SoonersIllustrated.com is going to set the stage every week, breaking down Oklahoma’s upcoming game during the 2014 season.
When: 11 a.m.
Biggest question - - What can Texas do to stop Oklahoma?
No really, what can they do? I don't really know.
It's going to take a long list of things, not the least of which is a change in demeanor for the Longhorns themselves. Then Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield has to have his worst performance of the year. Oklahoma has to get into some penalty issues too, which is not all that out of the question.
Texas would also benefit from and uncharacteristic performance from Oklahoma's defense - like 200 rushing yards. In all likelihood, Oklahoma isn't one dimensional by the second half. Instead, it's Texas that can run and has to go with a pass-heavy offense. From there, Eric Striker, Devante Bond and the Sooners' pass rush is released.
An educated guess: Oklahoma is tied with Texas through the first quarter. The energy level and adrenaline of the game keeps the Longhorns focused and makes the Sooners jittery.
Oklahoma’s offense has started slow before, and with six offensive players making their first Red River Showdown start, it happens again.
After the first quarter, things change pretty quickly.
Player to watch:
Pressure is on after last week's Jordan Thomas selection. Going with an easy one and Sterling Shepard. Talking to him earlier this week, and you just get the sense he's looking for his signature OU-Texas moment. His touchdown last year was good but nothing anybody talks about. Coming off a rare off night in terms of stats, Shepard comes through in a major way with his first 100-yard receiving game in the series. (Przybylo)
Hite – The first quarter ends at a 10-10 tie, but the Sooners run off 27 of the next 30 points in the game. The Sooners defense stands up with one of its best performances of the season – becoming the second-straight team to bottle up Texas quarterback Jerrod Heard. The defense posts half a dozen sacks and three turnovers, guiding the team to a 37-13 victory. That might just be underestimating, though.
Przybylo - Two years went with the theory of OU making a statement, something like 51-14. Do think Sooners are going to win, but they're going to have to impose their will in the second half. Texas will come out fired up but won't be able to sustain it throughout the rest of the game. Difference continues to be Baker Mayfield as he makes a couple of big-time plays in the second half to deflate the Horns. OU 38-20.