Texas v. Missouri

TEXAS LONGHORNS v. MISSOURI TIGERS
Hey Longhorns –

It’s a good thing I have to write these, because if I had to talk, my voice would still be gone and I’d still be so excited from last Saturday anything I said would come out in a blur anyway. Like grade school, let’s say it together: “ou still sucks!”

This week I’ve been weighing a lot of positives and negatives. For instance… Positive: it’s October, which means three more months of football. Negative: We’re ranked #1 in October. Positive: We beat ou. Negative: We now play Missouri. Positive: Texas will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Negative: No athlete or team wants to have the “SI cover jinx.” You know what, though? So be it…Texas is playing like #1 right now, and I’m OK with that today.

Now, let’s get down to business. I could write a whole week’s worth of content on the ou game, but I won’t…here were the highlights.

The Recap: Texas v. oklahoma
Final Score: 45-35
I’ve watched the game four times – yes, I’m still in a bit of disbelief. But, you know what Texas did this week that I haven’t seen since the Vince Young era? They looked confident. Credit the players and coaches for coming in prepared and focused, and matching ou’s level of intensity from the outset of the game. Second thing? There was no quit in this Longhorn team – they played hard whistle-to-whistle and quarter-to-quarter. There is no question that Texas’ defense stepped up to the plate as the game went on and held them in a critical 4th quarter to let Colt take the ‘Horns down for the final two scores. After all that, guess what I noticed? We won. We beat #1 oklahoma. Bring that Golden Hat Trophy to Austin for 364 days! Finally, did anyone notice how nice the Cotton Bowl looks now? They added nearly 30,000 more seats in the off-season – fantastic.

Highlights:
No question what my number one highlight is: Quan Cosby’s block on ou CB Lendy Holmes on a Jordan Shipley reception. I replayed this in slow motion so many times, and I’m still getting chills. Watch it and enjoy it with me.

McCoy: 28-35, 277 yards, and one TD; he added 14 carries for 31 yards. Not spectacular numbers, but here’s the behind-the-scenes take: no turnovers, ball control and time of possession. Perfect day from McCoy in my book – he managed the game and let his playmakers do the work. Nothing forced.

Ogbonnaya: 15 carries, 127 yards (Texas had 161 total rushing yards on the day). He is looking like the man to beat in the RB committee lately.

Cosby: Nine catches for 122 yards, terrific – he played way bigger than he is against ou.

Shipley: 11 catches for 112 yards, and one TD; also a 96-yard kick-off return for TD (in 12 seconds, no less). Huge day, perfect…I don’t know that he dropped a ball that was thrown his way; ou had no answer for him.

The Texas defense held ou’s running game to 48 total yards (on 26 carries), and had two INTs.

NO turnovers, and time of possession was in the ‘Horns favor – Texas 37:10, ou 22:50.

This is the first time Texas has defeated a #1 ou team since 1963, when Texas went on to win the national championship under Darrell Royal.

First time ou has lost a regular-season game under Stoops when scoring at least 35 points.

Texas is 14-3 against ranked opponents since 2004.

Record crowd of 92,182 fans at the Cotton Bowl.

Finally, how about these stats: Texas is #1 at the halfway point of the season; they have not allowed a rushing TD this season; they have scored the most points in six games (281) since World War I; they are 32-for-33 in red-zone scoring percentage; they are 7-for-7 in FGs, and – oh by the way – QB Colt McCoy is completing nearly 80 percent of his passes.

Lowlights:
The secondary gave up 387 yards passing and five TDs to ou QB Sam Bradford…that’s the most passing yards and most TD passes by an ou QB in the rivalry’s history.

Most points combined in the rivalry’s history.

McCoy was sacked four times, but overall the Texas OL was phenomenal.

The breakdown in Texas’ pass coverage on the ou TD to Gresham for 52-yards.

Links:
ESPN: “Texas builds on second-half momentum to drop Oklahoma”
ESPN: “Chemistry key in Texas Cotton Bowl surprise”

This Week
Eyes Of TX’s Prediction
Texas 49, Missouri 38

One big game done. One big game won. Three more big games to go – all of them in a row (Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech). The time to forget ou was last Sunday. Plain and simple, it’s time to go back to work and show why the ‘Horns deserve that #1 ranking.

Missouri Tigers (5-1)
Right before my eyes last Saturday, two amazing things happened. First, Texas beat ou…which would have made my day perfect in and of itself. But then, after dealing with a ton of smack talk from a Missouri alum I work with (who I told I had more important things to focus on last week, namely, ou), I was handed my second gift – #3 Missouri losing (at home) to #11 Oklahoma State. Here’s the bad news – guess who’s going to be real mad this week? You guessed it – Gary Pinknel and the good ‘ol “Tiggers” from Columbia. Last week was a fluke, against a team they couldn’t afford to let hang around, and that mistake will not happen again this week, guaranteed.

You know him, you’ve heard of him, you might have seen him play his high school football at Southlake Carroll in Texas. That’s right, the kid who wanted desperately to come to Texas is now playing against us in Austin – QB Chase Daniel. He is fantastic – in fact, until last week, Missouri hadn’t had a three-and-out the season with him at the helm. Some games, he had more TDs than incomplete passes. He is deadly accurate, and will air it out all game long. Daniel’s thrown for 2,055 yards and 16 TDs this season with only four INTs (three of which came last week). He drives their offense, and while he can also run well, he hasn’t done much this season with his legs. His main targets in the spread offense are TE Chase Coffman and speedy WR Jeremy Macklin. Coffman is a big guy, similar in size and ability to ou’s Jermaine Gresham, and he is Daniel’s top receiving threat with 44 catches on the season. Macklin will cover ground on the outside of the field, and he’s accounted for more than 600 yards receiving and five TDs this year. Either one has the ability to break the game wide open. Daniel has two other WRs who are talented, but those first two will be the keys to the passing game. Surprisingly, Missouri has a strong RB in Derrick Washington. He’s put up big numbers in this offense, with 511 yards rushing, 11 TDs and he averages 6.8 yards/carry. He also catches the ball out of the backfield well, with 16 receptions this year. They are going to move the ball and put up points because of their outstanding offensive line. It will be another test of the ‘Horns this week in the trenches, but I expect our front seven to control the running game and make Daniel beat them with his legs and getting the ball to WRs quickly and accurately.

Defensively, their front four are fantastic and have accounted for 11 of Missouri’s 15 sacks on the year. They are able to get pressure on opposing QBs, and eat space in the middle of the line to stop the run. However, they give up yards – 109 rushing and 271 yards passing per game. The LBs are led by Sean Witherspoon, who leads the team in tackles with 65. He is the anchor, and he can step up to stuff the run or play decent coverage off the line. The other LBs are OK, but very susceptible in the passing game. The secondary is home to standout William Moore – he is big and physical and is great in both run and pass defense. The Tigers defense has playmakers, but I expect they’ll try to stop Texas’ run, force the ‘Horns to be one-dimensional in the passing game, and let their secondary hold their own. They got burned by Okie State last week, but I think they’ll learn from that and from watching the ou game film. The Texas OL is going to have to play big again this week and give McCoy the time he needs to find his wide receivers in coverage and deliver the ball downfield. Missouri is also strong in special teams – they have a very accurate kicker and their return game is near-perfect, with Macklin putting up big yards in the kicking game. Texas’ punt and kick-off coverage will need to be fantastic.

It’s another big week, but I think Texas can win at home. The Longhorns are going to have to play another near-perfect game to win, and ESPN’s College Gameday will be in Austin yet again to witness the shootout. Let’s stay #1 another week and bring home another “W” against a top-tier opponent. Win this one, and we might very well see Missouri again come December.

Resources
Texas Exes Alumni Association Web site: http://www.texasexes.org/
Texas Exes Membership Department: 1-800-369-0023 (for membership card requests)
Texas Exes Puget Sound Chapter Web site: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/texas_exes_puget_sound/

Hook ‘em!

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