Colt McCoy is back for his third year as starter, and spent this past spring getting bigger and faster, with hopes to improve on his 492 yards on the ground a year ago, "He‘s gotten stronger, tougher and he‘s running so much better," Mack Brown told reporters after the UT spring game.
The X-factor for the UT offense in this game could be Sophomore John Chiles, Chiles led the team with 70 yards rushing in the spring game, and will challenge the Sooners with his speed.
At running back, Jamal Charles is gone, but as always with Texas there is plenty of talent ready to be plugged in. Vondrell McGee and Chris Ogbonnaya both bring experience, but will be pushed hard by freshman Foshwitt "Fozzy" Whittaker.
"He's been more impressive than we've thought and he's had a great spring." Brown said of the former Perland High School running back, "We're excited about watching him through the fall."
The Sooner secondary will need to be prepared to stop Quan Cosby and Jordan Shipley, though Shipley has been hurt for a majority of his college career, he has managed to come up with two big touchdown catches in his two previous appearances against the Sooners.
Defensively, the Horns threw a ton of money at Will Muschamp to help Duane Akina with the play calling, he will inherit a very talented squad, especially up front where there will be a tremendous battle trenches as Jon Cooper, Duke Robinson, and Brandon Walker face Roy Miller and, Aaron Lewis and Lamarr Houston, all of which have all-conference potential. Muschamp was brought in specifically to address problems in the secondary, which the Sooners exploited to the tune of 244 yards and three touchdowns last year. Ryan Palmer and Deon Beasley looked solid in the spring at the cornerback positions, and freshman safety Earl Thomas had coaches buzzing with his play in the spring.
In a game known for raw emotion and jaw dropping highlights, this game will likely come to a battle up front, where both teams are loaded on along the lines on both sides of the ball.
As is the case in many of the first 102 battles, whichever team can gain the upper hand ‘in the trenches' will most likely hoist the golden hat at the end of this one.