It’s early in October, it’s the Texas State Fair, and it’s College Football so it must be the Red River rivalry. The Red River rivalry is everything that makes College Football great. Two weeks ago my professor at the University of Texas was answering questions about an upcoming test. One of the questions asked was, “are we going to have off on Friday in two weeks?” This test was worth 30 percent of our entire grade but the Red River Rivalry was this fan’s true concern, and I can’t fault him.
First let’s go over the basics. It’s an annual game that is held at the Cotton bowl in Dallas—always between the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners. The first meeting between these two schools was in 1900, and 105 games later, Texas leads the series 59–41–5. Many of these games have had both conference and national implications, since very often one or both teams are undefeated. For all these reasons, the Red River Rivalry is one of the most anticipated and exciting games of the entire college football season.
This year’s game has just as much anticipation as any other year. Both teams are undefeated with Oklahoma ranked third in the nation and Texas ranked eleventh. It’s a statement game for both teams. Oklahoma is looking to show that they deserve the number one ranking that they had earlier in the season while Texas is looking to let the nation know that this isn't the Texas team from a year ago.
Texas is the underdog in the game, but being that it is a rivalry game means that any team can pull out a win. Here are my keys to the game that will allow Texas to pull off the big upset. If I were Mack Brown this is what I would tell my team all week, make sure that they game is close in the fourth quarter, because if it is we will make the plays to win it. To do this there are two things the Longhorns need to do. First off, Texas needs to stop the run. If Oklahoma can run the ball consistently, the play action will open up all of the Sooner’s playbook and also prevent the Longhorns from blitzing as much as they would like. Last year the Longhorns defense got winded by the Sooner’s hurry-up offense. The Longhorns must counter by managing the game speed while on offense. Let the game clock run down, and run the ball to shorten the length of the game. Managing the speed gives their defense plenty of rest and makes sure that the Sooners have the least amount of time with the ball.
The Red River Rivalry is truly one of the greatest games in all of sports. Every year two of the premier College Football programs meet at a neutral site to duke it out in 60 minutes of hard hitting action. I can’t think of a bone chilling site than the straight split between Crimson and Burnt Orange in the cotton bowl. In an atmosphere like this the cream rises to the top, and that is why this is one of the most exciting weekends of the year.