Longhorns' Thoughts on Sooners

This weekend's match-up between the Sooners and the Longhorns will be quite special as both teams enter the game undefeated and ranked in the Top Five. In this feature we bring you a look at what the Longhorns are thinking about the game and the Sooners.

Texas QB Colt McCoy:

On the Oklahoma game on Saturday: We feel like as a team we have put in ourselves in the best position possible, which is to be undefeated going into this game. We have played really well. We've got a great win on the road in Colorado and now our focus is on OU and what we have to do to go win this game.

On playing one of the top defensives in the country: We know it's going to be a challenge. It is going to be a tough test. They are deserving of being number one. They have played really well this year. They are scoring a lot of points. We know the challenge in front of us and we are looking forward it.

On the rivalry: This is going to be an awesome game. Two top five teams in the Cotton Bowl in a rivalry game. The atmosphere in the game is awesome. It is a fun week. I love this week every year. Sam Bradford is a great quarterback. They have a great team. It's going to be fun for us to go in there and play against them. We've got to prepare really well this week, but it is just like every other week. It is a Big 12 Conference game. Our goal at the beginning of the year is to win the conference, so this is one more step for us. We have taken it one game at a time and now we are at OU and we've got to be prepared.

On Oklahoma's defense and if he will be able to move around: You never know. Against Colorado I wasn't able to run the ball. They kind of contained the ends and had a linebacker in the middle most of the time. Who knows what to expect? I'll have to find out during the game and kind of see what they are doing and get a feel for what they are doing. Their defense is solid. They have a good secondary. They are kind of young, but they play really well. They are coached really well. They are number one. They are going to have great players, so we are going to have to execute offensively.

Texas CB Ryan Palmer:

On Oklahoma: You still have to take it game by game just like it is another game, but who doesn't get excited about playing the number one team and it happens to be Oklahoma. It's all the merrier, and we are just going to get ready, have a hard practice and get ready to go play.

On if this team is more prepared this year than last year's team: I think this team has more confidence than we did last year. Everybody is playing well. Colt is playing tremendous. The defense is playing well. The offense is playing well and the special teams, as well. It just seems like this team is jelling so fast unlike last year. We are ready go. We are excited and we are ready play.

On both Texas and Oklahoma being in the top five: It just amazing to see two teams with the tradition that we both have. They are number one and we are number five. Everything is going to be magnified on this game, so we just have to focus. We just have go out and play.

On the atmosphere of the Red River Shootout: I am from around that way, so it is going to be fun playing in front of home fans and home crowd. It is going to be fun at the Cotton Bowl and at the fair, but we can't play the hype, we've got to play the game. We've got to get ready to go and play.

Texas DL Aaron Lewis:

On weathering the excitement this week before the game: It's really hard. You have the community that builds up the excitement - fans, teachers, students. Everyone talks about it all the time. You just have to take it easy. We're not playing tomorrow, it's Saturday. So you just have to keep that in mind.

On the importance of pressuring Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford: It's a goal we have. You have to put pressure on the quarterback, disrupt him a little bit. Hopefully he'll throw some passes that he's not ready for, give the (defensive backs) a break. They give us some time so we have to give them some help. Of course we have to stop the run. OU is a great run team, so we have to go out there and handle that too. It's at the top of list. It's really important to get in his head, make him feel that there is pressure coming from every angle, let him know that we're going to be there every time he steps up in the pocket.

On what is said among players in this kind of rivalry game: As a defensive player, I'm looking at the ball and trying to get my pre-snap reads. I'm thinking about what I'm going to do, what's going to go on, looking at the formations, seeing where the running back is set up, is it run, pass, draw or power, what are they going to do. I'm going to give the team respect. Each player is good. They're out there because they are one of the better players out there. So I try not to talk too much that way.

On Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray: He's a great athlete and can cause a lot of problems out there. We have to take it in there. We haven't really talked to the coaches too much about it. We take it one game at a time. I'm sure Coach Muschamp is going to have something ready for him and we're just going to play by his scheme. He's a great coach.

Texas WR Jordan Shipley:

On remembering the feeling of beating OU: It's one of the best feelings you can have as a college football player. To win a rivalry game of that caliber is great. It was just a lot of fun. When our team beat OU that was one of the most special times that I've had since I've been here. Hopefully we can take care of business this weekend and play well.

On if their play will differ for Oklahoma: We try to play the same way every week. It doesn't matter who we're playing against, we're going to try to play the same way. You can't think about those things when you're out there. You just have to do your part and try to execute and just focus on the things we need to be doing.

On being part of a great line of wide receivers to have had played in this rivalry: It is kind of a neat thing to see some of the guys who have come through and played in this rivalry over the last 10 years. It's fun to get to be a part of it.

On having to play against ranked teams the next four weeks: It's really a neat thing for us to have a schedule like we've got this year, and it's a neat thing for the Big 12 Conference to have so many teams that are ranked so highly. It's an exciting time for this conference and for college football in general. We're just looking forward to playing Oklahoma this weekend.

On the importance of the rivalry: OU is a huge game for The University of Texas, but around here, every game is a huge game. You can't afford to lose any games. Obviously, it's a huge rivalry game for us, but we also have to look at it as just another game. It's the next step in the schedule, and we're going to approach it like it's just another game. We have a lot of respect for them and a lot of respect for the rivalry.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories