Game of the Week: Plenty of spice left in this year's Red River rivalry
Last spring, an
The real 2008 title, of course, belongs to Oklahoma.
A quick refresher: The 'Horns beat the Sooners by 10 points last season, but Texas' loss to Texas Tech created a three-way tie in the Big 12 South.
Brown, though, isn't using the tiebreaker fiasco as motivation.
"[Last season] came down to outside sources that made that decision, not the two teams, the two schools or the two coaches," he said. "That shouldn't have anything to do with us at all and even if it [did], we've talked about revenge a lot. What you want to do is get excited about playing in this game; you don't have to be mad."
But while this year's Red River Rivalry game could go a long way toward salvaging Oklahoma's disappointing opening stretch, it might be even more important for Texas and its national title hopes. Texas may rank second in the coaches poll and third in the AP, but the latest
Texas may have enjoyed seeing the Sooners suffer two early losses, but those struggles have made the most marquee game on Texas' schedule a little less so.
Shipley's deceptive speed makes him a headache for opponents, both as a punt returner -- he's already scored two touchdowns this season, including a 74-yarder against Colorado last week -- and receiver (he's on pace for a school-record 113 receptions). "What you notice on film is [Shipley's] running by guys," said Wyoming secondary coach
In its two losses to BYU and Miami, Oklahoma allowed a combined 531 passing yards and five touchdowns. Texas will look to exploit the Sooners' struggles against the pass by using Shipley to stretch the field.
Despite losing former standouts
That said, these are the best offenses either unit has seen. Texas is averaging 479.6 yards and a nation's best 47.2 points, while Oklahoma is producing 457 yards and 35 points per game.
If this does turn into a defensive struggle, it should benefit the Sooners. In the Brown-
"Playing those two guys, you end up playing the best running back you'll ever see, and you get two of them in the same game. We always talk about tackling well as a defense, but I think you have to hit them with 11 hats and pursue the ball. You can't just say 'OK, we're going to fill this gap and wrap those two guys up.' You got to get more guys to the party and constantly hit them.
"They're bigger than they look on film. They're two very, very talented football players and they run the ball very well. Murray's a little bit different style; he's more of a long-strider and an all-around guy. [Brown's] really quick and explosive and he can break one too.
"[You have to] hit them in the backfield before they get started. That's the thing: penetrate, because if they get in the open field they can break one on you."
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