Texas Football: Five Reasons Texas Will Top Oklahoma in 2011
The 2011 version of the Texas Longhorns looks to be quite a bit different from the 2010 form.
A slew of new coaches, fresh philosophies that may re-energize the program, talented youth and a couple of big-time recruits will all impact the team in one way, shape or form.
But after losing to Oklahoma last year in the Red River Rivalry, Texas will be out for vengeance come October 8.
Vast differences on both programs effectively keep the balance of power in check, but only one team will emerge on top.
Here are 10 reasons the Longhorns will rebound and top the Sooners in 2011.
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There is youth at virtually every position, and those players will be large contributors to the achievements not just in the Red River Rivalry, but in 2011 altogether.
Despite some of Texas' young guys lacking experience, there is plenty of talent to balance that equation.
Will that determine the result against the Sooners in October?
But this season's underclassmen will be the feature components in the Longhorns' season. How well they do will likely correlate to what kind of campaign Texas has.
No More DeMarco Murray
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Although DeMarco Murray hardly made his presence felt against Texas until 2010, he was still a tremendous athlete and running back. His departure surely subtracts quality from the Sooners' running game.
Three sophomores sit atop Oklahoma's depth chart, so experience in the backfield is a minimum, forcing Landry Jones into more of a one-dimensional offense.
While this may play into the hands of the Sooners' strength, with a star like Ryan Broyles back for his senior year and the rising star in Kenny Stills, the Texas defense should be licking its chops at a chance to rush the passer more frequently.
Murray was a workhorse, and he garbled up over 1,200 yards on the ground, got 600 more in the passing game and accounted for 20 total touchdowns.
His departure means the Sooners will have to look elsewhere for another playmaker.
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Isaac Newton once said, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
In this case, out goes DeMarco Murray, and in comes Malcolm Brown, the top-ranked high school running back in 2011.
Of course, Murray's credentials put him worlds ahead of the 5-star tailback coming into Texas, but Brown's rare combination of size, speed, agility and power make him an immediate threat in the Longhorns' running game.
The 6'0" running back out of Cibolo HS in Steele, Texas, hasn't even stepped foot on campus as a member of the Longhorn program, and he already has most of the fan base jumping with excitement.
Whether the hype is a positive or a negative, Brown's incoming can completely transform Texas' running game.
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Not to beat a dead horse, but remember the 2007 Fiesta Bowl that saw Chris Peterson's Boise State offense shock the Sooner's defense via offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin?
That same motion-heavy offense is under construction at Texas, where Harsin has an enormous talent pool to draw from—a wide range of special players he like never had while at Boise State.
If the 'Horns can successfully implement the crazy Harsin playbook, expect Texas' offense to do a complete 180 after last year's stagnant and sideways Greg Davis attack.
With speedsters like Marquise Goodwin, D.J. Monroe and Desean Hales aching to get the ball in space, good things should come of the Longhorns' offense.
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Although Will Muschamp brought a fiery defensive philosophy that was aggressive and fed on energy, the former Texas coordinator is back in the SEC.
Part of the overhaul that Mack Brown put together this offseason included one of the bright, young defensive minds in college football in Manny Diaz.
After one year as coordinator at Mississippi State, Diaz transformed the Bulldogs' defensive unit, moving from 71st in scoring defense in 2009 to 22nd in 2010, and from 62nd to 17th in rushing defense.
Diaz will bring a fresh take on in-your-face defense for a unit featuring tons of youth, but a tremendous load of talent at virtually every position.
This Texas program should have a look of a completely different team when the season begins in the fall.