread the field. Maybe even some five wide looks splitting Chris O out wide to try to get a mismatch against a linebacker. That's the universe without Fozzy. With Fozzy I think we may get some plays out of our base offense running the ball because I'm not convinced OU's linebackers are even as good as ours. Anything to add?

PB: First, I absolutely agree: Spread the field. As much as possible. Make Oklahoma defend sideline to sideline, with as many defenders occupied in man coverage as possible. Among other things, that gives Colt the best opportunity to be a playmaker. And he's It, right now. The second thing I'd do which I cannot understand why we haven't/don't is use screens better. Everyone hates the bubble screen, but as a concept, we probably need to use screens of all types against Oklahoma--using their aggressiveness against them. A great offensive game plan will turn weaknesses into strengths: In Texas' case, that can mean showing our bread and butter to entice a hungry defense to overpursue. I have every confidence that Oklahoma will be over-locked in on what we've shown so far this year. It's up to Davis and Applewhite to use it against them.

Alright, let's wrap the heavy talk and conclude with a little fan talk. Gimme your honest feeling on Sunday night. We gonna lose?

Big Roy: Having come to UT in 2002, I think I'm conditioned to be scared against Oklahoma. Just the loser attitude Texas teams took into that game so many times. I think Oklahoma wins a close game, as much as it pains me to believe that. Are you any more optimistic?

PB: God I want this win badly, Big Roy. BADLY. The -entire- narrative changes if we win on Saturday. If we lose, we're far from off course... It's just... if we win... The trajectory of Texas football took a decided turn after we lost to Texas A&M. Mack got humiliated. And got angry. And got Muschamp. And literally everything has trended positive since then. Why not this, too?

Big Roy: Why not, indeed. We are Texas. I want to see some more little crying OU fans. I want to wax Bradford like Bomar got waxed. Everything changes if Texas wins this game. Missouri looks winnable and a national championship is a legitimate goal. This game will go a long way towards determining what Texas has with this football team. A win here sends the trajectory of this Texas football team headed towards the stratosphere.

PB: It does. It really damn does. The key here is that this is a Texas team that's gonna be progressively harder and harder to beat with each successive week. If getting past OU is a monumental challenge, it's almost unfair to ourselves to dream "what if" Texas wins on Saturday. Because we may become a runaway train. Stop me, dude.

Big Roy: I don't want to. I want to believe in this team. I believe in Colt McCoy. I believe in Lamarr Houston and Brian Orakpo and Sergio Kindle and Roy Miller. I want to live the dream again. Make me, believe Texas!


Big Roy: Yeah, baby! Look at Rak flip that Sooner Schooner! Ship, on a double move torching the OU D again! Give me helmet and send me in Muschamp, I'm ready to hit somebody! BOOM! Knock those motherf&^%$s out! I'm not hurt, coach, put me back in!

I'd like to note that I just gave myself a concussion, Gus Frerotte-style. I'm a little jacked up here.

PB: Ah, reality bites. Two skinny bloggers nerding out over the big game...

Big Roy: Gotta bring the intensity.

PB: But you know what is true no matter what you and I say or do, Big Roy?

Big Roy: I believe I do, PB.

It's 12:33 and OU still sucks.

PB: Amen, brother. A-freaking-men. Bottoms up.

Big Roy: Indeed.