Dallas Colleges: Red River Rivalry

Perhaps the worst thing to happen to one of college’s most anticipated rivalries happened on Saturday.

Texas lost a home affair to Baylor. Minutes later, Oklahoma was upset on the road by TCU.

Then, the questions -- and the jokes -- started. Just in time for this weekend’s Texas-Oklahoma clash at the Cotton Bowl.

With the Longhorns and Sooners -- two of college football’s most storied programs -- suffering losses over the weekend, the Red River Showdown became an unexpected undercard for the upcoming weekend in Big 12 Conference football. The conference game of the week will pit Baylor hosting TCU, two undefeated and top-10 ranked teams coming off big wins.

Video: Big 12 Conference Call: Week 7

October, 10, 2013

In this week's Big 12 Conference Call, Jake Trotter looks at what Texas needs to do to beat Oklahoma.

History says don't count out Texas

October, 10, 2013

In 1996, Oklahoma was what Texas is.

Way worse, in fact.

In the 67 years the Red River Rivalry had been played in Dallas in October, the Sooners had never entered the game with four losses.

But in '96, Oklahoma headed to the Cotton Bowl under first-year coach John Blake with a record of 0-4. Oddsmakers favored the Longhorns by three touchdowns. And in its preview the day of the game, The Daily Oklahoman newspaper ran the headline, "The Red River Riot Might Be Rout."

Like those '96 Sooners, this year's Longhorns have few reasons to believe this weekend. After two early-season losses and three lackluster wins, Texas is a two-touchdown underdog. The Longhorns haven't shown life in the Cotton Bowl in three years, and haven't won in four. Texas fans are so pessimistic about this game that tickets on the burnt orange side of the bowl are going for half as much online as they are on the Oklahoma side.

But former Sooner James Allen, the hero of the '96 Red River game, and ex-Texas quarterback Peter Gardere, who engineered one of biggest upsets in series history, have messages of hope for the Longhorns.

"The rankings mean nothing in this game," Gardere said. "It's played on so much adrenaline, really strange things can happen."

Underdogs have usually not fared well in the Red River Rivalry. But the two biggest underdogs of the past 25 years? Well, they both won.

"There's so much emotion running on both sides," Allen said. "It's a gut check like no other for the team coming in as the underdog.

"That can be a dangerous team."

Just ask the '96 Longhorns. Or the '89 Sooners.

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Video: Outside The Hashmarks

October, 9, 2013

ESPN's Mark Schlabach on the future of Texas coach Mack Brown.

Texas won't forgive another OU rout

October, 9, 2013

You can measure Texas coach Mack Brown's Hall of Fame credentials with any number of yardsticks: 233 victories, 153 of them in burnt orange; two BCS Championship Game appearances; one crystal football, that magical victory at the Rose Bowl that not only won the 2005 national championship but, as it turned out, ended USC's stay atop the sport.

Any one of them would all but guarantee Brown's status among the top coaches of this generation. But there is one other achievement that makes Brown a singular coach, an accomplishment that attests to how much he has done as the Longhorns' coach for 16 seasons. Brown has lost to archrival Oklahoma four times by at least 30 points, including the past two seasons.

That's an accomplishment? Look at it this way -- Brown has been so good at Texas that he got the chance to lose to Oklahoma four times by at least 30 points. That's not how college football works. In 2008, Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville carried a six-year winning streak and a 7-2 record against Alabama into the Iron Bowl and lost 36-0. He never coached the Tigers again.

In a sport fueled by passion, the Red River Rivalry is among the most heated. In 107 meetings between the Longhorns and the Sooners, no coach on either side has lost more than one game by that amount -- except for Brown, who is 6-9 overall against Oklahoma. Sooners coach Bob Stoops has lost to Brown once by at least 30, 45-12 in 2005.

Remember, that's the season that the Longhorns won the BCS title. And the first two times that Brown lost this rivalry by 30-plus points, the Sooners won the BCS title (2000) and played for it (2003). If you get overrun, it softens the blow to know that the team that overran you is one of the last two teams playing.

Those days are gone. In the past two seasons, Oklahoma has not played for the crystal football, much less won it. The Sooners have not played in a BCS bowl, much less won one. And yet they beat the Longhorns by 38 and 42 points, respectively.

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Oklahoma scores 60, again, against Texas

October, 13, 2012
For only the third time in the history of the Red River Rivalry, the Oklahoma Sooners put up at least 60 points on the Texas Longhorns.

And all three times have come since Bob Stoops took over at Oklahoma in 1999.

Stoops' first win in this series came in 2000, 63-14. In 2003, OU won 65-13, and on Saturday the Sooners won 63-15.

Combined with last year's 38-point loss (55-17), this marks the first time Texas has lost to Oklahoma by at least 38 points in back-to-back seasons.

It's the third straight year Oklahoma has beaten Texas, all three with Landry Jones as the Sooners' starting quarterback. Jones is just the third starting QB in school history to beat Texas three times joining Steve Davis (1973-75) and Jimmy Davis (1954-56).

Jones also picked up his 33rd win, passing Steve Davis for most wins in school history by a starting QB.

Oklahoma's other QB, Blake Bell, had four rushing touchdowns -- the second time in his career he's rushed for four scores in a game. Bell is the first player to rush for four touchdowns against Texas since Oklahoma's Quentin Griffin set the school record with six in 2000.

With Oklahoma up 13-2, Damien Williams broke off a 95-yard touchdown run, the third longest in school history and the longest -- by either school -- in the history of the rivalry.

Oklahoma outscored Texas 23-0 in the second quarter. In the last two meetings, OU has outscored Texas 51-7 in the second quarter, and 70-12 in the first half.

Texas has now lost nine straight games against AP top-25 teams. The 677 yards the Longhorns allowed are the third most they have yielded in a game since 1950.

The Longhorns were outgained by 388 yards (677-289), their biggest disparity in a game since 1950.

Instant Analysis: Oklahoma 63, Texas 21

October, 13, 2012

DALLAS -- Oklahoma beat Texas every which way en route to a dominant 63-21 victory at the Cotton Bowl.

It was over when: Backup quarterback Blake Bell plunged over the goal line for his fourth touchdown to put OU ahead 36-2 three minutes before halftime. The rout was on from there.

Game ball goes to: OU fullback Trey Millard, who had his best offensive performance as a Sooner. Known more for his blocking, Millard led OU with 119 yards receiving and a touchdown on five catches. He also rushed for 45 yards on three carries.

Stat of the game: The Sooners produced both their longest rush and longest pass in the history of the Red River Rivalry. Damien Williams’ 95-yard touchdown put OU up 13-2 late in the first quarter. Millard’s 73-yard reception -- in which he a hurdled a Texas defender -- set up the Sooners’ fourth touchdown.

Turning point: Late in the first quarter, Texas punter Alex King pinned OU inside its own 5-yard line. But Williams broke free along the sideline and, with a key block from teammate Kenny Stills, raced 95 yards for a touchdown to put the Sooners up 13-2. Texas failed to generate any momentum the rest of the game.

Unsung hero: Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, whose game plan completely shut down the nation’s sixth-highest scoring offense. Texas was held to just 74 rushing yards, and quarterback David Ash was forced into three turnovers.

What it means: The Sooners are right back in the thick of the Big 12 title race, and maybe the national championship picture, too. Voters are likely to take notice of OU’s dominant Red River performance. With back-to-back losses, Texas will have its work cut out getting off the mat after getting destroyed by its biggest rival.

Texas, Oklahoma want Cotton Bowl upgrades

April, 2, 2012
The Red River Rivalry's annual home in the Cotton Bowl needs major upgrades if the game is going to stay there, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News.

A deal to keep the game at the State Fair of Texas through 2020 could be hammered out soon, but improvements must be made if it's going to be signed.

To make those, City Hall would need to take on $25.5 million more debt that would renovate the stadium fašade of the Cotton Bowl, modernize the press box, add club seating and more.

From my perspective, all three of those are badly needed. The newly enclosed bowl looks great and provides room for nearly six-figure crowds, but the outside looks metallic and unappealing.

Those changes may or may not happen, but even if Dallas stands its ground, it has the leverage here. If Texas or Oklahoma tried to move the game out of the fair, it'd have a big issue on its hands, and neither administration wants to move the game to campus sites or Cowboys Stadium.

The upgrades are needed, but don't be surprised if all the upgrades don't happen.

Video: Red River Rivalry

October, 6, 2011

HornsNation’s Carter Strickland and SoonerNation's Jake Trotter look ahead to Saturday’s big game between Oklahoma and Texas.

Oklahoma-Texas kickoff set for 11 a.m.

June, 22, 2011
The 106th Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma will kick off at 11 a.m. on Oct. 8. The game, to be played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, will be televised nationally on ABC. The game has been televised since 1952 and has been sold out 64 straight times

Time machine: The last time Texas was unranked ...

October, 4, 2010
Let’s take a trip back in a Longhorn time machine to October 15, 2000 -- the last time Texas was unranked in the AP Poll ...

Then: Mack Brown was 3 years into his head coaching tenure at Texas, with a 21-10 record and outranked in tenure by several of his Big 12 colleagues, including Texas A&M’s R.C. Slocum, Iowa State’s Dan McCarney and Missouri’s Larry Smith.
Now: Mack Brown is 13 years into his head coaching tenure at Texas, with a 131-29 record and the longest tenure in the Big 12.

Then: Will Muschamp was just six years out of college and was the defensive coordinator of the Division II Valdosta State Blazers.
Now: Will Muschamp is the Texas defensive coordinator and head coach in waiting.

Then: Texas fell out of the poll even though it beat Colorado 28-14 the day before.
Now: Texas fell out of the poll after losing to Oklahoma 28-20 the day before.

Then: Garrett Gilbert was 9 years old.
Now: Garrett Gilbert is 19 years old and Texas’ starting quarterback.

Then: Major Applewhite was one of two main Texas quarterbacks.
Now: Major Applewhite is assistant head coach and running backs coach at Texas after becoming the youngest coordinator in FBS in 2007 when he coached the offense at Alabama.

Then: Chris Simms was one of two main Texas quarterbacks.
Now: Chris Simms is an NFL free agent quarterback after spending the 2009 season with the Denver Broncos.

Then: Shaun Rogers and Casey Hampton were a pair of defensive tackles for Mack Brown’s Texas team.
Now: Shaun Rogers and Casey Hampton are both 10-year NFL veteran defensive tackles playing in the AFC North, combining for eight Pro Bowl selections and 44.5 sacks in their careers.

Then: Oklahoma beat Texas 63-14 in the Red River Rivalry behind six Rush TD from Quentin Griffin.
Now: Oklahoma beat Texas 28-20 in the Red River Rivalry behind two Rush TD from DeMarco Murray.

Then: Oklahoma was 6-0, on its way to an undefeated season and national title.
Now: Oklahoma is 5-0, eyeing an undefeated season and national title.

Then: Purdue, Oregon State, Minnesota, Georgia and Notre Dame were ranked in the AP Top 25.
Now: Those teams are a combined 8-15 this season.

Then: Alabama, Boise State, Auburn, LSU and Michigan State were not ranked in the AP Top 25.
Now: Those teams are a combined 24-0 this season.

Then: The Big 12 was still forming its own identity. It was its fifth year as a conference, having recently added four Texas schools from the Southwest Conference to the existing Big 8 to form a new conference.
Now: The Big 12 will soon form a new identity. It will lose two members when Colorado leaves for the Pac-10 and Nebraska leaves for the Big Ten.

Then: Texas had three national titles, one Big 12 Title and two Heisman Trophy winners (Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams).
Now: Texas has four national titles, three Big 12 Titles and the same number of Heisman Trophy winners (despite the recent Reggie Bush-Vince Young controversy).

Then: The Longhorn Sports Network was nowhere to be found.
Now: The Longhorn Sports Network is broadcasting Texas football and Texas basketball coverage on both television and radio, and could expand to become the first of its kind -- a broadly distributed sports network created by and focused on one university.

Then: Bo Pelini was in his first year as the linebackers coach of the Green Bay Packers.
Now: Bo Pelini is the coach of Texas’ next opponent, No. 7 Nebraska.

Then: The State Fair of Texas (during which the Red River Rivalry was played) unveiled the Millennium Quilt -- Texas Then and Now.
Now: The State Fair of Texas (during which the Red River Rivalry was played) featured the Eli Young Band, Collective Soul and fried beer.

Texas: Five keys to beat Oklahoma

October, 1, 2010

Reality grabbed the No. 21 Texas Longhorns by the face mask last weekend and now their season is very much on the line.

Dreams of a return trip to the national championship game would seem all but dashed and a loss to the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners would put any shot at the Big 12 South title in serious jeopardy.

How can Texas (3-1, 1-0 in Big 12) regroup and surprise the Sooners (4-0, 0-0) in the 105th edition of the Red River Rivalry on Saturday afternoon at the Cotton Bowl?

Here's five ways:

1. No turnovers:The oldest adage in football remains the truest and Texas knows it. The Longhorns have given away the football 10 times and fumblitis has been a serious issue. Six giveaways have come via fumble in four games, including three fumbles among four first-half turnovers last week against UCLA that buried the Horns in a hole that only grew deeper. Up next is another challenge. The active OU defense has surrendered points and has looked vulnerable, but it's also been opportunistic with six interceptions and six fumbles.

2. Explosive offensive line:It's time for Kyle Hix and company to show they can take it to an opponent. Texas came into the season wanting to establish a ground game to complement first-year starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert, but it just hasn't worked out. The Longhorns have used four different tailbacks and now speedy D.J. Monroe seems to be next in line to get the majority of the carries. He'll need the help of an underachieving offensive line if he's going to get the job done.

3. Speed merchant: If the Longhorns can't run the football, then they're going to need big plays to come from somewhere to get a sputtering offense in the end zone. Unfortunately for Texas, exciting freshman receiver Mike Davis, who leads Texas receivers with 16 catches and two TDs, is questionable with a left knee injury. Somebody has to step up, so why not the fastest guy on the field Marquise Goodwin? Goodwin has 14 catches on the season, none for more than 32 yards, and he has yet to hit paydirt. That must change.

4. Sack attack:Texas leads the Big 12 in sacks with 14. Two players, defensive ends Eddie Jones (four sacks) and Sam Acho (three) both rank among the top five sack artists in the conference and freshman Jackson Jeffcoat isn't far behind with 2.5. The OU offensive line hasn't been immune to the pass rush in four non-conference games. Quarterback Landry Jones has been dumped eight times. By comparison, Texas has given up five sacks in four games.

5. Secondary showdown: Why is the pass rush so important for Texas? His name is Ryan Broyles and he is lethal. His 41 receptions lead the nation and his 120.5 yards per game ranks fourth in the nation. Along with a strong pass rush, Texas will need a superior effort from its heralded secondary. Cornerbacks Curtis Brown, Chykie Brown and Aaron Williams, plus safeties Blake Gideon, Christian Scott and Kenny Vaccaro will have to be on their toes. But, they can't get lulled by Broyles or they'll get burned by tailback DeMarco Murray (16 catches) or Kenny Stills (13 catches).

Texas defense playing for the rebound

September, 29, 2010
video Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Will Muschamp hasn't had many bad days since joining Mack Brown's staff. Count last Saturday was one of them. And maybe the worst.

UCLA ran its zone-read attack all over Muschamp's highly ranked unit and afterward the fiery coach counted up 15 missed tackles. Muschamp said you could have taken the team's first three games and not found that many misses. Inexcusable for a team with such lofty goals as the Longhorns.

No. 21 Texas will face a much more balanced offense Saturday in the Red River Rivalry against the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners.

"They have a lot of balance. The two things that jump out at you are the two playmakers. [Tailback] DeMarco Murray and [wide receiver] Ryan Broyles are outstanding players," Muschamp said. "They do a great job of getting them the ball in space and letting them make plays. They're a balanced offense like they have had in the past. They want to be able to run the ball and also be able to throw it. Play action – get the ball out of the quarterback's hands especially early in the game. They do a nice job with their balance."

Both players have put up dynamite numbers despite the fact that the Sooners have struggled to put away three of their four opponents and are fortunate not to be headed to the Cotton Bowl with an unexpected early loss like their nemesis to the south.

Murray is averaging 109.0 yards a game, having gained 483 yards on 105 carries with seven touchdowns. Broyles' marks might be even more eye-catching: 41 receptions (next-highest on the team is 16) for 482 yards, an average of 120.5 a game, with four touchdowns.

Broyles will be a major challenge for Texas' heralded secondary and particularly cornerbacks Curtis Brown, Chykie Brown and Aaron Williams.

"He's got separation speed. That's the first thing that jumps out at you," Muschamp said of Broyles, a junior the Sooners nabbed from their own backyard in Norman, Okla. "He's very good with the ball in his hands. They do a really nice job of getting the ball in different places, lining him up in different spots. You've always got to have great awareness of where he is."

Texas' hopes of winning the Big 12 South depend on it.

More lineup changes for reeling Horns

September, 28, 2010
The Texas backfield could now belong to the speedy D.J. Monroe after he received his first carries of the season in last week's embarrassing loss to UCLA, the Longhorns' worst home loss in 13 years.

Monroe is listed as a co-starter with Fozzy Whittaker for Saturday's Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl. Tre' Newton (hip pointer) and Cody Johnson (ankle) continue to deal with injuries. Monroe could become the fourth starter at tailback in five games.

"He's really fast," offensive tackle Kyle Hix said of Monroe. "He's a hard guy to tackle in space."

Mack Brown and the coaching staff hope the No. 21 Horns can take advantage of Monroe's speed against the No. 8 Sooners, whose defense that ranks 93rd in the nation against the run (177.5 ypg). However, that number is bloated due to surrending 351 rushing yards to triple-option Air Forcetwo weeks ago. In OU's other three games, it has allowed an average of 119.6 rushing yards, led by 156 last week by Cincinnati.

Monroe, who spent most of fall camp working at receiver, is one of three changes to the Texas depth chart this week. Alex Okafor replaced Tyrell Higgins as the starter at defensive tackle and Emmanuel Acho moved from middle linebacker to strong-side linebacker, replacing Dravannti Johnson. At middle linebacker, Dustin Earnest and Jared Norton are listed as co-starters. The Horns are looking for playmakers throughout the lineup to ward off what has the potential to sprout into a three-game losing streak. After OU, Texas has a bye and then plays at No. 6 Nebraska.

"We have a great coaching staff, and that's what they are here for," Acho said. "They watch the film. They are going to get us ready, so we are going to be very well prepared. The coaches coach and we just play, and we both just try to do our jobs adequately."

*It could be a disappointing return home for freshman wide receiver Mike Davis, who is questionable for Saturday's game with a knee injury suffered Saturday against UCLA. The former Dallas Skyline star leads the team in receptions (16) and touchdowns (2) and is second in receiving yards (183). The injury is said not to be serious, but it could keep him out of his first Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl, about five miles away from his high school.

MMQB: Struggling Texas offense in search mode

September, 27, 2010
Reverting back to the Colt McCoy offense and chucking the ball around isn't the answer to what woes the No. 21 Texas Longhorns, coach Mack Brown said Monday.

"We were probably as much like last year on offense Saturday as we've been all year. In fact, [Texas] Tech and last week [a 34-12 loss to UCLA] were like that," Brown said. "We got behind in the second half. We weren't stopping them defensively, so we threw the ball a whole lot. So, that's not it."

So what is it? The Texas offense can't run the football with any consistency. It has gained 194 yards on 66 carries in its last two games. D.J. Monroe became the fourth running back used by Texas this season. The passing game has potential with young talent, and while sophomore quarterback Garrett Gilbert completed 30-of-45 passes for 264 yards, only one got in the end zone and one was picked off.

On two critical fourth downs, the Horns couldn't convert on either, and they coughed up four turnovers, three fumbles, in the first half.

"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've got to fix. We didn't play well. When you call plays that do not work, that's on the play-caller. He's got a hard job. If you call defenses that don't work, that's on the defensive play-caller and that's a hard job as well. There's not much that we can point to Saturday that was good consistently."

Which is why the Horns plummeted from No. 7 in the country to No. 21.

Particulary disturbing to Brown on the defensive side was UCLA's 264 rushing yards out of the zone-read, an attack the Horns are plenty accustomed to facing. The Bruins needed just 27 passing yards in the blowout for a box score that more resembled an old-school, Wing-T Texas high school powerhouse on a Friday night.

"They lined up and blocked us and we missed about 18 tackles and as many mistakes when we lined up. UCLA was more ready to play than we were," Brown said. "They ran the zone-read option, which we ran around here for a long time and we had a responsibility to take the quarterback and didn't take him. Norm Chow is one of the best offensive coaches in the country and Rick's [Neuheisel] done a tremendous job at UCLA, but I was disappointed that we didn't really give them a fight that was worthy of UCLA coming to Texas."

Brown doesn't have long to get his team up to speed for Saturday's Red River Rivalry against No. 8 Oklahoma