New school, same foe: Texas coaches prepare for another showdown with Oklahoma

Posted October 13th, 2017


On Saturday, Tom Herman will return to the Cotton Bowl.

This time, Herman will be the head coach of the Texas Longhorns. He was a graduate assistant at UT from 1999-00, and Texas beaten 63-14 by Oklahoma during his last Red River Showdown. Earlier this week, Herman said that score was still embedded in his memory.

Most of Herman’s assistant coaches are not as attached with the Red River Showdown. That doesn’t mean, however, that they aren’t familiar with Texas’ opponent.


Oklahoma went 11-2 last year with its only shortcomings being a 33-23 loss to Houston and a 45-24 blemish against Ohio State. That Houston team, of course, was coached by Herman, who brought six of his assistants – including defensive coordinator Todd Orlando – to Austin. Ohio State’s offense was co-coordinated by Tim Beck, who now directs the Longhorns’ offense.

On Wednesday, both Beck and Orlando downplayed last year’s experiences. When asked if he had a blueprint for beating Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Orlando said “They I don’t know if it’s part of it. They are a different football club at a different institution.” Beck used a similar line, saying “You know just I think they’re a different team obviously this year than last year.”

Here is a quick look at how Orlando’s defense and Beck’s offense fared last year against the Sooners:

Todd Orlando-Texas Longhorns
While at Houston, Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando held Oklahoma to its worst offensive outing of the 2016 season. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Orlando’s defense vs. Oklahoma

In last year’s season-opener at NRG Stadium, Houston held Oklahoma to 393 yards of offense and 23 points. The Sooners exceeded both of those numbers in each of the 12 games left on their schedule. Mayfield had a solid showing with 323 passing yards and two touchdown passes, but he was sacked five times.

Houston’s run defense really shined in the 10-point win. Samaje Perine ran for only 31 yards on six carries. Joe Mixon scored on one of his six carries, but 32 of his 40 rushing yards were picked up on one play. Perine and Mixon, by the way, may both start this weekend in the NFL.

Texas offensive coordinator Tim Beck coached for an Ohio State team that beat Oklahoma 45-24 in 2016. Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman

Beck’s offense vs. Oklahoma

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett threw only 20 passes in the Norman-hosted shellacking. Four of those throws, though, were touchdown tosses to Noah Brown, a 6-2 receiver who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys.

Oklahoma ranked 55th nationally last season in run defense, but the Sooners’ second-worst performance was its 291-yard allowance against Ohio State. (West Virginia ran for 388 yards in its 2016 meeting with Oklahoma). Ohio State’s Mike Weber ran 18 times for 123 yards, and Curtis Samuel turned 11 attempts into 98 yards and a score. Barrett also ran for 74 yards while averaging 4.4 yards per attempt.

The post New school, same foe: Texas coaches prepare for another showdown with Oklahoma appeared first on Hook ‘Em.

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