Friday 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

Texas-Oklahoma: None Bigger
InsideTexas.com
A record 92,200 will be jammed into the renovated Cotton Bowl Saturday to witness a resurgent Texas defense take on a juggernaut Oklahoma offense. Odds-makers says OU is a seven-point favorite, but there are seven keys to a Longhorn upset.

The Inside Texas Podcast
InsideTexas.com
It's nothing but Texas and OU this week. Inside Texas' Ross Lucksinger and Bill Frisbie break down the game and discuss the keys to victory for Texas, what OU will focus on, what players will have the biggest impact and more.

He may be Horns' 'other' coordinator, but Davis is working magic
Austin American-Statesman
Greg Davis is my favorite Longhorns football coach. He's witty, has not a hint of ego, loves to talk football and break down opponents, and has a sarcastic sense of humor that sportswriters easily identify with. Plus, he's never struck me. He's every Texas fan's favorite as well. They love to hate their offensive coordinator because every Monday morning quarterback can call plays.

A Red River battle royale
Austin American-Statesman
With both teams ranked in the Top 5, this year's Texas-Oklahoma game among the most-anticipated meetings ever in the series.

Miller is a fiery on-field presence for Horns
Austin American-Statesman
Fellow defenders look forward to his on-field pep talks. They also respect his play once the game starts.

Texas-OU matchup: The quarterbacks
Austin American-Statesman

LONGHORNS FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
Austin American-Statesman

Texas-OU flashback: 1984
Austin American-Statesman

Oklahoma enjoys flow of recruits from below Red River
Dallas Morning News
Jonathon Miller, a Garland Naaman Forest running back with considerable talent, will be playing at Oklahoma next season. Two reasons he's leaving Texas: Perennial national power Oklahoma is close to home, and that's where his idol, fellow Texan Adrian Peterson, played.

Red River Rivalry: Another clash of top coaches
Dallas Morning News

Lessons from the past could help Longhorns
San Antonio Express-News
There isn't a secret formula for the Texas Longhorns when it comes to avoiding the hype for this week's annual clash of rivals. After all, the hysteria, the hoopla and the history combine to make UT-Oklahoma the rivalry that it is. It even comes with a cool name and a corporate sponsor. But why would the Longhorns want to avoid the hype? They've dealt with these trimmings before, and done quite well, actually.

Red River Rivalry: Another clash of top coaches
Dallas Morning News

Texas, OU set for no-huddle attack mode
San Antonio Express-News
It happened right before Billy Vessels barreled into the end zone in 1950. It was there before Randy McEachern handed off to Earl Campbell in 1977, and then again before Peter Gardere rifled the ball to Keith Cash in 1990. In fact, just about all of the most memorable plays in Texas-Oklahoma history began the same way. With a huddle. But heading into the next renewal of the storied rivalry, that old pre-play ritual is becoming as antiquated as leather helmets and $5 seats on the 50-yard line. Both the Sooners and Longhorns — two longtime bastions of college football tradition and draw-up-a-play-in-the-dirt know-how — are now full-fledged members of the up-tempo, no-huddle revolution.

Lessons from the past could help Longhorns
San Antonio Express-News
There isn't a secret formula for the Texas Longhorns when it comes to avoiding the hype for this week's annual clash of rivals. After all, the hysteria, the hoopla and the history combine to make UT-Oklahoma the rivalry that it is. It even comes with a cool name and a corporate sponsor. But why would the Longhorns want to avoid the hype? They've dealt with these trimmings before, and done quite well, actually.

Royal's wife has been on both sides of rivalry
San Antonio Express-News
Married to one of college football's icons for 64 years, she has a unique perspective on the Texas-Oklahoma football rivalry. After all, Darrell Royal was an All-America quarterback and defensive back at OU in the late 1940s, and guided the Longhorns to three national championships during a 20-year coaching career at UT. Now 83, Oklahoma native Edith Royal has vivid memories of what it was like to sit on both sides of the annual Red River showdown when her husband was in the middle of the action.

Texas Longhorns' young secondary will be tested by Oklahoma Sooners
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Not long ago, Texas football coach Mack Brown winced when he pondered this four-week stretch of the 2008 schedule. Saturday's showdown against No. 1 Oklahoma (5-0, 1-0 in Big 12) will be Texas' first of four straight games against currently undefeated teams with veteran quarterbacks capable of lighting up a young secondary. No secondary in the Big 12 is younger than the one at Texas, where six freshmen are listed on this week's depth chart. Five of the six play safety, a position where only freshmen are healthy and available to play for the fifth-ranked Longhorns (5-0, 1-0).

Oklahoma Sooners defensive tackle took the pain, now dishes it out
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
During that dark winter of 2006, Adrian Taylor wondered daily if he would ever play football again. But that wasn't the worst of his concerns. Because of the injured disks in his spine suffered while lifting weights as an Oklahoma freshman in October of that year, he wondered whether he would ever be able to sit, stand or lie down without searing pain. Just going to class was a chore.

UT secondary no longer primary concern for team
Houston Chronicle
Mack Brown had cause for concern, if not downright panic, to begin the season. How do you improve one of the worst pass defenses in the nation? Add three new starters. Oh, by the way, the two at safety are freshmen, and there's a sophomore at cornerback.

Uplifting Sooner Nation
Houston Chronicle
Coach Bob Stoops' no-excuses attitude and his evenhanded relationships with his coaches and players have made Oklahoma the team to beat, especially in Dallas.

No. 5 ready to face Sooners
Daily Texan
Sergio Kindle grew up in east Dallas, in the shadow of the Cotton Bowl. The Texas linebacker lived about ten minutes away from the stadium and always followed the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry. So last year when he got the chance to walk through the tunnel onto the field, surrounded by burnt orange on one side and crimson on the other, Kindle did his part to shut it all out.

Fozzy's questionable status needs an answer before OU
Daily Texan
If Mack Brown has a VIP newsletter similar to the one Coach Fran had last year, then please let us know if you receive it and tell us whether Foswhitt "Fozzy" Whittaker will play Saturday. As desperate as it sounds, it could be a last resort. Brown is guarding Whittaker's status like Fort Knox.

Rivalry has escalated with Big 12 membership
Oklahoman
Bob Stoops has a simple pep talk before each OU-Texas game. Men, we're playing for hardware. Oh, I suppose Stoops has all kinds of other things to say. All the usual suspects of locker room speeches. Pride, guts, honor, concentration. That kind of stuff. Some say it quick, like I assume Stoops does, and some probably filibuster. Stoops' message is clear. The Sooners are playing for a trophy. That goofy Golden Hat the players like to don upon their head after victory. But Stoops and Mack Brown have additional ammunition for their orations. OU and Texas play for two trophies. The Golden Hat and the Big 12 championship.

OU notebook: Muschamp had the answers
Oklahoman

Heisman showdown
Tulsa World
The Oklahoma-Texas showdown has produced six Heisman Trophy winners. Will Saturday's game eventually turn out No. 7? If so, it could be Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford or Texas quarterback Colt McCoy who counts the 2008 Heisman among his spoils of victory.

Bradford's mind on title, not trophy
Tulsa World
Gerald McCoy attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting with Oklahoma teammate Sam Bradford recently, when an interesting question came up. "They asked Sam, 'Would you rather win the Heisman or a national championship?'" McCoy said. "There was no hesitation. 'National championship.'

OU-Texas Matchups
Tulsa World

OU Notebook
Tulsa World

Murray looking for big game
Norman Transcript
Having a good day in the Red River Rivalry can turn a budding young player into a star. Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray found that out in his last trip to the Cotton Bowl.

Big day for great "D" in Dallas
Denver Post
In last year's Oklahoma-Texas showdown, the only things their fans couldn't stomach other than the fried Twinkies were their teams' defenses. On Sept. 29 a year ago, Oklahoma stumbled at Colorado, Texas gagged against Kansas State and both were out of the national title picture before the leaves changed. The Red River Rivalry the following week was reduced to just another carny act at the Texas State Fair. It's one year later, and Saturday's colossal matchup is one of the biggest in this 103-year-old rivalry. You'll hear analysis and platitudes and charts comparing quarterbacks Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Texas' Colt McCoy. Win this game and one may have the inside track for the Heisman Trophy, with a possible detour to Miami for the BCS championship game. But the reason Oklahoma is No. 1 and Texas is No. 5 and both are 5-0 isn't so much to do with the quarterbacks as the guys assigned to stop them. Oklahoma and Texas are in national title contention again because of vastly improved defenses.

Texas' Brown well past old losing streak to OU
Associated Press
For 40 minutes, Texas coach Mack Brown looked relaxed, cracked a few jokes and talked about his players, his wife and whether he's ever had a corny dog at the State Fair of Texas. For the record, he hasn't. The only corn dog he's had was back in his hometown of Cookeville, Tenn. What he doesn't have to talk about any more is his legacy and the ugly losing streak that dominated the Texas-Oklahoma series for five years.

No. 1 Sooners are their own worst critic
Associated Press
So what about the No. 1 ranking and the rest of Oklahoma's impressive numbers from this season? The Sooners still think they can perform better. Better than the 49.6 points they're averaging. Better than the fourth-best passing offense, the fifth-best overall offense and the 11th-best total defense. And most importantly, finish better than they did last season.

Football recruiting

Handling the process
InsideTexas.com
Lufkin (Texas) assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Brooke Stafford normally plays a big hand in the recruiting process for his Panthers. When it comes to standout defensive tackle JaMarkus McFarland though, his job becomes real easy. But it's not because there is a lack of attention from college coaches.

Hoops recruiting

Hamilton Hooked By Horns
InsideTexas.com
A smiling Jordan Hamilton confirmed what has been widely speculated: he's going to play for Texas.

Other

Inside Texas Blog
Inside Texas

Inside Scoop
Inside Texas

Bevo Beat
Austin American-Statesman

Recruiting Blog
Dallas Morning News

Longhorns Blog
Houston Chronicle


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