Can Texas Triumph in Red River Shootout? The Long and Short of Saturday's Game

Dan BurgesContributor IOctober 13, 2009

DALLAS - OCTOBER 11:  Quarterback Colt McCoy #12 of the Texas Longhorns drops back to pass against the Oklahoma Sooners during the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl on October 11, 2008 in Dallas, Texas.  The Longhorns defeated the Sooners 45-35.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Red River Shootout is around the corner, a game that always brings out the best in both Texas and Oklahoma, regardless of their rankings going into the matchup.

This year should prove to be no different, but there are some clear warning signs that each team needs to recognize and account for if they hope to depart Dallas with a win under their belt and that golden cowboy hat in the truck.

Here’s the long and the short of it.

OU sucks. Texas may or may not suck...we just don’t know. OU played two middle of the road teams and lost to both of them, whereas Texas hasn’t played, well, anybody.

In Shootouts since 2005 (and maybe further back), the team that has run the ball for the most yards has won the game, with the exception of 2006, where each team ran the ball for the exact same number of yards. 

That being said, the running game is only as effective as a team’s passing game can make it. 

Texas—Great passing game, virtually zero running game, but Colt McCoy hasn’t been allowed to scramble (yet).

OU—Great running game, but apparently recruited wideouts who are incapable of catching a pass (oops).

In effect, if Texas can run for 200-plus and keep the defense in check, they are a lock for this game.



Texas has been incapable of starting the game off on the right foot, and to significantly lesser teams, such as 1-4 Colorado. But they have been able to come back and win. Will they be able to do the same against a team that isn’t quite so, well, easy?

Can OU get into any rhythm in the passing game? Dropped passes against Baylor translate into interceptions against Texas.

Special teams

Jordan Shipley—Enough said.

Texas—Passing game, threat of McCoy to run, and a killer defensive line and linebackers.

OU—Running game, Sam Bradford’s arm, and stout defensive line (of a caliber that Texas has not come close to facing this year).
Game changers

Texas running the ball (i.e. Colt McCoy on his feet), special teams (OU has been horrible on special teams since 2005; Texas has not), and OU passing game (if effective, they have a chance; if not, then they don’t). 
Rumor has it the spread is three points...that’s dead on, except for Shipley’s punt return into the end zone, so make it 10.  Texas 35, Oklahoma 24