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  1. Texas entered Saturday’s matchup against Kansas looking to rebound from a forgettable performance against Oklahoma. Instead of a bounce back game, the Jayhawks ended up giving the Longhorns all they could handle, with Texas needing a Cameron Dicker field at the buzzer to squeak out a 50-48 win. The Texas defense had a very rough night, giving up 259 yards rushing, including a 190 yard performance by Kansas RB Pooka Williams. The Longhorns defense ended the night allowing 569 yards. On a night when the Texas offense carried the load, they started the scoring early. The Longhorns received the opening kickoff and marched right down the field with the drive ending with a 14 yard touchdown run by Roschon Johnson. The Jayhawks attempted to respond with a drive of their own, but were halted when Liam Jones missed a 46 yard kick. Following a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jake Smith to put Texas up 14-0, the Jayhawks responded with 17 unanswered points to take a 17-14 lead late into the 2nd quarter. A 5-yard touchdown pass to Brennan Eagles allowed the Longhorns to take a 21-17 lead into the locker room. The second half is when things began to get wild. The Jayhawks scored on their opening possession of the half to re-take the lead at 24-21. After a field goal and touchdown for Texas, the Jayhawks appeared to be on their way to tying the score following a 16-yard touchdown run by Pooka Williams to make the score 31-30, but the Longhorns blocked the extra point and returned it for the two point conversion to extend the lead to 33-30. The Longhorns then looked to to be pulling away following a 3-yard TD run by Keaontay Ingram to give Texas a 47-40 lead, but the Jayhawks marched right down the field and Carter Stanley connected with Stephon Robinson Jr. for a 22-yard TD to pull Kansas within a point with 1:11 left in the 4th quarter. Les Miles opted to go for 2, and was rewarded when Stanley found Daylon Charlot wide open in the back of the endzone to give the Jayhawks a 1 point lead. Sam Ehlinger would not be fazed though. The junior finished the night with 399 passing yards and 4 TD’s, and when his team needed him to save the day and avoid a huge upset, he delivered. Ehlinger marched the Longhorns down the field, connecting with Collin Johnson on 3 different occasions to help put the Longhorns in field goal range. Dicker then sent the 33-yarder right down the middle of the uprights, possibly saving the Longhorns’ season. The win moves Texas to 3-1 in conference play and 5-2 overall. They will return to action next week when they travel to Fort Worth to face TCU. The post Cameron Dicker saves the day as Longhorns avoid potential disaster against Kansas appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  2. The Texas Longhorns (5-2, 3-1) survived a massive scare at home on Saturday night, but held on to defeat the Kansas Jayhawks (2-5, 0-4) 50-48. It was a sloppy night for the Texas defense, as they allowed Kansas to rack up 593 yards of total offense. The Jayhawks took the lead on a 2-point conversion with 1:11 left in the game, but Cameron Dicker kicked a 33 yard field goal as time expired to propel the Longhorns to a win. Kansas running back Pooka Williams rushed for 196 yards in the loss, while quarterback Carter Stanley threw for 310 yards and four touchdowns. Sam Ehlinger threw for 399 yards and four touchdown passes and had one interception. Devin Duvernay led the Longhorns in receiving with 110 yards and two touchdowns. Both Ehlinger and Keaontay Ingram surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in the win. The Longhorns will head to Fort Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs next Saturday. View game photos from the Longhorns’ win over the Jayhawks below.
  3. The Texas Longhorns and the Kansas Jayhawks will meet on Saturday at 6:00 PM at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. The Longhorns look to get back in the win column following last week’s 34-27 loss to rival Oklahoma. The Jayhawks are coming off a bye week and are in search of their first conference win of the season. Kansas has never beaten Texas in Austin, and first year Jayhawks head coach Les Miles is looking to pull off the upset over the #15 Longhorns. What: Texas Longhorns (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (2-4, 0-3 Big-12) When: Saturday, October 19, 2019 Time: 6:00 PM CST Venue: Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium Location: Austin, Texas Television: Longhorn Network The Line: Texas -23 Last Meeting Between the Two Teams: Texas defeated Kansas 24-17 (November 23, 20-18, Lawrence, KS) All-Time Series Record: Texas leads Kansas 15-0-3 Relevant Articles & Information Depth Chart – Kansas Story of the Season – Chapter 6 Scouting Kansas: Offense Scouting Kansas: Defense Riding the Fences: Week 7 Game Preview: Kansas @ #15 Texas Discuss the Texas vs. Kansas Game Here The post Game Day: Kansas Jayhawks @ #15 Texas Longhorns appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  4. The Longhorns are looking to get back on track this weekend, as they take on the Jayhawks and new head coach Les Miles. After a sloppy loss against Oklahoma, Texas head coach Tom Herman mentioned that his team went back to the basics this week in order to simplify things. Texas currently sits as 21.5-point favorites over Kansas, but it’s possible the team could come out slow for the third week in a row. Here’s how the HornSports staff envisions the outcome of Saturday’s matchup: Aaron Carrara Texas has never lost to Kansas in Austin and they won’t tomorrow. This game provides an opportunity for the Longhorns to get things back on track on both sides of the ball. Kansas has the potential to move the ball on offense and Todd Orlando’s defense will be expected to curb big plays and make tackles. On offense, Roschon Johnson will have another big day, if given the opportunity to carry the load. A resounding win on Saturday to last week’s loss is paramount for getting the team back on track mentally and physically for the rest of the season. Texas gets it done in big fashion and improves to 5-2 on the season. Prediction: Texas 45, Kansas 17 Jameson McCausland Although the Jayhawks will still end the season at the bottom of the Big 12 when you look at the standings, Les Miles has shown some signs in his first year that he will eventually get things turned around in Lawrence. The biggest thing holding back Kansas right now is their inability to stop the run. The Texas offensive line was embarrassed last week, but they will now get an opportunity to get things corrected in a game where there is really no excuse to not have a 100-yard rusher. Defensively, Texas just needs to gain some confidence. The Jayhawks will be breaking in a new offensive coordinator, so Todd Orlando will have to spend much of the game adjusting on the fly. Prediction: Texas 42, Kansas 21 Nick Harris The Texas season has taken a turn, but not all hope is lost for a productive year and an improvement from last season. That drive to be better has been echoed from Herman about the team this week as the team is still in high spirits following an early second loss of the season. That being said, the Kansas game is a great opportunity to find what Texas football is and what it will be for the rest of the season. It’s important for the Texas defense to limit the attack of Pooka Williams Jr. on defense and for Ehlinger to play well against an above-average secondary. Give me Texas in a blowout as they get back to what we all need them to be for the rest of the year. Prediction: Texas 56 Kansas 17 TFloss32 Kansas’ trip to Austin comes at an ideal time after an extremely underwhelming performance against Oklahoma. To put it plainly, Kansas is still bad on both sides of the ball. Texas’ offense, specifically the offensive line, should be able to find their groove again on their home turf, and the defense has a chance to build some confidence after suffering even more injuries. However, Kansas is breaking in an new offensive coordinator, RB Pooka Williams averages over 100 yards per game and QB Carter Stanley is capable of using his legs even if his statistics don’t reflect as much. Games like this can be dangerous because anything other than a strong performance will raise questions about future match-ups. I won’t be surprised if this gets a little uncomfortable at times with a lack of energy from the crowd, but I like Texas to put it away in the second half. Prediction: Texas 42, Kansas 24 The post Staff Predictions: Kansas appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  5. The Longhorns are looking to get back on track this weekend, as they take on the Jayhawks and new head coach Les Miles. After a sloppy loss against Oklahoma, Texas head coach Tom Herman mentioned that his team went back to the basics this week in order to simplify things. Texas currently sits as 21.5-point favorites over Kansas, but it’s possible the team could come out slow for the third week in a row. Here’s how the HornSports staff envisions the outcome of Saturday’s matchup: Aaron Carrara Texas has never lost to Kansas State in Austin and they won’t tomorrow. This game provides an opportunity for the Longhorns to get things back on track on both sides of the ball. Kansas has the potential to move the ball on offense and Todd Orlando’s defensive will be expected to curb big plays and make tackles. On offense, Roschon Johnson will have another big day, if given the opportunity to carry the load. A resounding win on Saturday to last week’s loss is paramount for getting the team back on track mentally and physically for the rest of the season. Texas gets it done in big fashion and improves to 5-2 on the season. Prediction: Texas 45, Kansas 17 Jameson McCausland Although the Jayhawks will still end the season at the bottom of the Big 12 when you look at the standings, Les Miles has shown some signs in his first year that he will eventually get things turned around in Lawrence. The biggest thing holding back Kansas right now is their inability to stop the run. The Texas offensive line was embarrassed last week, but they will now get an opportunity to get things corrected in a game where there is really no excuse to not have a 100-yard rusher. Defensively, Texas just needs to gain some confidence. The Jayhawks will be breaking in a new offensive coordinator, so Todd Orlando will have to spend much of the game adjusting on the fly. Prediction: Texas 42, Kansas 21 Nick Harris The Texas season has taken a turn, but not all hope is lost for a productive year and an improvement from last season. That drive to be better has been echoed from Herman about the team this week as the team is still in high spirits following an early second loss of the season. That being said, the Kansas game is a great opportunity to find what Texas football is and what it will be for the rest of the season. It’s important for the Texas defense to limit the attack of Pooka Williams Jr. on defense and for Ehlinger to play well against an above-average secondary. Give me Texas in a blowout as they get back to what we all need them to be for the rest of the year. Prediction: Texas 56 Kansas 17 TFloss32 Kansas’ trip to Austin comes at an ideal time after an extremely underwhelming performance against Oklahoma. To put it plainly, Kansas is still bad on both sides of the ball. Texas’ offense, specifically the offensive line, should be able to find their groove again on their home turf, and the defense has a chance to build some confidence after suffering even more injuries. However, Kansas is breaking in an new offensive coordinator, RB Pooka Williams averages over 100 yards per game and QB Carter Stanley is capable of using his legs even if his statistics don’t reflect as much. Games like this can be dangerous because anything other than a strong performance will raise questions about future match-ups. I won’t be surprised if this gets a little uncomfortable at times with a lack of energy from the crowd, but I like Texas to put it away in the second half. Prediction: Texas 42, Kansas 24 The post Staff Predictions: Kansas appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  6. The Texas Longhorns (4-2, 2-1) took one on the chin last week against rival Oklahoma in their first conference loss, but the Longhorns have no time to mull it over as Big 12 play picks back up on Saturday. The Kansas Jayhawks (2-4, 0-3) and new head coach Les Miles head to Austin on Saturday in search of their first conference win after a bye last week. Texas head coach Tom Herman was left scratching his head after a 34-27 loss to the Sooners at the Cotton Bowl, but Herman sees the mistakes of a struggling Texas defensive unit as “fixable,” he told reporters on Monday. Through six games in the regular season the Longhorns, statistically speaking, are the worst in the program’s history. Missed tackles and more injuries plagued Todd Orlando’s defense, but Herman says the key is for his players to continue to improve and develop, and play uninhibited. “We’ve got to be able to get those guys playing fast and not thinking, and the only way to do that is if they’re 100% sure in everything that they’re doing. If that means limiting what we call, then so be it, but we’ve got to play fast and aggressive.” Saturday’s kickoff comes at 6:0 PM with the game being shown exclusively on Longhorn Network. What: Texas Longhorns (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (2-4, 0-3 Big-12) When: Saturday, October 19, 2019 Time: 6:00 PM CST Venue: Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium Location: Austin, Texas Television: Longhorn Network The Line: Texas -23 Last Meeting Between the Two Teams: Texas defeated Kansas 24-17 (November 23, 20-18, Lawrence, KS) All-Time Series Record: Texas leads Kansas 15-3 The Coaches Kansas Jayhawks Head Coach: Les Miles Head Coaching Experience: 17th year as a head coach Years as Head Coach at Kansas: 1 Career Record: 144-59 Career Record at Kansas: 2-4 Texas Longhorns Head Coach: Tom Herman Head Coaching Experience: 5th year as a head coach Years as Head Coach at Texas: 3 Career Record: 43-16 Career Record at Texas: 21-12 Back to Basics Offense Tim Beck’s offense is a capable one, despite last week’s performance in Dallas. While there’s no justifying the Longhorns’ lack of offensive productivity, it was glaring that Oklahoma’s defense came ready to play. We aren’t rehashing Oklahoma here, but play-calling and the lack of the adjustments were significant contributors in the loss to the Sooners. The coaches know it and took full responsibility for it. As for the players, the Texas offensive line must establish themselves as the foundation of the offense. Through five games of the season they played like one of the strongest components of the team. Through six games and nine more sacks, they looked like one of the weakest links. Sam Ehlinger, his wide receiver corps and the running backs have proven they will do their jobs if they have time, and it’s up to Zach Shackelford and his guys to ensure that time is the offense’s friend. Getting back to basics in stance, angles, blocking and all-around confidence will help this unit reestablish their identity and purpose. Defense Despite giving up 276 yards on the ground to Oklahoma, the Texas rush defense has held their own through the season. They currently rank 54th nationally and allow 143 yards per contest. Kansas will look to get sophomore tailback Pooka Williams to work early on Saturday. Williams has broken the 100-yard plateau twice this season, and missed a third by rushing for 99 yards against Coastal Carolina in his first game this season. In his last contest against Oklahoma he gouged Alex Grinch’s defense for 137 yards. He ran for 103 yards and a touchdown against Texas last season in Lawrence, his first as a Jayhawk. The defensive front for Todd Orlando needs to control the line of scrimmage and hold Williams off the edges before he makes a big plays. Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley is making his third consecutive start against the Longhorns. The senior performs better in bigger games and is averaging 230 yards passing and 3 touchdowns per game against AP Top 25 teams. Texas ranks 100th in passing efficiency defense and will need to limit big plays from Stanley and company, or Kansas could keep the game close. The beaten-up secondary for the Longhorns will be tested and under the microscope again, and Saturday is a way for the group to show they are making progress and good in-game decisions. Throwin’ it Back The Longhorns will sport throwback uniforms in honor of the 1969 National Championship team on Saturday, honoring the 50th Anniversary of Darrell K. Royal’s storied team. Texas won its second of three national championships under Royal in 1970, as they defeated Ara Parseghian and Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl 21-17. The game ball for the victory went to Freddie Steinmark, who, weeks earlier, underwent surgery for the removal of his leg because of bone cancer. The win marked the Longhorns’ 500th of all-time. Injuries – Who’s in, Who’s Out? The injuries in the secondary continue for the Longhorns. Junior Chris Brown is out six weeks due to a forearm fracture sustained in the lost to Oklahoma – his injury will require surgery. Texas will be also be without sophomore defensive backs Caden Sterns and Jalen Green again, as the two continue to rehab injuries (Sterns – knee sprain, Green – shoulder). Senior linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch suffered a dislocated shoulder and will not play on Saturday, while sophomore Juwan Mitchell has been cleared. Mitchell sprained his elbow against the Sooners and his snaps may be limited. Offensively, don’t expect to see Jordan Whittington this week as he continues to work through a repaired sports hernia surgery. Collin Johnson has also been cleared to play on Saturday, which is huge for the Texas offense. Johnson took a blow to the head after making a catch in last Saturday’s game but was not diagnosed with a concussion. Summary These two teams first played in 1901, and Kansas has beaten the Longhorns only three times since. The Jayhawks have never won in Austin, and barring a tremendous upset, likely will not on Saturday. However, every game in Big 12 play is meaningful, and the Longhorns will not be overlooking Saturday’s contest. Tom Herman’s philosophy after a loss rests in the notion that mistakes made should be viewed as feedback for future performances. This game provides a great opportunity for the team to implement what they practice – sound, fundamental football with a rallying spirit. The post Game Preview: Kansas Jayhawks @ #15 Texas Longhorns appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  7. Each week HornSports will take a look back at the national scene in college football, so mount up and let’s ride out and check the perimeter. *** Saturday lived up to lofty expectations. There were four matchups of Top 25 teams playing each other… Oklahoma won the Red River Showdown-Shootout-Rivalry-thingy 34-27, and the game did not feel as close as the score. Eight different Sooner defenders registered a total of nine sacks on the day. Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond threw 16 incomplete passes, going 24/42 in the game. Of those 16 incompletions, Alabama defenders broke up 10 passes – that’s 24% of Mond’s throws. Temple defeated Memphis 30-28 and is 5-1, tied with Cincinnati atop the American East. G5 teams and conferences have not been nearly as predictable as teams in P5 leagues this year. Entering Saturday, UGA quarterback Jake Fromm was 20-0 against unranked opponents. The South Carolina Gamecocks blemished the perfect mark, beating the Dawgs in Athens in overtime, 20-17. There appear to be a handful of contenders for the college football playoff, but Alabama and Clemson reminded everyone that they’re still the top dogs in the sport: Clemson throttled FSU 45-14, and the Tide manhandled Texas A&M 47-28. After making light work of Nebraska (34-7), for the first time in more than 15 years Minnesota is 6-0 to start the season. In their beatdown of the Cornhuskers, the Gophers rushed for a total of 322 yards. Largely unnoticed because it happened on a weeknight, Oregon flexed and served notice to the rest of the Pac10 that they will be a factor in the conference championship race. Oregon smacked Colorado 45-3 on Friday night. A Div-III team (John Carroll) and an NAIA team (Kansas Wesleyan) both won 90-0 on Saturday. A shutout seems like overkill when a team scores 90 points. This week in Ugh-lternate uniforms: I like the Sailor Bear helmet, but the rest of Baylor’s look was putrid. Missouri also gets an honorable mention for a look that was more Mountaineer than Tiger, but it was Iowa taking home top honors this week in uniforms that looked like rejects from the NFL’s Color Rush: Speaking of the Hawkeyes, Iowa played stellar defense for the second straight week and is 0-2 in those games. After losing to Michigan 10-3 last week, Iowa lost 17-12 to Penn State. Touchdowns are at a premium around Iowa City. At the other end of the spectrum in the Big Televen Wisconsin continued to roll with a shut out of Michigan State, 38-0. At the midpoint of the season, Baylor and Iowa State look like the two best teams in the Big 12 not named Oklahoma and Texas. Let that settle in. Especially with Memphis losing, the Cincinnati Bearcats are making a claim for supremacy amongst the G5. After going on the road to beat Houston, Cincinnati is now 5-1. Head Coach Luke Fickell has the Bearcats on a roll that extends to last season. LSU and quarterback Joe Burrow kept on keepin’ on when they strangled the Florida Gators 42-28. Against what many believed to be was an elite defense from the SEC, the Tiger’s offense only faced four third downs and averaged 10.6 yards per play. The post Riding the Fences: Week 7 appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  8. Yesterday, we took a look at the Kansas offense. Today, we turn our attention to a Kansas defense that has had its fair share of struggles defending the run. Defensive Line The Jayhawks will operate primarily out of a 3-4 defense. The defensive line is anchored by a pair of seniors, Darrius Moragne and Jelani Brown. Moragne is talented as a pass rusher, tallying 2.5 sacks on the season so far, but the defensive line has a whole has been underwhelming. Kansas is allowing over 200 yards rushing per game, including 268 yards to Oklahoma 3 weeks ago. Texas will be forced to clean up whatever was plaguing the right side of the offensive line, because the Jayhawks will almost assuredly be bringing their pressure from that side, testing Derek Kerstetter and Junior Angilau. Linebackers Azur Kamara is likely the best pass rusher on the Jayhawks roster and leads the team in sacks with 3.5. Dru Prox occupies one of the inside linebacker spots and has flashed several different times this season. The biggest thing that stands out about the Kansas linebackers is they look like athletes on the field. Unlike past Kansas squads, where it was easy to spot the weak links from a mile away. While the run defense still is poor, the effort is there and they will surely come into Austin with a good gameplan to force Texas into predictable passing situations. Defensive Backs Kansas has a couple of quality players who play in the backend. Hasan Defense is a multi-year starter who has played very well at times this year. He is joined in the backend by safety Mike Lee, who like Defense, is in his third season as a starter and rarely puts himself in a bad position. The Jayhawks rank in the middle of the pack in passing yards allowed per game. Texas will have to work for their yardage through the air unlike previous season where the Kansas defense looked lost at times. Overall Thoughts Surprisingly, the Kansas defense is probably not the worst defense the Longhorns will face in conference play. Similar to the offensive side of the ball, Kansas has a ton of upperclassmen with plenty of starting experience. Regardless, the opportunity to move the ball will be there, especially on the ground. This is a game where the Longhorns should have a 100-yard rusher easy and the offensive line should come out with a point to prove after getting physically whipped by Oklahoma. The post Scouting Kansas: Defense appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  9. Texas will look to bounce back from a tough performance against Oklahoma by welcoming the Kansas Jayhawks to Austin. Kansas is led by former LSU coach Les Miles, and Miles is already shaking things up halfway into his first season in Lawrence. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the Kansas offense. Quarterback Senior Carter Stanley will start against Texas for the 3rd time in his career. Stanley’s career as a Jayhawk has been a rollercoaster. He started the final 3 games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, including Kansas’ win over Texas in Lawrence. He went on to split time with Peyton Bender in 2017 and 2018 before regaining his starting spot this season. Stanley is quietly having a solid 2019, completing 65% of his passes while throwing for 12 touchdowns compared to 4 interceptions. The biggest change for the Kansas offense came 2 weeks ago when Les Miles announced offensive coordinator Les Koenning was being relieved of his duties immediately. In Koenning’s place will be Brent Dearmon, who served as a senior offensive consultant prior to his promotion. Prior to joining the Kansas coaching staff, Dearmon was the head coach of Bethel College in 2018, where he had the highest-scoring offense at any level in the entire country at 55 points per game. Running Backs The Texas defensive will be tasked with shutting down sophomore Pooka Williams, who ran for over 100 yards against the Longhorns a season ago. Williams leads Kansas in carries with 90 and is averaging just under 5 yards per carry. Williams was previously conceding a handful of carries to Khalil Herbert, but Herbert recently decided to sit out the remainder of the season so he can redshirt and transfer. Dom Williams and Velton Gardner are likely to see an uptick in carries in Herbert’s absence. Wide Receiver A trio of receivers carry the load for the Kansas passing attack. Junior college transfer Andrew Parchment is having a nice first season in Lawrence, hauling in 32 receptions for 422 yards and 4 touchdowns. Stephon Robinson Jr. and Daylon Charlot hold down the 2 other starting spots. Charlot hauled in a touchdown in the matchup last season and Robinson is averaging over 15 yards per reception in 2019. No position group is likely to benefit more from the coordinator switch than the receivers. Parchment, Robinson and Charlot are likely to see an uptick in touches with a faster-paced offense focused more on the quick passing game and getting players in space. Offensive Line The Jayhawks have an experienced offensive line with quite a few starts between the group. Senior left tackle Hakeem Adeniji is a future NFL player and has started every game of his Kansas career. The rest of the offensive line is made up of 3 juniors and senior right tackle Clyde McCauley. The unit as a whole likely ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of talent in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are allowing a little under 2 sacks a game, but have stalled on offense at times and have struggled to establish the running game. Overall Thoughts This may be a tricky game for the Texas defense. It is completely unknown what will be kept the same and what will change with Dearmon now calling the plays. The Jayhawks had a bye week last week, so the opportunity was there for significant changes to be made to the playbook. Regardless, Texas fans should expect a loose Kansas team who is playing with nothing to lose. Dearmon surely saw what Oklahoma did to the Texas defense last weekend, so expect a lot of motion and misdirection to try to force Longhorn defenders to overthink. In fact, the first thing Dearmon said in his introductory press conference was the Jayhawks were going to run more RPO’s. Expect a heavy dose of that this weekend against a Texas defense that struggles stopping that scheme. The post Scouting Kansas: Offense appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  10. The Texas Longhorns lost to the Oklahoma Sooners 34-27 in front of a packed Cotton Bowl. With the stadium split on the 50-yard line, half in maroon and half in burnt orange, the Sooners grabbed an early 7-0 lead and then held the Horns at bay for the four quarters. On a painfully bright October afternoon in Fair Park the two teams got chippy during pregame warm-ups and those emotions carried over into the game. Although there were no egregious unsportsmanlike penalties in the contest, it was evident that emotions ran hot throughout the game. OU did a better job harnessing those emotions and used them to propel the team to a level of play that Texas could not match. While many Texas fans will blame dropped passes and poor tackling to convince themselves that their team lost rather than got beat, the truth is that Oklahoma won the game because they were the better team. Oklahoma won the game because they were the better team. Tom Herman, Sam Cosmi and others on the Texas sideline talked earlier this week about being the more physical team and playing fast. Those two points are foundations of Herman’s program and Texas was, in fact, the tougher squad in their previous five games, including the loss to LSU. Not only did Lincoln Riley and his Sooners look and play faster than Texas, Oklahoma was the more physical team. By outperforming the Horns in two areas Texas emphasizes, OU controlled the game. There were specific plays that the Longhorns and their fans will point to and claim they were the difference between winning and losing, but it was the Sooners’ level and style of play that were foundational in their victory. Texas receivers dropped multiple fastballs from Sam Ehlinger, but to claim those plays as the difference in the game is akin to blaming gun violence on the weapon. Even with all the mistakes, Texas was extremely close to winning the game. The Longhorns spent most the game within one score of the Sooners which makes the poor tackling stand out like the difference in the game. UT was close, painfully so, to a consecutive regular season win over their arch rival. In the loss, the brightest spot was the continued emergence of true freshman Roschon Johnson. Slated to be the team’s third string quarterback, Johnson cast aside the position he played in high school and his opportunity for a redshirt year in favor of a position switch to running back. Johnson’s burst through the line for a 57-yard touchdown that tied the game was one of the highlights of the day for Texas, cementing his emergence as the team’s most reliable offensive weapon in the game. The freshman finished the day with 95 yards rushing, and 23 yards receiving. One of the lone offensive bright spots in the game, Johnson consistently gained positive yards while the rest of UT’s offense sputtered against an overwhelming performance by OU’s front 7. But rather than dissect specifics about the RRS, this column, as it does after every Texas game, is about how the contest impacts the season. Herman’s mantra of going 1-0 will be repeated ad nauseum this week. After a close, emotional loss to the team’s principal rival that phrase might serve as a comfortable distraction that gets the locker room to focus on playing Kansas in Austin next Saturday. Dwelling on the fact that Oklahoma proved to be a more physical and faster team on Saturday is a recipe for losing to the Jayhawks. There’s no sense in reflecting on losing to OU when the team knows if it handles business for the rest of the season, a re-match with the Sooners is likely in the conference championship game. While a big picture focus runs contrary to Herman’s efforts to keep the team focused, it doesn’t impede this column’s ability to do so. At 4-2 on the season, Texas has four wins over teams they should beat, and losses against two of the best teams in the country. After eight middling years and two coaching changes that is a reasonable record. Although thrilling, the Sugar Bowl win over UGA skewed expectations for Texas. In order to consistently win the RRS, Texas needs to continue to upgrade the talent on the roster. Building depth and developing talent does not happen overnight and will determine if Texas is ready to be earnestly considered as a contender for the college football playoff. ******************************** Each week Matt Cotcher will continue to build “The Story of the Season” as it unfolds. Preface Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 The post Story of the Season – Chapter 6 appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  11. Either team would tell you that it was not the prettiest of games played at the Cotton Bowl throughout the years, as undefeated Oklahoma hands Texas their second loss of the season 34-27. Jalen Hurts led the way for the Sooners as he accounted for 366 total yards including 131 on the ground, the most ever by an Oklahoma quarterback against Texas. “There’s a lot to learn from this one, it wasn’t our best effort,” Hurts said postgame. “I think this team showed a lot of perseverance and overcame a lot of adversity.” CeeDee Lamb was the difference maker for the Sooners as he hauled in 10 catches for 171 yards and 3 touchdowns. For Texas, it was a struggle getting things going on the offensive side of the ball in the first half as the Longhorns failed to punch it in the end zone before the break for the first time since November 2016. Texas still hung around courtesy of a great defensive first half that kept the score at 10-3 “It was a one-score game against a top-five team in the country that we had held to ten points in a half,” Herman said. “I thought the offensive staff had some adjustments at halftime, and you know, we came out and scored 24 points in the second half.” In the second half, the Longhorn offense seemed to find its stride after big plays by true freshman Roschon Johnson helped Texas tie it up at 10 midway through the third quarter. Johnson finished with 95 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground on only 8 attempts. “My mindset was like every other week, just taking it day-by-day,” Johnson said postgame. “When I got my opportunities, I feel like I took advantage of them for the most part, but there’s always something extra you can do to help the team.” In the fourth quarter, Oklahoma was able to pull away after a Hurts touchdown with 4:19 left made it a two-score game and seemingly put the nail in the coffin for the Sooners. The lingering issue throughout the day for the Longhorns was Oklahoma’s swarming pass rush, as Sam Ehlinger was sacked for a Texas school-record tying nine times. “I think every time you see sack numbers, everybody wants to blame the offensive line, but you know, I said before, it’s on everybody,” Tom Herman said postgame. “It’s on the play caller and the protection that’s called, it’s on the receivers to get open at the right time, it’s on the quarterback to deliver the ball.” Texas falls to 4-2 (2-1) as they will look to bounce back next week against Kansas at home. Oklahoma improves to 6-0 (3-0) as they host West Virginia next Saturday. GAME NOTES: Jeffrey McCulloch suffered a dislocated shoulder in the third quarter and did not return. Collin Johnson was knocked out in the fourth quarter after a helmet-to-helmet contact play, his status is undetermined. Chris Brown suffered a fractured forearm. Malcolm Roach was ejected in the third quarter for a targeting penalty and will miss the first half of the Kansas game. The post Hurts, Lamb power Oklahoma to sloppy Red River win over Texas appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  12. When the #11 Texas Longhorns (4-1, 2-0) line up against the #12 Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 2-0) on Saturday it will be the 115th time these two rivals have met on the gridiron. It will be the 92nd straight game played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Both teams are ranked in the Top 25 for the second consecutive season, and both have Heisman candidate hopeful quarterbacks that can dazzle on a dime. The scene doesn’t need to be set, and there need be no pomp and circumstance about what’s about to take place at the State Fairgrounds. These two teams hate one another, and that’s all that needs to be said. A win goes a long way for the winner, and a loss is not fathomable by either team . In the greater scheme of college football, the winner is in the pole position for a conference championship and possibly more. Oklahoma has won nine consecutive games against Big 12 opponents, but Texas is the only Big 12 program to boast a winning record against the Sooners. What: Texas Longhorns (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big-12) When: Saturday, October 12, 2019 Time: 11:00 AM CST Venue: Cotton Bowl Location: Dallas, Texas Television: FOX The Line: Oklahoma -10.5 Last Meeting Between the Two Teams: Oklahoma defeated Texas 39-27 (December 1, 2018 – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas – Big 12 Championship Game) All-Time Series Record: Texas leads Oklahoma 62-47-5 THE COACHES Oklahoma Sooners Head Coach: Lincoln Riley Head Coaching Experience: 3rd year as a head coach Years as Head Coach at Oklahoma: 3 Career Record: 29-4 Career Record at Oklahoma: 29-4 Texas Longhorns Head Coach: Tom Herman Head Coaching Experience: 5th year as a head coach Years as Head Coach at Texas: 3 Career Record: 43-15 Career Record at Texas: 21-11 Stopping Jalen Hurts Oklahoma is averaging 53 points per game and a large part of that has to do with the ability of transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts has played in 3 national championship games at Alabama, and is an experienced dual-threat weapon for the Sooners. He is at the top of the charts nationally in passing efficiency rating (231.3) and leads the nation in yards per pass attempt (14.0) and yards per completion (18.6). He also ranks second in total offense (404.4 ypg) and yards per rush (8.8). The Longhorns’ pass defense has struggled all season, and ranks among the bottom of all FBS programs (126th out of 130 teams). Oklahoma’s offense ends and begins with Hurts, and Texas must curb his big-play ability if they intend on leaving Fair Park with a win. Ehlinger’s Offensive Production Sam Ehlinger has produced big game after big game, and he’s done his share of damage against the Oklahoma Sooners. In three games against Oklahoma Ehlinger has amassed 1,161 total yards (391, 386, 384). His 384 yards in last year’s Big 12 Championship were the most ever against the Sooners by a Texas quarterback. The Longhorns get senior wide receiver Collin Johnson back in the lineup on Saturday, and Ehlinger will have the trio of Johnson, Brennan Eagles and Devin Duvernay as starters at wideout. While Oklahoma ranks first nationally in total offense, Texas isn’t far behind at #19. Sooner defensive coordinator Alex Grinch talked about the challenges Sam Ehlinger presents to his defensive unit. “The one you circle obviously is the quarterback spot. He has the ability to just make so much happen, but in specifically the pass game but also in the run game. The ability to extend plays and hurt you with his feet…” Texas is confident they can move the ball against a Sooner defense that allows 346 yard per game. Texas Corners vs. Oklahoma Wide Receivers The Longhorns will be without defensive backs Caden Sterns, Jalen Green and Josh Thompson on Saturday as they recover from injuries. The good news for Texas is B.J. Foster, Chris Brown and Demarvion Overshown are all back in the lineup. Junior Cee Dee Lamb leads a cadre of Oklahoma wide receivers with big-play potential. Lamb has reeled in seven touchdowns for 439 yards and is averaging 24 yards per catch. Behind Lamb is sophmore Charleston Rambo, who has caught four touchdown passes for 383 yards. Rambo is averaging 27 yards per catch. With Texas’ secondary hobbled by injuries and youth, Oklahoma’s offensive gameplan involves exploiting those matchups at cornerback and wide receiver. Summary With two prolific offenses, this game is shaping up to be a shootout. On Thursday Tom Herman said he was pleased with his team’s preparation leading up to game day, and mentioned the LSU and West Virginia games as examples of big games that his players have played in and managed well. With an 11:00 am kickoff, players will get loose early and then line-up to run out of the same tunnel before exchanging unpleasantries and possibly a few hand signs. Highlights from 2018 Regular Season Contest The post Red River Rivalry Preview: #11 Texas Longhorns vs. #6 Oklahoma Sooners appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  13. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Texas fans. Texas will look to knock off the undefeated Oklahoma Sooners tomorrow in the Cotton Bowl. Currently, the spread sits at Oklahoma -10.5. We think that’s way too high, given the favored team has not covered the spread in many years. Texas will look to be physical, while Oklahoma will look to use its speed to run away with the game. It will be really difficult for Texas to come away with a victory, won’t it? Not so fast, my friend: Aaron Carrara Without sounding trite, throw out the records, personal stats and all the underdog/favorite chatter – and be prepared for a close game. Oklahoma has Jalen Hurts, Texas has Sam Ehlinger. Jalen Hurts can run, and Sam Ehlinger is more than capable of holding his own while carrying the rock. The Oklahoma receivers are fast, physical and can separate in coverage. Texas has Devin Duvernay, Brennan Eagles and Collin Johnson is back in the lineup…. These two teams are equal offensively in my opinion which means lots of points will be scored. The Longhorns have a better team all-around this year than they had last year when they defeated the Sooners during the regular season, but Todd Orlando’s secondary is dinged up. Like last year, this game is shaping up to be a shootout that hinges on turnovers and the battle in the trenches. Texas has the best leader on the field in Sam Ehlinger, which is why I believe the Longhorns will pull off the upset again, but it likely comes down to a Dicker field goal in the 4th quarter. Prediction: Texas 41, Oklahoma 38 Jameson McCausland For the 10th straight season, the Longhorns enter the Red River Showdown as underdogs. Despite losing Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the Oklahoma offense continues to hum along with Jalen Hurts at the helm. The real difference-maker will likely be the Oklahoma defense under Alex Grinch, who is in his first season in Norman. The Sooners have had the luxury of facing Texas Tech without Alan Bowman and Kansas in their first two conference matchups. Saturday’s matchup will be the toughest test to date for the Sooner defense. Sam Ehlinger will make his 3rd start in the rivalry and will have the benefit of having Collin Johnson back. As has been the case over the past couple of years, this game will likely be decided in the 4th quarter and come down to the wire. Prediction: Texas 35 Oklahoma 31 Nick Harris I give the Horns more of a fighting chance than most people do. Oklahoma is a game every year that is competitive and high-scoring, no matter how good or bad either team is, and Texas thrives in those kinds of matchups. It is key for Texas’ linebacker corps to have a great game on Saturday by preventing big plays across the middle, which has become Oklahoma’s bread-and-butter in 2019. The Longhorns will also have to stop Jalen Hurts inside the pocket. With Oklahoma down two starting offensive linemen, Hurts will almost surely be flushed out of the pocket a number of times, and as long as Texas doesn’t let him beat them with his feet, the Horns should be in good position to pull off the upset. Prediction: Texas 38 Oklahoma 34 TFloss32 We say it every year – this is a match-up where all stats and records go out the window. The past three games have gone down to the wire, and two of those saw crazy swings in momentum with 20-point deficits being erased in a small amount of time. OU is missing their starting tackles, they’re one of the post penalized teams in the nation, they haven’t been tested on either side of the ball and this may be the first year in a decade where Texas can say they are the more talented team. I expect Todd Orlando’s unit to play bend-but-don’t-break defense which will give Sam Ehlinger and Texas’ offense the setup they need to methodically throw the kitchen sink at OU. My head says OU because of recent history and their ability to light up the scoreboard, but my heart says sip the burnt orange drank and toast to Trill Sammy while he works. Prediction: Texas 38, Oklahoma 34 The post Staff Predictions: Red River Showdown appeared first on HornSports. View this article on HornSports
  14. Yesterday, we took a look at the Oklahoma offense. Today, we turn our attention to the Oklahoma defense under first-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. Defensive Line The Sooners will operate primarily out of a 3-man front with NT Neville Gallimore anchoring the middle. Gallimore is a redshirt senior who seems to be playing with more aggression than previous seasons. Sophomore Ronnie Perkins will occupy one of the end positions and is tied for the team lead in sacks with 2. The Oklahoma defensive front has improved their overall play compared to 2018, but it remains to be seen how good they will look against an offensive line of Texas’ quality. The Texas OL will be by far the best offensive line Oklahoma has seen this season. Linebackers Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Kenneth Murray is the main linebacker to pay attention to when the Sooners are on defense. Murray has a team-high 37 tackles on the season and is very active around the ball. Sophomore DeShaun White will occupy one of the other linebacker spots. White was a Texas target who ultimately ended up in Norman and has played some solid football in 2019. One area that has seen noticeable improvement since Grinch took over is the run defense. The Sooners rank in the middle of the country in terms of run defense and seem to be committed to playing a more physical brand of defense. Secondary Parnell Motley has seemingly played in every Red River Rivalry game since 2012, so the senior is no stranger to big games. He has had his fair share of struggles in the past, especially guarding Collin Johnson, so Texas might be wise to test him early. Tre Brown is another veteran and occupies the other starting corner spot. Sophomores Delarrin Turner-Yell and Pat Fields start at safety and have done a good job through the first 5 games of the season. Oklahoma has done well at limiting the amount of coverage bust on the backend. Unlike previous seasons, there have not been receivers running free downfield. This has forced opponents to sustain drives and work a little harder to find the end zone, which has allowed the Oklahoma defense to get off the field more frequently without allowing points. Overall Thoughts While the Oklahoma defense looks better and has played better than past years, it is tough to be completely 100% sold on their transformation. Texas will be the toughest challenge they’ve faced to date and the Longhorns present some mismatches they will have to scheme up to slow down. There will likely be a lot of points scored inside the Cotton Bowl Saturday afternoon, so defensive stops will be at a premium. If Oklahoma continues to get stops at the rate they have been, Texas may have a tough time pulling off the upset. The post Scouting Oklahoma: Defense appeared first on HornSports. View the full article on HornSports
  15. Each week HornSports will take a look back at the national scene in college football, so mount up and let’s ride out and check the perimeter. *** West Virginia was primed for an upset of Texas. The stadium was packed and the Mountaineers played with enthusiasm, but the Longhorns did just enough to never let negative momentum build to a crescendo. Cincinnati got over that hump though…the Bearcats were ready for UCF on Friday night. The sold out stadium was impressive with the “black out” and from the opening kick the team played like they believed they were better. (photo credit: Dan Hoard) In the second quarter the Oklahoma Sooners had 4th & goal to go….from the Kansas 45. Kansas led OU early in their game, but neither the players or fans seemed to have any belief that an upset was brewing. The vibe in Lawrence was that they were “just happy to be here” – not that they might actually win. Even Maryland uses Rutgers to get back to a winning groove…after starting 2-0, the Terrapins had a reality check and were outscored by 62 points in two losses. Enter the 1-3 Scarlet Knights and Maryland gets a six touchdown victory. The South Florida Bulls ended a concerning streak of negativity with a 48-22 win over Connecticut. “How hot is Charlie Strong’s seat?” will be an interesting question to follow during the second half of the season. Texas Tech beat Oklahoma State, which shuffles the pecking order in the middle of the Big 12. After an unexpected loss to the Red Raiders, the question is if Oklahoma State was propped up with wins against low level competition? This week in Ugh-lternate uniforms: Georgia Tech’s caped masterpiece gets a pass because it was worn to raise awareness for Children’s healthcare. Oklahoma had an utterly forgettable first quarter before crushing Kansas. Were the Sooners looking ahead to the Red River Showdown against Texas? Wisconsin running back Jonathon Taylor had five rushing touchdowns, 215 yards, and nearly ran for 10 ypc. The trend is for the Heisman Trophy to be awarded to a quarterback but Taylor’s season may be giving voters a reason to re-think their choice. Michigan scored 10 points in the first 6.5 minutes versus Iowa and then nothing else for the remaining 53.5 minutes. Final score: Michigan 10 – Iowa 3 SMU rallied for a 21 point comeback in the 4th quarter against Tulsa, and eventually won in triple overtime. At 6-0 the Mustangs became the first FBS team to be bowl eligible, and are off to their best start since 1982. Despite a furious comeback, Miami lost to Virginia Tech 42-35. The Hurricanes are a miserable 4-12 against P5 opponents since their 10-0 start in 2017. The post Riding the Fences – Week 6 appeared first on HornSports. View the full article on HornSports
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