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Texas coach declares Oklahoma is better than last year

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  • Texas coach declares Oklahoma is better than last year

    Oct. 10, 2004 wire reports

    DALLAS -- Texas coach Mack Brown thinks this Oklahoma squad might just be better than the one that dominated his team a year ago.


    The reason wasn't the score -- the second-ranked Sooners beat the Longhorns 12-0 on Saturday, compared with a 65-13 blowout last season. Rather, it was the abundance of talent for Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) that made the biggest impression on Brown.

    Quarterback Jason White, last year's Heisman Trophy winner, threw for just 113 yards and no touchdowns while getting picked off twice. And it was more than enough for the Sooners, thanks to 225 yards rushing on 32 carries by dynamic freshman running back Adrian Peterson.

    "Jason's such a great player and he's been around so long, we felt like we had to give him a lot of different looks and try to change up," Brown said. "Where they're so much better in some ways than they even were last year is they have the ability to run the ball now, so it's really hard to get pressure on him."

    At the end of last season, pressure was the best strategy to beat Oklahoma. Kansas State and LSU blitzed White endlessly and it cost the Sooners the Big 12 title and the national championship.

    But with Peterson in the backfield, it's no longer possible for teams to forget the run and focus on White. While Peterson never made it into the end zone against the Longhorns (4-1, 1-1), he put the Sooners in scoring position.

    "I guess he was the difference maker," Longhorns cornerback Michael Huff said.

    With Peterson emerging as Oklahoma's primary back, coach Bob Stoops is able to use Kejuan Jones as a change of pace. The junior, who bulked up to 200 pounds in the offseason, once excelled as a goal-line back for the Sooners but inherited the starter's role when Quentin Griffin departed.

    Jones had 63 yards and a touchdown against Texas.

    "We expected to be able to run the football, and it wasn't just Adrian," Stoops said. "I think our offensive line and the way they played are all part of running the ball. We're improving with it."

    The Sooners' defense also had its best performance of the season, holding Cedric Benson to 92 yards and shutting out a Texas team that hadn't been held scoreless since 1980.

    Oklahoma came up with three turnovers, including two in its own territory, and twice sacked Texas quarterback Vince Young to knock the Longhorns out of field-goal range.

    "I thought defensively, maybe not too many people recognize or give those guys much credit," Stoops said. "I felt all along we were on the verge of really playing well defensively."

    Stoops said he believed the rivalry game in the past had been a helpful boost and helped the Sooners eliminate some mistakes. In each of the past four seasons, the Sooners have followed wins against Texas with at least two double-digit victories.

    "Hopefully that'll keep happening," Stoops said.

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

Related Topics


  • DJRamFan
    Oklahoma, Auburn Stumble In Openers
    by DJRamFan
    Top 25 teams tumble in first weekend

    Sept. 4, 2005

    AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Bob Stoops found much to dislike in Oklahoma's season-opening performance. No consistent running game. Poor pass protection. Errant throws.

    And in the interest of fairness, he said the coaching also left something to be desired in a 17-10 loss to TCU on Saturday.

    "They outplayed us and outcoached us as a whole," the Sooners coach said Sunday.

    No team understands his pain better than Auburn. The 16th-ranked Tigers also stumbled out of the gates with a 23-14 loss to Georgia Tech.

    The two teams who spent the end of last season jockeying for the right to play Southern California for the national title likely want no part of the top-ranked Trojans at the moment.

    For Auburn, it was a turnover- and mistake-filled end to a 15-game winning streak that trailed only USC and Utah among active streaks. Keeping the season from going downhill was more on the team's mind in the locker room than the streak.

    "The winning streak, that was something we obviously all looked at," coach Tommy Tuberville said. "It's something we didn't harp on. It's been awhile since we lost a game, and it was good to see the seniors stand up and say a few words after the game (instead of) having their heads down."

    It's no real surprise that the offenses at both Oklahoma and Auburn sputtered against decent - though unranked - opening competition. Both were replacing terrific and seasoned quarterbacks in the Sooners' Jason White and the Tigers' Jason Campbell, White a Heisman Trophy winner and Campbell a first-round NFL draft pick.

    With the defenses gearing up to force Auburn's Brandon Cox and Oklahoma's Paul Thompson and Rhett Bomar to beat them through the air, neither team mustered much of a running game. Something that was seldom a problem for either offense last season.

    The result: Cox turned it over on the Tigers' final five drives, with four interceptions and a fumble.

    Thompson completed 11 of 26 passes for 109 yards with an interception for Oklahoma. Bomar was 2-for-5 for 19 yards.

    Not even the Sooners' super sophomore Adrian Peterson could produce anything on the ground. The Heisman runner-up ran for only 63 yards after setting an NCAA freshman record with 1,925 rushing yards.

    What went wrong? Good question, Stoops said.

    "It might be the attitude and discipline we came out and played with," he said. "Or it could be the play-calling. It really is hard to put your finger on it."

    Defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek offered a blunt assessment.

    "We never got tough, and we never had the attitude we needed to win," said Dvoracek, one of the team's four...
    -09-05-2005, 08:17 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Texas still burned by Arkansas celebration
    by DJRamFan
    Posted: Wednesday September 8, 2004 2:40AM; Updated: Wednesday September 8, 2004 2:40AM

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas still remembers Arkansas' players prancing all over the field, waving their state flag in the end zone and digging up pieces of the turf after the Razorbacks beat the Longhorns 38-28 last season.

    The underdog Razorbacks had snapped Texas' 20-game winning streak at Royal Memorial Stadium and several players flashed upside-down horns signs for cameras.

    "I thought it was pretty disrespectful the way they celebrated on the field," Texas receiver Tony Jeffery said. "That's one image that I carry around with me ... we want to win at all costs."

    Emotions run high in an old-school rivalry that dates to the glory days of the old Southwest Conference. The No. 7 Longhorns (1-0) and Razorbacks (1-0) meet again Saturday night in Fayetteville in the 35th anniversary of their classic 1969 "Big Shootout" that Texas won 15-14.

    Texas safety Phillip Geiggar said the Longhorns were steamed by last year's loss and the postgame celebration that took on an air of mockery.

    "That made us even more mad," he said. "But you know, we couldn't do nothing. They came in here and beat us in our own house."

    Old-timers remember Texas vs. Arkansas as a blood feud between border rivals that regularly decided the conference champion when Darrell Royal and Frank Broyles roamed the sidelines for the Longhorns and Razorbacks.

    In 1969, Texas was No. 1 and Arkansas No. 2. President Nixon came to the game and declared Texas national champions after the Longhorns' victory, a game that still evokes pride in Austin and bitter disappointment in Fayetteville.

    Most of that history is lost on today's players, said Texas coach Mack Brown.

    "I don't think they understand the '69 game," said Brown, who recalled watching it on television at home in Tennessee. "I'm sure their parents probably do."

    Last year, Brown tried to drill into his players the intensity of the rivalry.

    Longhorns players kept a picture of Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt giving the upside-down horns in their locker room. Speeches were made and players were urged to be ready to take Arkansas' best shot.

    None of it worked as Arkansas pushed Texas around the field. The Razorbacks rushed for 265 yards and made big play after big play to earn their post-game celebration.

    Texas players say they're more concerned about recent history. Last season's loss ruined Texas' national title hopes early.

    "That's the only memory I need," Texas defensive tackle Rod Wright said. "They beat us when we had a winning streak going. They ran the ball down our throats."

    Texas players say...
    -09-09-2004, 10:14 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Efficient White leads No. 2 Sooners past Texas Tech
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 2, 2004 wire reports
    NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will be perfectly pleased to settle for 151 yards passing from Jason White in game after game, as long as the modest stats come with victories.

    Last season's Heisman Trophy winner produced little yardage but he did complete three touchdown passes to break the OU's career record, and Adrian Peterson ran for 146 yards and a score to lead the second-ranked Sooners past Texas Tech 28-13 Saturday.

    "We don't go into any game looking for numbers or looking to put anybody's numbers where they should be," Stoops said. "We go in to win, and Jason operated our offense. ... You forget about his efficiency and the way he executed. He was really solid."

    Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie, who entered the game as the nation's leading passer, looked sharp at times but had three interceptions and a fumble. He was 36-for-55 for 369 yards, 60 below his average -- but still much better on paper than White fared.

    White broke Josh Heupel's school mark of 53 TD passes in the third quarter, when fullback J.D. Runnels caught a pass in the right flat and took it into the end zone to put Oklahoma ahead 21-6.

    Travis Wilson caught White's other two touchdown passes, in the second and fourth quarters.

    White, who went 15-for-24 for just the 151 yards, appeared a little late on several throws in the first half when his 14 attempts yielded merely 55 yards. But he was on the mark when he needed to be after halftime.


    "I had a few bad throws starting off, but you've just got to keep playing the next play and forget about the bad ones and keep moving on," White said.

    Peterson, making his first start in place of injured Kejuan Jones, scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and topped 100 yards rushing for his fourth straight game -- extending his own Oklahoma freshman record.

    Peterson set up Oklahoma's first score with a 61-yard run around the right end and down the sideline. Texas Tech's Khalid Naziruddin caught Peterson at an angle and dove to tackle the freshman as he tried to turn toward the goal post.

    "Mark Clayton made a great block, James Moses made a block outside, and I cut it up and just ran the ball until I got tripped up a little bit," Peterson said. "That was a good run."

    Three plays later, Peterson bounced off a couple tacklers and reached the ball across the goal line to make it 7-0.

    Peterson had a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter negated by a holding call against Jammal Brown. He stayed face down on the field briefly after a short run in the fourth quarter but jogged off after trainers came out to tend to him.

    "My leg got stuck in the grass and...
    -10-04-2004, 12:16 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Texas Itching to End Sooners' Winning Streak
    by DJRamFan
    Longhorns looking for first win in six tries

    Oct. 3, 2005

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - After all the talk about beating Oklahoma and possibly ending the losing streak, this is the week the No. 2 Texas Longhorns finally get their chance to do it.

    This year's Texas-Oklahoma matchup in Dallas is the 100th anniversary in a bitter border rivalry that has Longhorns fans more interested in its ugly recent history than its glorious distant past.

    "We owe them one," Texas senior offensive tackle Jonathan Scott said before the season started.

    Make that several.

    Texas (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) hasn't beaten the Sooners (2-2, 1-0) since 1999, when Major Applewhite rallied the Longhorns from an early 17-0 deficit for a 38-28 victory. It was Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops' first season in Norman and his only loss to Texas' Mack Brown.

    The Red River Rivalry has been all-Oklahoma since.

    In 2000, it was a 63-14 romp that catapulted a developing Sooners program toward a national title. In 2003, it was another Oklahoma rout - 65-13 - that was Texas quarterback Vince Young's baptism by fire. Oklahoma thumped Texas again last year 12-0, the first time Texas had been shut out since 1980.

    The Sooners' five-game winning streak has embarrassed the Longhorns and frustrated Brown's quest for his first conference title as a head coach.

    So what makes Longhorns fans think this year can be different? Chalk it up to changes on both sides of the Red River.

    Texas entered the season ranked No. 2 coming off its Rose Bowl win over Michigan and solidified its standing as a national title favorite with a 25-22 win at Ohio State on Sept. 10.

    Young's leadership, the emergence of freshman tailback Jamaal Charles and the dominating play of a veteran defense give this year's Texas team an aura of toughness it hasn't had in recent years.

    And Oklahoma is struggling. The departure of key players off last year's national title-game team, the hit-and-miss play of freshman quarterback Rhett Bomar and two early losses to TCU and UCLA make the Sooners appear ripe for their first loss in Dallas in the new century.

    Oh, and sophomore running back Adrian Peterson is banged up. He left the Sooners' 43-21 win over Kansas State on Saturday night in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Stoops said after the game that Peterson will be OK to play against Texas.

    Bomar hasn't played in this rivalry, yet hardly sounds nervous about what he might face in a game that has created nearly as many goats as heroes of late.

    "This team, when it comes to the Texas game, we have confidence. We have that swagger," Bomar said. "A lot of people might count us out just like that, but we're going to go down there with all...
    -10-03-2005, 04:21 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Mack Brown Breaks Oklahoma Curse
    by DJRamFan
    Longhorns roll in Red River Rivalry.

    Oct. 8, 2005

    By Jeff Sullivan
    Special to from The Sports Xchange

    DALLAS -- The talk this week in Texas and Oklahoma was that despite the No. 2 Longhorns' status as two-touchdown favorites, the 100th game of the Red River Rivalry was going to be worthy of its centennial title.

    Some believed that despite having already lost to TCU and UCLA this autumn, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops would somehow cajole his Sooners to a sixth straight victory in one of the nation's most-intense rivalries.

    Instead, in front of 75,452 fans at the Cotton Bowl, Texas ended a half-decade of frustration by dominating Oklahoma, 45-12.

    The Longhorns have never defeated Oklahoma by more than 33 points. In 1941, Texas also enjoyed a 33-point verdict, 40-7. The 45 points tallied by Texas also represented an all-time high against its border-state counterpart.

    Entering Saturday, since 2000, Texas had won 53 of 57 regular-season games against teams not residing in Norman, Okla. And despite being the defending Rose Bowl champions and defeating Ohio State on the road earlier this season, the pressure of Saturday's game rested mightily on Texas mentor Mack Brown. The Dallas Morning News ran a special section Saturday with a front-page headline of "Mack on the Spot."

    The Longhorns dominated every aspect of the game, though, and it was quickly apparent that Brown's five-year losing streak at OU's hands would end.

    TOP PLAYER: Who else? As he has in previous national spotlight games -- last season's Rose Bowl and at Ohio State in September -- Texas junior quarterback Vince Young performed as advertised and then some.

    His final numbers included 241 passing yards, three touchdowns tosses, zero interceptions and 45 rushing yards. And while those numbers are quite impressive, there was no padding of the stat sheet simply to boost Young's Heisman Trophy candidacy.

    After telling anyone who would listen all week that Texas wasn't going to play nervous with demons of the five-game losing streak in their collective heads, Young drove the Longhorns 82 yards for a score on the game's opening drive. He completed each of his five attempts on the drive for 60 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown hookup with sophomore Ramonce Taylor, and also ran for a pair of first downs.

    Young sent Oklahoma into the intermission reeling after a 64-yard scoring connection with sophomore Billy Pittman with just 17 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

    With the three touchdown passes, Young's career numbers include 28 passing touchdowns and 27 rushing scores.

    KEY QUOTE: "We've had a tough time in this series. I'm not proud of that and I feel responsible for that. To see the kids out on the field with...
    -10-09-2005, 12:52 PM