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FEARLESS PREDICTIONS 10/16

BOOM Sooners!  Thanks for visiting, now get in your homes and head back north!!  What an amazing weekend of football.  It’s been a long while since the Horns took care of business AND got some help from the competition, but it all came together for the ultimate prize.  There’s so much to talk about, I thought we’d get an early start this week…

How Last Week’s Predictions Fared:

This one comes down to errors…whoever makes the fewest, wins. Penalties, turnovers, missed tackles, blown assignments…this game hinges on the fundamentals. Speaking of “mentals”, this game also comes down to who is most mentally prepared.  Who wants it more?  Who will be intimidated the least?  Who can roll with adversity?  Who will execute best in the face of hysteria?

– Sooners had 4 more penalties for 18 more yards.  They also had the game’s only 2 turnovers.

This game always seems to produce some super-humans. In the recent past, it has ranged from Stony Clark, Tommie Harris, Peter Gardere and Josh Heupel to a list of dozens.  My vote for Dynamic Duo of the game goes to Colt & Jordan. Shipley had a super-human performance in this game last year and he will repeat. The chemistry and connection those two have is an intangible we must have to win this game.

– Done.  More on Colt & Jordan below.

Injuries; whoever has them early in the game is doomed.  Memories of Cedric Benson still swirl in my head.

– Ryan Palmer did go down with a hamstring injury, but there was no let down. However, the Horns clearly took advantage of the hole left by the season ending injury to OU linebacker Ryan Reynolds.

Texas will win if:

  • The O-line protects Colt.  Period.  Almost nothing else matters.  It all starts here.

– 4 sacks.  BUT, Bradford was lit up on a couple of his (see Sergio Kindle) and Colt’s were essentially coverage sacks where he chose to try to make a play and was pulled down.  I never saw him take a direct hit whereas Sam was probably a little sore the next day.

  • The D-line brings crazy pressure all day

– Not a super flashy day for the defense, but solid.  In fact, I saw very few blitzes.  We basically sent 4 all day.  Orakpo had 4 tackles-for-loss + a forced fumble.  We had 3 sacks total, Thomas had 2 INT’s + a forced fumble.  Nothing crazy, but how many times did Sam Bradford tuck the ball and run or throw it away.  That’s good secondary coverage on some excellent WR’s.  Only allowed 48 yds rushing.

  • Colt is able to dissect a so-so OU secondary with his pinpoint accuracy

– Yep.  28 of 35 for 277, no INT’s.  7 of 7 in the red zone.

  • We have zero turnovers or none that are critical

– Technically…no turnovers.

  • We are able to run the ball enough to hold back the onslaught from the OU defense

– Good enough.  Chris Ogbonnaya is really coming on though.  We stopped Oklahoma with 6:32 remaining in the fourth quarter and a three-point lead. Ogbonnaya got free for a 62-yard dagger-to-the-Schooner all the way to the Oklahoma 2.  Clutch running.

  • Colt is not pressed into making throwing mistakes

– Practically mistake free.  80% completion rate.  In fact, I wish he had thrown a few more into the stands as opposed to making the run or tacking the sack (28 yards worth of losses)

  • We win the battle in the trenches.  Our offensive front has to open holes & the defensive front has to put pressure on Sam Bradford.

– Wow.  What a snot-knocker.  The O-line probably could have taken slightly better care of Colt, but both lines played great.  Again, I saw very few blitzes from the defense, so the D-line did an excellent job of applying enough pressure and the secondary held their own.  Nicely done.

Pooooooooor Soooooo-ners!!

  • We will have a super-human emerge on offense.  Again, I expect that to be the Colt-Jordan connection.  Will it be Chris O. again this week?  How about Williams, Kirkendall or Quan on the deep ball?

– Jordan Shipley was named NATIONAL offensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.  His 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was the third longest in school history and the longest in the 103-game TX-OU series.  He had a career-high 11 catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. He has also been nominated as an ESPN game changer, so we’ll see those highlights replayed throughout the season!  Superhuman.

– Chris O. certainly did his part with 127 rushing yds + 27 receiving

– Quan finished as the leading receiver with 122 yds with some AMAZING catches

Texas will lose if:

  • Part of our game plan is for Colt to purposefully put this game on his back and win it with a combination of his hands and feet.  If this happens, then I fear he will be knocked out of the game and a blow-out ensues

– That’s exactly what happened, but he survived.  Whew.

  • We turn the ball over multiple times.  The more crucial, untimely or early the turnovers, the worse the defeat…think back to Jamaal’s fumble on the goal line last year.  Jeez.

– Jamaal who?  ZERO turnovers.

  • We don’t move the ball on the ground

– 161 rushing yds total…good enough!

  • OU is up by more than 10 points at any point in the first half

– Happened twice:  OU was up 14-3 for exactly 12 seconds until Captain America (read as Jordan Shipley) returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards to make it 14-10.  The second time happened with 10:25 left in the 2nd quarter when OU went up 21-10.  Texas answered with a 12 play 80 yard drive that consumed almost 7 minutes.  3 plays later Earl Thomas intercepts, we drive for a FG and we end the half 20-21 OkU.  This was about ANSWERING.  Texas was mentally prepared enough to ANSWER every time OU put up points.  Tremendous leadership by Colt and a bunch of others.

  • Colt gets sacked in the first quarter…it’s just a sign of more to come

– He was sacked twice in the 1st quarter, once in the 2nd and once in the 3rd.  The pressure was constant, but Colt probably could have avoided nearly all of those if he had unloaded the ball when the sack was imminent.

  • Our QB’s uniform is dirtier than theirs

– They were equally as dirty…but their guy’s ribs hurt a lot more than ours ; )

The bottom line:

This game is about emotion, fear, intimidation, sudden change, adversity, intangibles…a psychologists dream! Whether Will or Mack, I think we will see a more mentally prepared team than in years past.  Whether it is enough to persevere or not will have to be determined between the lines.

– Absolutely.  No one backed down, no one was intimidated and WE created most of the sudden change.

FEARLESS PREDICTIONS:

  • We suffer one meaningless (no points resulting) turnover

– Officially…no turnovers, but it was close ; )

  • We sack Bradford more than they sack Colt

– Nope.  Bradford had 3, Colt had 4

  • Jordan Shipley has 75 yds receiving + 2 TD’s

– How about 11 catches, for 112 yds + a receiving TD, a 96 yd return for a TD + the longest catch of the day (37 yds)…super human day.

  • Colt has 200 yds passing, 50 yds rushing, ZERO INT’s and he doesn’t get hurt!!

– Yep.  28 of 35 for 277, net 31 yds rushing (59 forward, 28 backward), ZERO INT’s and he didn’t get hurt.  Sweet.

  • We have a total of 175+ yds rushing…amongst 4 players

– Close.  161 yds amongst 4 players (127-Ogbonnaya, 31-Colt, 4-Cody, 1-Chiles)

  • Quan has one terrific punt or kickoff return that sets up a score and big momentum

– Err, uh…I meant Jordan Shipley.  96 yards and HUGE momentum/mojo/ju-ju swing before halftime.

– Quan made some magnificent catches and hauled in 9 catches for a team leading 122 yds.

  • Colt gets absolutely knocked around, but not knocked out of the game

– Yep.  He was sacked 4 times, but nearly all of those would have been avoided had Colt thrown the ball in the nickel seats instead of taking the loss.  Not so smart.

  • Sergio has a career day

– 4 tackles, 1 sack for a loss of 5 is not so much a career day, but not a bad day at the office.  That honor really goes to Rodderick Muckleroy with 14 tackles.

  • We cause one fumble and one INT that turn out to be the difference in the game

How about a couple INT’s.  2nd quarter, 21-17 Sooners…Earl Thomas lays out for the INT of his life.  With 2:46 left, Texas was able to march down for a FG.  The difference in going in at halftime 21-20 WITH the momentum as opposed to 24-17 or 28-17 with zero momentum is a HUGE difference.  The secondary grew up a lot in this game.

  • Bob Stoops and the Gooners lay an egg

– Uh huh, in front of a national television audience

Uhhhh…cool?

  • Will Texas play the #1 team twice in 2 weeks?

– No, because we ARE #1!!!!!!!!

TEXAS 28 – Mobilehoma 27

TEXAS 45  –  Honey!  Where’d ya put my teeth?!? 35

Other:

  • KSU Kats 48 – O’Fer the Big XII (aggy) 21

– 44 – 30 Kitties

  • TTU 56 – NU 28

– 37 – 31 Pirates…in OT.  Not a strong showing by the Pirates.

  • Florida 35 – LSU 31

– Chomp!  Florida 44 – LSU 21

Here is a good summary article by ESPN along with some video highlights:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id=3638132

Speaking of mojo, how about:

1) Defeating #1 in a hostile environment, then…

2) Getting #11 at home…at night…vs. the guy who (for the second week in a row) just so happens to be your biggest Heisman trophy competition

3) MORE ESPN “College Game Day” coverage.  Will they just pitch a tent and stay for the #1 vs. #8 matchup with OSU next week?

Hey Herbstreet, I have an extra bedroom…sorry Corso.

It’s the perfect storm, so here’s to a strong SOUTH wind this Saturday!!

The hidden nugget in all this is what it does for recruiting…I know several recruits were on the sidelines Saturday.  If I am #1 DT recruit, Jamarkus McFarland (Lufkin) who is considering Texas, O-who? and LSU and I just watched 2 of my 3 options lose in the same day AND I know that Roy Miller is a senior…I’m headed to Texas so I can play early in my career and win a Championship.  I say he commits.  By the way, I understand that he jumped up and cheered as Jordan Shipley ran back the kickoff.  Ditto for Devon Kennard, defensive end recruit from Arizona, when he looks at Brian Orakpo.  We are more loaded at DE, but we did not take a DE in the last class and who wouldn’t want to play for Coach Muschamp?  Remember, no matter what happens this year, NEXT year is our year…but two in a row would be fine.

PS – The Mizzou game is scheduled for 7:00 and the OSU game has been set for 2:30.  Both on ABC.

FEARLESS PREDICTIONS for Mizzou coming Friday.

Enjoy the rest of the week…

Hook ‘Em,

Scott

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