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Texas vs. Oklahoma: First look at the Sooners

The Horns will face off against a Sooners team improved on both sides of the ball from last season.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Where: Cotton Bowl Stadium (Dallas, Texas)

When: Saturday, October 10, 11:00 a.m. CT on ABC

Oklahoma's 2015 record: 4-0

Returning starters: 13 (8 offense, 5 defense)

2015 statistical comparison:


Offense Defense
Avg. Rk Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Rushing S&P+ 111.7 46 127.6 19 100.0
Rushing Success Rate 38.9% 96 30.7% 12 41.8%
Rushing IsoPPP 1.09 55 1.19 102 1.07
Adj. Line Yards 108.2 52 149 6 100.0
Opportunity Rate 41.6% 41 33.9% 37 39.3%
Power Success Rate 75.0% 37 72.7% 89 68.2%
Stuff Rate 18.5% 59 23.6% 34 19.3%


Offense Defense
Avg. Rk Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Passing S&P+ 151.3 3 141.8 11 100.0
Passing Success Rate 50.0% 11 36.5% 39 40.1%
Passing IsoPPP 1.75 18 1.22 19 1.48
Adj. Sack Rate 112 56 71.1 103 100

Five Factors

Offense Defense
Category Avg. Rk Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
EXPLOSIVENESS IsoPPP 1.47 11 1.21 58 1.26
EFFICIENCY Success Rate 44.6% 45 33.5% 21 40.1%
FIELD POSITION Avg. FP 29.8 69 27.4 38 29.7
FINISHING DRIVES Pts. Per Trip in 40 5.25 33 4.05 43 4.60
TURNOVER MARGIN EXPECTED -0.66 84 Turnover Luck (PPG):
ACTUAL -1 79

Previous meeting:

Led by quarterback Tyrone Swoopes last season, Texas managed to rush for twice as many total yards than Oklahoma, and led in time of possession and first downs, but fell to the No. 11-ranked Sooners 31-26 after a late rally in the fourth quarter to try and close the point deficit.

Swoopes passed for 334 yards in a 27-of-44 performance and threw two touchdowns for the Longhorns.

Overall series: Texas leads, 60-44

Key facts:

-- Oklahoma is undefeated so far this season and won their conference opener against West Virginia, 44-24.

-- The 1-4 start for Texas is the school's worst since 1956.

-- In the last five years, Texas has won only once, the upset victory in 2013.

-- In his sixteen seasons as head coach, Bob Stoops is 10-6 against Texas.

-- The series has been played at the State Fair since 1929.

-- Eight different players have caught touchdown passes this season for Oklahoma.


At the center of the Sooner's offense is junior quarterback Baker Mayfield, the former Texas Tech walk on who started in Lubbock as a true freshman. Mayfield has led the team to an undefeated season so far, averaging 345.5 passing yards per game. He's put up some impressive stats so far, even breaking a school record for passing yards in an opener (the former titleholder was Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford), but the biggest surprise is that he's the team's second-leading rusher and has more rushing touchdowns (four) than starting running back Samaje Perine (two).

Mayfield and Oklahoma's offense has shown considerable strengths already this season, despite not playing the only two returning offensive line starters, Ty Darlington and Nila Kasitati, in its game against Tulsa, pushing five new starters into the lineup. The risky decision that payed off, as the young group pulled together, took control and led the offense giving them more experience. With the depth of Darlington and Nila Kasitati returning to the field, the offensive line will pose a very real threat to Texas' ineffective defensive line.

The production of Perine hasn't been spectacular yet this season -- he's been solid rather than outstanding, but senior wide receiver Sterling Shepherd remains a big-play threat. It's a much more balanced receiving corps than in years past, however, as junior college-transfer Dede Westbrook, senior Durron Neal, and sophomore Mark Andrews have all emerged as impact players. The 6'5, 245-pound Andrews in particular is a match-up nightmare, as he has the size of a tight end, but the pass-catching abilities of a wide receiver. Of his eight catches this year, three have gone for touchdowns, and he's averaging nearly 20 yards every time he touches the football.


Oklahoma only has one returning starter coming back for this season, so this defensive line is a lot less experienced than the unit Texas faced last year. The coaching roster is also featuring new faces with defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks and defensive line coach Diron Reynolds. It's premature to tell if the new coaches, both hired early in the year, have made a huge difference in Oklahoma's defense -- the new staff members are still trying to create an identity for the relatively inexperienced defensive line.

Defensive end Charles Tapper, the only returning starter from last year's unit, is the dominating force behind the defense. Tapper set a career high with eight tackles against West Virginia, and forced a fumble against Tennessee. Senior Charles Walker and Matthew Romar have been steady forces along the defensive line, but haven't put up any impressive stats so far this season.

In the secondary, junior Zack Sanchez is the experienced cover corner, but it's sophomore Jordan Thomas who has emerged as the team's early leader in interceptions with two. At safety, junior Ahmad Thomas is the group's leading tackler in his second season as a starter.