Could the Red River Battle winner play for the National Championship again?
The Texas/Oklahoma game has South Division, Big 12 Conference, and possibly, National Championship implications once again. Both programs will have some new names and faces, but will quickly re-tool with former high school All Americans who have waited for their chance for greatness.
Both defenses will be fundamentally and technically sound. They will play hard. Both defenses can morph in and out of 3-4 and 4-3 looks because their athletes are so versatile and gifted. Defensive coordinators Brent Venables, Oklahoma, and Will Muschamp, Texas, will employ packages that look the same but end up being different. It is all about confusing the offense, creating mental pressure to recognize and communicate in a short period of time.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma, is a 6’4”, 215 lb., QB, who can make all the throws. He has a special chemistry with Ryan Broyles, the leader of a deep WR corps.
The Longhorns trigger man is 6’4”, 210 lb. Garrett Gilbert, who matured on a snap to snap basis in the National Championship game last year when Alabama knocked Colt McCoy out of the game. Will Malcom Williams, a 6’3”, 220 lb. stud step up and be the go-to guy at WR?
The success of both teams will hinge on who will be able to establish the run to make life easier on the QB. Texas will be under center more and must keep Tre' Newton healthy and productive in their downhill running game. The success of Oklahoma on the ground may depend on the durability of DeMarco Murray. He is as skilled and versatile as anyone in the country if he can stay on the field. Both teams have play-action passing attacks that can be scary if they can run the football.