DE Robison 'Full Speed' For OU, Peterson

One of the key match-ups in Texas’ showdown Saturday against Oklahoma pits Longhorn DEs against Sooner RB Adrian Peterson. The 2004 Heisman runner-up is expected to play despite re-aggravating a high ankle sprain against Kansas State, as is Longhorn DE Brian Robison (dislocated rib).

Robison felt the rib "pop out" in the fourth quarter of Texas’ 51-20 win over Missouri as he was putting the pressure on a scrambling QB Brad Smith.

"I’m going to be out there Tuesday going full speed," Robison said.

RS-freshman Brian Orakpo subbed for Robison before true freshman Chris Brown and Aaron Lewis also saw action on Missouri’s last possession.

"Brad Smith was flushed out of the pocket and I was chasing him to the outside," Robison said Monday. "I saw he was getting ready to throw the ball so I decided to make a last effort. I dove and I landed on my ribs and ended up dislocating one of them. I went to the sideline and was having trouble breathing. I took a deep breath and it popped back in. It’s a little sore. It was more sore yesterday than it was today. Overall, it’s not too bad."

Peterson exited Oklahoma’s 43-21 win over Kansas State with about ten minutes remaining in the second quarter. Trainers taped, and re-taped, Peterson’s right foot as he walked gingerly on the sideline for the remainder of the contest. The sophomore could have played in the second half, according to Sooner coach Bob Stoops

OU’s 12-0 shutout last season served as the launching pad for Peterson’s Heisman campaign. The perception was that his 225 rushing yards could be largely attributed to Texas’ lack of depth and speed at DE.

"The outside containment wasn’t on the defensive ends last year," Robison said. "I’m not going to say who it was on but we’ve definitely got to do a better job this year. We can’t let them get to the outside. If we let (Peterson) get to the outside, that’s going to hurt us. We’ve got to get out there, fill our gaps, do our job, and funnel the ball where it’s supposed to go."

Robison gets the early vote for Texas’ most improved defensive player this season. His 25 tackles is tops among down linemen while he leads the team with nine TFLs (-36 yards). Head coach Mack Brown believes Robison is faster this season, although the junior said Monday that he’s never been officially timed at Texas. Robison ran a 4.47 (at 250 pounds) just before his freshman season and estimates that he currently runs about a 4.55 (at 280 pounds).

In addition to defensive coaches improving his stance, first step and ultimately, pursuit angles, "We do a lot of leg work in the weight room to increase our speed," he told Inside Texas, "plus I’m over at track so I do a lot of track stuff, which definitely helps. A lot of guys do bungee chords in the off-season. We do a lot of over-speed work, a lot of sleds. Definitely, I feel like we’re faster. In the past, a lot of people have told us that we were a fast defense but not as tough or as physical as we needed to be. I feel like we’ve got the whole aspect now."

Texas enters the OU game looking to end a five-year skid in the series that will observe its Centennial Game this Saturday at the Cotton Bowl. The No. 2 Horns enter the game with their highest ranking since 1984 when then-No. 1 Texas played No.2 Oklahoma to a 15-15 deadlock in a driving rain storm.

"I definitely feel that we are the better team this year," Robison said. "At the same time, just because you’re the better team doesn’t mean you’re going to win. You’ve got to go out there Saturday and play like you’re the better team."

Kickoff is set for noon Central in an ABC telecast.


Horns Digest Top Stories