The Texas Longhorns are back in the Metroplex as they attempt to regroup from last week's devastating loss to face off against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday morning.
The No. 9-ranked, undefeated Sooners will provide a formidable match up for a team reeling from three straight losses and attempting to avoid falling to 1-5 for the first time since 1956.
Sophomore quarterback Baker Mayfield has been impressive running new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley's version of the Air Raid, taking advantage of star senior wide receiver Sterling Shepherd. However, as much as Shepherd likes to target Mayfield, he's spread the ball around enough that seven other players have caught touchdown passes.
On defense, the Sooners haven't created many havoc plays, but have been excellent on first and second down -- Oklahoma ranks No. 6 in S&P+ on first down and No. 12 on second down. Since Texas has been the worst in the country in allowing sacks on passing downs, the only hope is to do what other opponents have been unable to do on the standard downs and stay ahead of the chains.
Texas will likely have to make achieve that offensively without senior wide receiver Daje Johnson (head) and junior offensive tackle Kent Perkins (knee), as neither is expeced to play. Since Perkins went down with his injury early in the second half against Oklahoma State, the Texas offense has floundered, especially in pass protection, meaning that redshirt freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard has constantly been on the run.
The advanced stats credit Texas with a 6 percent win probability and project a 27-point loss, but don't expect a complacent Oklahoma team, as a Sooner official told Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman that he thinks "we'll look out there tomorrow and say, 'Where has THAT team been all season?'"
TV: ABC, Saturday, Oct. 10, 11:00 a.m. CT
Radio: Longhorn IMG Radio Network, KTXX FM 104.9 (Austin), among other participating Longhorn Network affiliates
Online Streaming: WatchESPN (video), TexasSports.com (audio)
Weather: High of 86 degrees / Low of 63 degrees
Odds: Oklahoma (-16.5)