Confidence? This Year, Edge Goes To Texas

When Texas and Oklahoma trot out of the Cotton Bowl tunnel Saturday afternoon, confidence might be the biggest factor separating the two teams. With OU heading into the contest with a surprising 2-2 record, the edge goes to Texas.

"Confidence more than anything else makes the difference," said head coach Mack Brown. "The experience we had in Pasadena was a great experience that helped them with their confidence, and most of those guys are back on our team this year."

Even though Brown considers Texas a more confident team, he refrained from downplaying OU’s ability to play in big games.

"Oklahoma has got a great team," said Brown, "and they are going to play hard like they always do."

According to Brown, with all the hype surrounding this week’s match-up, its not about how you start but how you finish the game.

"Traditionally it comes down to a fourth quarter game, so we've got to play better in that quarter and our guys have learned to do that this year," he said.

Games of this magnitude put added pressure on both coaching staffs, but according to Brown, the importance of this game makes the days leading up to it exciting.

"This is a great week to coach because your kids are passionate about the game," said Brown. "It's like a chess match when you get in the game between coaches so it’s a great challenge and it makes it a fun week."

Earlier this week, it looked as though injuries might play a role in the outcome of this game, but now with a couple days of practice behind, both teams should be at relatively full strength. Coaches expect DE Brian Robison to play this weekend after dislocating his rib in the second half against Missouri last weekend. On the other hand, Texas fans will have to wait at least another week before finally seeing WR Jordan Shipley.

"He won’t play this week," said Brown. "They won’t release him until he is 110 percent, but he is getting better."

On the other side of the ball, Texas coaches are preparing to face Sooners’ RB Adrian Peterson, who left in the second quarter in the win over Kansas State with an ankle sprain. Whether he is 100 percent or not this weekend, Brown expects to face Peterson.

"Guys get ready to play in this game," said Brown. "If they can walk, they’re going to play. He was such a factor in the game last year that I would be surprised if he does not play this weekend."

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