Wednesday Longhorn Sports Page

Stay up to date on all things Burnt Orange with a daily stop at IT's Longhorn Sports Page, with links to the latest news and opinion articles on UT football, basketball, baseball, recruiting and other sports from around the web.

Football:

Stoops: QB is 'Biggest Difference' at Texas
InsideTexas.com
The biggest difference between the 2005 national championship Longhorns and this year's No. 7 Texas team is its quarterback, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. It's hardly a new storyline, but Longhorn coaches believe RS-freshman Colt McCoy has progressed enough in just the last three games to become a difference-maker.

Audio: Drew Kelson
InsideTexas.com
Texas linebacker Drew Kelson talks with Longhorn beat reporters.

Culpepper's Commentary: Sam Houston Game
InsideTexas.com
Did you have the same problem I did this last week? When my friends asked me who the Longhorns played, I had to shake my head and laugh when I answered.

Texas faces challenge of slowing OU's Peterson
Austin American-Statesman
Consider this stat: it took 17 quarters of football before the Texas defense allowed a collective 100 yards rushing. Now, consider this observation: Gene Chizik, the Longhorns' co-defensive coordinator who focuses mostly on stopping the rush, still isn't sure how rugged his run defense really is. Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson is three days away, and thoughts of the Sooners tailback will leave even the most confident coordinator second-guessing his plan and his players.

Sooners hope to have cured defensive woes
Austin American-Statesman
Brent Venables thinks the Oklahoma defense he coordinates has improved significantly in the past few weeks. He's just not sure about that.

Notebook: Sooners love bye weeks
Austin American-Statesman

UT's McCoy becoming more confident
Dallas Morning News
Texas coach Mack Brown said he thinks redshirt freshman quarterback Colt McCoy is a different player from a month ago, when the Longhorns lost to No. 1 Ohio State.

Thompson as QB? OU, UT couldn't grasp it
Dallas Morning News
Football annals are filled with stories of talented quarterbacks, black quarterbacks in particular, who never got a chance to play the position at their chosen colleges. Paul Thompson is one of those stories. Two of them, almost.

Wednesday's UT-OU notebook
Dallas Morning News

OU to give up end zone seats in '07
Dallas Morning News
To keep the Texas-Oklahoma series in Dallas through 2010, OU officials had to make a major concession during negotiations. OU will give up its seats in the Cotton Bowl's south end zone next year and end a decades-long tradition of Sooners fans sitting over the tunnel entrance, which enables them to cheer their team and harass their rivals.

Mack leaves need to act in the past
San Antonio Express-News
Hollywood tried to make an actor out of Mack Brown, which was an idea doomed for failure. Actors are required to disguise their emotions and say things they don't believe, and Brown has never been very convincing at either.

What happened to 'Big Game' Bob?
San Antonio Express-News
Once upon a time, back in the early part of the 21st century, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops seemingly could do no wrong. His Sooners won the national title in 2000, his second year at the school. And even when his national championship mastery ran out in back-to-back BCS title game losses in 2003 and 2004, his stranglehold on rival Texas never let up — until last season. Now, with another Texas-OU showdown at hand, Stoops suddenly finds himself starved for laurels.

OU's Stoops keys on here, now
San Antonio Express-News
Only a year ago, Texas coach Mack Brown was the one answering the difficult questions the week before the UT-Oklahoma showdown. That was before the Longhorns rolled to a 47-12 victory, snapping a five-game losing streak in the series and paving the way for a successful national title run. Now it's OU coach Bob Stoops who stands in the line of fire, deflecting questions about the direction of his program.

Horns hope to halt Heisman hopes
San Antonio Express-News
The Adrian Peterson-for-Heisman Trophy campaign rolls through the Cotton Bowl this weekend. Texas linebacker Robert Killebrew said Tuesday he hopes it ends there.

Longhorns Insider: Texas-OU rivalry good, clean but no fun
San Antonio Express-News
For about seven seconds earlier this week, Texas defensive end Brian Robison was on his merry way to making headlines with his mouth. Somebody, in the early stages of this week's Red River Rivalry hoopla, decided it would be a good idea to ask Robison whether Texas or Oklahoma had the better team this year. Robison's response probably made some ears burn north of the Red River.

The big tackle that could inspires UT
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
At some point Friday night, Texas offensive tackle Tony Hills will begin his unique method of pregame preparation. He'll sit in his room at the team hotel in Dallas, block out all thoughts of the Oklahoma Sooners and reflect on a teenager in a wheelchair: himself.

Brown says UT's fortitude will be tested
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Texas coach Mack Brown said his biggest unanswered question about the seventh-ranked Longhorns is their ability to handle adversity.

OU defense to gauge progress with Texas
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Oklahoma linebacker Rufus Alexander has a wait-and-see attitude on just how much the defense has improved since the last two minutes of the loss at Oregon.

Texas run defense vs. Oklahoma's run game
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Cotton Bowl is a tradition, but also a relic
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The second Saturday in October, the State Fair, the Midway, the fried everything...Texas vs. Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl. Tradition. A strong word in college football. The Longhorns vs. the Sooners, with half the stadium in burnt orange and half in crimson, is a traditional rivalry game that will be played regardless of conference affiliation. Location? That's another matter.

Four years later UT's Tony Hills is ready to tackle starting position
Houston Chronicle
Tony Hills is so faith-driven, it's rare for him to hear about something he can't do. That's why nearly four years ago, two sentences blindsided the star tight end like a linebacker: You may never walk again. Your football career is over.

When Rhett Bomar was dismissed, Paul Thompson hit the jackpot at Oklahoma by changing positions again
Houston Chronicle
In a sport that demands quick decisions, contemplation has produced major benefits for Paul Thompson and the Oklahoma Sooners.

Oklahoma QB answers critics
Daily Texan
After the much-ballyhooed dismissal of Oklahoma starting quarterback Rhett Bomar, converted wide receiver and fifth-year senior Paul Thompson was given the reins to the Sooners offense with only one start in his career. Unfortunately for Oklahoma, that one start was a train-wreck of a performance in a loss to TCU in which Thompson threw three interceptions. This left Sooner fans and college football pundits pessimistic about Oklahoma's chances to return to the elite of college football with a caretaker quarterback at the helm. Thompson, however, has answered his critics with his play on the field so far this season.

The Top 5 'traitors' in Texas-OU history
Daily Texan
Composing a list of the top five border jumpers in the history of the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry is a pretty one-sided affair. The fact is, aside from the one notable exception, the state of Texas really hasn't needed to take anything from our neighbors to the north. They on the other hand …

New scoreboard hits Cotton Bowl
Daily Texan
Texas fans traveling to Dallas this weekend will be able to see the same, regardless of the final score or where they sit. That's because the Cotton Bowl is upgrading from its current video screen to a new and improved jumbotron that measures 57-by-83 feet. The video board is part of a $20 million stadium upgrade, which will also include a high tech audio system.

Commentary: Brown, Texas hope 2005 domination of Oklahoma wasn't a fluke
Associated Press
So what's it going to be, Mack Brown? A streak or a fluke? Was that 45-12 win over Oklahoma last October in the Cotton Bowl with the swaggering Vince Young at quarterback the start of a winning streak against your big rival? Or was it a once-every-six-years result that Adrian Peterson and the Sooners will squash this weekend?

Stoops has the swagger that reminds of better days
Norman Transcript
You don't hear it nearly as often any more, what with those losses to Kansas State, LSU and USC, an 8-4 season a year ago, the shenanigans that set the Sooners back at Eugene and a defense that's played one strong game to date, and that against a team Norman High might give some trouble. On the other hand, can't a great football team fall to the Manhattan Miracle, LSU in the Big Easy and Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush? And it's not like great teams stay great forever. Such is the luck, circumstance and cyclical nature of the college game. It all makes you wonder if the Oklahoma coach has lost the moniker, given it away or had it stripped. You know the one. Big Game Bob.

Near-steer: Thompson was close to being a Longhorn
Daily Oklahoman
Paul Thompson sat face-to-face with Mack Brown six years ago, pondering the scholarship offer to play for his boyhood favorite — Texas. "I was excited," Thompson said Tuesday. "Sitting in coach Brown's office...It was a tough decision to make." The difficulty came in a contingency: Brown wanted Thompson for wide receiver, not quarterback. Seems Brown had another prep quarterback in mind. Fellow named Vince Young.

Who's on the hot seat now?
Daily Oklahoman
Bob Stoops' press conference was 35 minutes old Tuesday, and nobody had uttered the magic words. Mack Brown. Quizzing Stoops about his hex over the Longhorn coach usually is an OU-Texas week tradition.

OU football notebook
Daily Oklahoman

Texas-OU coverage from Scout's Oklahoma site
OUInsider.com

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Austin American-Statesman

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