The game week that matters most to Texas fans is finally here. The Red River
Rivalry Shootout (or whatever you want to call it) is one of the most storied and contested border battles in college football history. This is one of the games where you throw out the records and sit back and enjoy good football.
Much like Baylor, Oklahoma runs a quick-paced, no huddle offense. The Sooners mostly run out of the shotgun with a few different looks of a single back lined up next to the quarterback and a pistol formation with a fullback offset from the QB.
– Former starting QB Blake Bell, is used as WR, FB and TE.
– The Sooners often use a lot of pre-snap motion, sending receivers from one side to the other.
– Oklahoma likes to utilize play action to look for deep passes.
The Oklahoma defense has struggled in some areas, specifically in passing yards per game (264 ypg â€“ 95th nationally) and total yards per game surrendered (373.6 ypg â€“ 53rd nationally). The Sooners run a 3-4 defense (three down linemen and four LBâ€™s). The front 7 of the Sooners will give different looks including standing up linemen, pressing DBs close to the line, and moving LBâ€™s and DEâ€™s around prior to the snap to confuse the offensive line.
– Oklahomaâ€™s most productive defensive player is LB Eric Striker, who they move around and blitz throughout the game.
– Oklahoma will stack the box on goalline defense, leaving 1-on-1 situations and vacating the middle of the field.
Oklahomaâ€™s return game can be dangerous as they utilize the talented WR Sterling Shepard to return punts and kicks. So far, however, the Sooners have not had success returning punts as they only average 3.78 yards per punt return (113th nationally). On kick returns, however, they rank 7th averaging 27 yards per return with 1 TD.
The Soonersâ€™ punt team ranks 60th, averaging only 38 yards per punt and their kickoff team is decent, allowing 22 yards per return, good for 91st in the country. Oklahomaâ€™s FG kicker is decent, but hasnâ€™t proven to have a big leg as he is 7/8 on the season with a long of only 42 yards.
Texas QB/WR/TEâ€™s v. Oklahomaâ€™s DBâ€™s:
Oklahoma has a solid group of DBâ€™s with good experience. The Sooners have done a decent job of limiting scoring, but they have had difficulty against the pass, ranking 95th in the country. Against TCU, the Sooners had difficulty defending against the quick underneath routes.
When Swoopes and the Longhorns have been successful passing the ball, it was when they were able to move the ball with short underneath passes. It is difficult to give Texas any benefit of the doubt after the poor performance of this group last week, but the matchup is a good one for the Longhorns.
Texas RBâ€™s v. Oklahoma LBâ€™s:
While the Longhorns only scored 7 points against Baylor last Saturday, the running backs seemed to show some improvement in shedding tackles against an aggressive defense. Texas will again see a strong front but it will look a more like the UCLA front 7 than what they saw against the Bears.
The Longhorns RBâ€™s need to continue to improve rushing the ball and provide solid pass protection against blitzing LBâ€™s from the Sooners.