NORMAN, Okla. -- A year ago, Oklahoma entered the Red River Rivalry as a solid underdog with two losses and a handful of injuries. It lost Sam Bradford a second time -- this time for good -- early on and left as 16-13 losers.
"We were not in a good place," said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. "Though, our guys were competitive, we played hard, we prepared for the week, and went in with the idea of winning and played quite a good game."
It wasn't enough. Oklahoma left with a 3-3 record through six games and watched Texas streak through its Big 12 schedule undefeated on the way to the national title game.
This time, it's Texas fighting for a much needed win, especially with Nebraska looming in two weeks. The Longhorns' 16-game home winning streak ended with a lopsided 34-12 loss to unranked, 2-2 UCLA on Saturday.
"Saturday night we were I think a little bit shell-shocked, very disappointed in the outcome and how we had played as a team," said Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert. "I think coach and we all talked to each other about the 24-hour rule, being able to have thick skin and take coaching on Sunday. Take it and apply it to improve."
The Longhorns turned the ball over four times in the first half, and when the defense stopped looking dominant in the second half, the Longhorns 10-point halftime deficit grew to three touchdowns by the start of the fourth quarter.
"When you get beat 34-12, you’ve got a lot of concerns, and not just with offensive play calling. We’ve got a lot of things we need to fix," Brown said. "The biggest thing was they lined up and blocked us and we missed about 18 tackles and had as many mistakes when we lined up. UCLA was more ready to play than we were. They outcoached us, outhit us and outfought us.... I was disappointed that we didn't really give them a fight that was worthy."
If Texas doesn't give Oklahoma a fight on Saturday, the Longhorns can expect the same result. Oklahoma won five consecutive Red River games to begin the decade. Texas has closed it by winning four of five and two of the last three. A Texas loss on Saturday could swing a streaky rivalry with Stoops and Brown at the helm.
"Streaks are however you want to look at them, it doesn't much matter to me. In the end, sometimes one team is better than the other at different times," Stoops said. "Each game, to me, in my eyes, even when we had the five in a row, all that matters is what you do this year. Each of them are their own body of work and they're all different."