Game of the Week: Sooners, 'Horns prep for unbeaten showdown
The 2011 edition of the Red River Rivalry did not look like it was going to be a marquee game this preseason, with Oklahoma entering the year at No. 1 and Texas stumbling in unranked after a disastrous 5-7 season. The Sooners have lived up to their billing, winning all four of their games by double-digits, including a tester at Florida State in mid-September. Texas, meanwhile, has worked its way up to No. 11 in the AP poll after four straight wins, creating the first Red River between undefeated teams since 2008. Texas still has plenty to prove, and Oklahoma is just the first of five ranked opponents remaining on its schedule. But Mack Brown has his Longhorns believing last year was an aberration. They'll get a chance to prove it at the Cotton Bowl.
Oklahoma enters as a nine-point favorite. The favorite has won the game outright in seven of the last eight years, the exception being Texas' upset of OU in 2008. Oklahoma is 1-4-1 versus Texas against the spread the last six years, but is 10-4 in its last 14 games against the spread, including 3-1 this season. Texas is 1-4 against the spread its last five games as an underdog.
Landry Jones passed Heisman Trophy winners Jason White and Sam Bradford this season to become Oklahoma's all-time career leader in passing yards with 9,363.
SI.com NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline weighs in with his thoughts on the top pro prospects in this matchup. Pauline evaluated Oklahoma's Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles
Recent history suggests this game will be close. Despite Texas' ugly 2010 season and Oklahoma's 12-2 mark, the Sooners only beat the 'Horns by one score last year. The last four meetings have been split 2-2 with each decided by 10 points or fewer. If Jones stays away from interceptions, which isn't a given, the Sooners will put up plenty of points and could make this a runaway. The keys for Texas will be to establish the run and win the turnover battle. This one will be close for a half, but the Sooners have too much firepower for a young Texas fielding inexperienced quarterbacks.