Texas faces first true test against Oklahoma

The Texas Longhorns are sitting pretty right now. They've started the season 4-0, and have faced a lot of adversity. Garrett Gilbert has been replaced by the duo of Case McCoy and David Ash, and freshman tailback Malcolm Brown has gotten the bulk of the carries so far. They've routed a team that they should've routed in Rice, they've won a close game with BYU, and they've gotten revenge on UCLA and Iowa State after losing to both teams last season.

At the beginning of spring practice, coach Mack Brown walked into his team's locker room and said, "Hi, I'm Mack Brown, and this is my first season at the University of Texas". Everyone knows it wasn't really Mack's first season, but he wanted to get it into his player's heads that he was ready to start over. Brown wanted them to forget about last season. He blew up his entire coaching staff and brought in a whole new staff, and it seems to have worked for him so far. The 4-0 Longhorns are rushing for over 200 yards per game. Their passing game has improved since the benching of Gilbert, as McCoy and Ash have completed nearly 70 percent of their passes. Their defense is also improved as they are giving up only 14.8 points per game.

But now it's time for the real test, the biggest game of the year for both teams. It's the Red River Rivalry. This game doesn't care about records or stats, it's just about pure hatred for the other team. Neither wants to lose this game, and 9 times out of 10 you're going to get a pretty good game. Oklahoma comes in with possibly the best offense in the country. They're 5th in passing with over 377 yards per game. They are putting up a monstrous 42.8 points per game, so Landry and company are right on track.

So on October 8th these two teams will meet, and it will be a dog fight. This is not the same Texas team that people saw last season. They're new and improved. The coaching staff has this team believing they can win, and that is a scary thing for other teams. This Texas team is probably every bit as talented as Oklahoma. They bring in a top recruiting class year in and year out, showing how many good athletes they have. But even though they are just as talented, they are not as good of a team as the Sooners. Oklahoma has Landry Jones, a proven quarterback who is now in his 3rd season as the starting quarterback. They have Ryan Broyles, who just might be the best receiver in college football. They're loaded at every skill position, and you know defensive coordinator Brent Venables is going to have this team ready.

This is definitely an improved team in Austin, but they are not on the level of OU just yet. The Sooners will challenge for a national title, while Texas is only trying to regain respect. I see this close game going to the boys from Norman, 31-23.

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