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Texas-Oklahoma preview

The Associated Press

Texas (2-3, 1-1 Big 12) vs. No. 11 Oklahoma (4-1, 1-1) at Dallas, noon (ABC)

Line: Oklahoma by 14 1/2.

Series Record: Texas leads 60-43-5.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Oklahoma has to keep winning to stay in the mix for the new four-team College Football Playoff. The Sooners were among five of the top eight-ranked teams that lost a week ago, though it is unlikely there will be another weekend like that when 11 of the top 20 teams lost. This is Texas coach Charlie Strong’s first game in the Red River rivalry at the State Fair of Texas, where the winner gets the Golden Hat Trophy.

KEY MATCHUP

Strong vs. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Mack Brown isn’t around for Stoops to kick around anymore. Texas won last year, but Stoops was 9-6 against Brown and put some serious whippings on the Longhorns over the years. Strong beat Stoops and the Sooners when Strong was defensive coordinator at Florida to win the 2008 season national title.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas: Linebackers Jordan Hicks and Steve Edmond. Hicks leads the Longhorns with 55 tackles, and is one of two Big 12 linebackers with at least two interceptions. Edmond has 46 tackles and five tackles for loss.

Oklahoma: WR Sterling Shepard has four 100-yard receiving games in a row, the second-longest active FBS streak behind the five by Kevin White of West Virginia. Shepard is second in the Big 12 with 130.2 yards per game receiving, behind White’s 153 per game. Shepard’s 215 yards last week against TCU was only two yards short of the single-game school record.

FACTS & FIGURES

Since the start of the 2000 season, the Sooners are 31-0 in regular-season games following a loss. … Oklahoma has won 22 of its last 23 games against unranked teams. The loss in that span was 36-20 to Texas last October. .. Texas has lost five straight games and 17 of its last 21 against Top 25 teams. … The Longhorns have 20 sacks, their most through five games since 1985.  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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