5 things to watch out for in week 6


AUSTIN – High stakes don’t really need to be to fan the flames of two passionate fans whenever Texas and Oklahoma meet at the Cotton Bowl. Animosity is never empty, even in lean years.

But since the Big 12 resumed their conference title match for the 2017 season, the Red River Shootout winner has advanced to the league championship at AT&T Stadium. And with Oklahoma’s No.6 (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) and Texas No.21 (4-1, 2-0) both unbeaten in a still-open conference, that streak is likely to end. to chase.

Here’s what to watch for in Saturday’s game as the Longhorns and Sooners gear up for their 117e Meet:

1. Can Oklahoma take down Bijan?

Texas sophomore running back Bijan Robinson is a bubbly personality who sports a constant smile from ear to ear. There might not be a nasty bone in the Heisman Trophy contender’s body, but on the pitch he treats opposing defenses like a young Mike Tyson used to treat anyone who dared to stand in the other. corner of the ring.

Robinson forces more than 10 missed tackles per game and amassed 393 yards after contact, according to Pro Football Focus. The Longhorns have a versatile stable of dangerous tailbacks, but he’s the number one reason they have the fifth-best rushing offense in the country (265.8 yards per game).

And Oklahoma has the nation’s No. 7 defense, allowing for 79.4 yards per game and 2.59 yards per carry. Led by linebacker Nik Bonitto, the Sooners ‘ability to stop the run could pose a serious threat to Texas’ ability to extend practices and score points.

When or: 11 am on Saturday; Cotton bowl, Dallas
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2. Who will win on the fourth try?

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian placed great confidence in his attack. This is clear from how often he’s left them there in fourth place, with the Longhorns converting 7 of 11, suggesting he could roll the dice this Saturday against Oklahoma as well.

Oklahoma’s defense has been strong in most key areas except one. Opponents went 12 for 19 against the Sooners in fourth, and only three schools in the country allowed more conversions in fourth.

For its part, Texas has also fled. Opponents have converted on 8 of 12 fourth downs against the Longhorns so far.

3. Can either QB connect on downcast?

Oklahoma Redshirt sophomore quarterback Spencer Rattler was once a Heisman favorite in the preseason. Texan junior Casey Thompson, set to make his first start in the Red River Shootout, rebounded after losing the offseason competition to rookie Hudson Card in a red shirt to display some of the most effective numbers of all the quarterbacks of the country.

But neither has been able to launch it with any real success this year. Thompson completed 3 of 15 passes for 85 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions on throws over 20 yards. Rattler rose to 3 for 12 with two interceptions and no touchdowns on those deep balls.

Texas have proven more likely to be beaten over the top this season, and coach Lincoln Riley might choose to unleash some more Rattle to tackle this potential weakness. The Longhorns will pick up senior cornerback Josh Thompson for this game, and he’ll be key in helping prevent those big splash games.

4. Can Texas get to Rattler?

Texas rusher Ovie Oghoufo (2.0 sacks) is the only Longhorn with multiple sacks this season. Six others have recorded at least one, and four others have half a bag.

Texas have also only been credited for six quarterbacks in five games, and they just can’t afford to give Rattler time to do readings and throw shots. The Longhorns should look to attack a line from Oklahoma that lost two stalwarts to the NFL in the offseason and mixed up several players while looking for the best combination.

5. Will it all come down to Dicker the Kicker?

Former trainer Tom Herman is gone, so Specialists are actually called by name these days, rather than “The Kicker” or “The Punter”. And at some point on Saturday, Texas senior kicker and punter Cameron Dicker will likely hear his name called in a crucial place.

He gave himself up to those times. As a true freshman in 2018, Dicker punched a winning 40-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining, and overall he’s logged on 5 of 6 kicks with a length of 49 yards in the streak. .

But last year, Dicker blocked a 33-yard field goal in the third overtime of a four-overtime loss. In what will mark his last game in this rivalry, Dicker would love to come out with some sort of redemptive kick.

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