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Golden: Words from veteran teammates partially prepare newcomers for Texas-Oklahoma

Horns have lost three straight

  • Texas and Oklahoma meet for the 117th time Saturday
  • Arizona's Kyler Murray and Dallas' Dak Prescott are the early-season favorites to capture the league MVP.
  • Murray has guided the Cardinals to a 4-0 start,. Arizona is the NFC's lone unbeaten team.
  • Texas ex Caden Sterns has two sacks and interceptions with the Denver Broncos through four games.

Oklahoma’s four-overtime win last year was some game, but it was missing a key part of the experience.

Atmosphere.

The Cotton Bowl was three-quarters empty because of pandemic protocols, so the freshmen from that game — players like running back Bijan Robinson and center Jake Majors — will actually be getting their first full look at the spectacle that is the second Saturday in October. Globs of fans milling around the State Fair, fried Twinkees, the split stadium, etc.

Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown picks off the ball against Oklahoma in last season's four-overtime loss. The senior is lending his experience in dealing with the hype that surrounds the Texas-OU matchup to his younger teammates this week.

And there’s a game to play, which might be a minor detail in some circles but one that isn’t lost in a locker room that’s looking to reverse the recent trend of OU dominance in this rivalry. The Sooners have won three straight, five of the last six, and nine of the last 12.

Bohls: Texas football team is learning who it is, and isn't, after these first five games

For those who haven’t played in any of the last 116 meetings, focusing on the task at hand isn’t as simple as not looking into the stands or trying to block out the vitriol coming from opposing fans. This is where it helps to hear from teammates who have experienced the series multiple times.

This will be linebacker DeMarvion Overshown’s fourth Texas-OU game, and he remembered being a wide-eyed freshman before the 2017 game and taking in something he had never seen before.

“I’m from Arp, Texas, population 900, and you’re going to see that many people just riding in on the bus,” Overshown said during Monday. “I tell (the first-timers) to enjoy it. It’s a feeling that not a lot of people get to experience, so enjoy the experience, but when we touch the field, it’s time to lock in because we’ve got a job to do.”

More:After his career day against TCU, has Bijan Robinson officially entered the Heisman race?

Overshown is thankful he had mentors like Collin Johnson, Sam Ehlinger and Brandon Jones to pull him aside and gave him sort of an idea of what he would be expecting in his first matchup. But just like Overshown found out, their words could only do so much once he got a first-hand look at what was happening on that concourse and in that stadium.

He’s passing along those experiences to newcomers like Xavier Worthy, but the young wideout will soon find out that words don’t do this Red River event justice.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is quickly rising as a star in the NFL. Murray leads the league in combined rushing and passing touchdowns through four games. The Cardinals are the NFC's lone unbeaten team at 4-0.

Kyler is killing it: It’s Texas-OU week and the best quarterback in pro football is a former Sooner.

Arizona's Kyler Murray is on a different level right now.

Through four weeks of the NFL season, three early MVP candidates have emerged and they’re all quarterbacks: Dallas’ Dak Prescott, Las Vegas’ Derek Carr and Murray.

Get your signs ready: Texas-Oklahoma to host ESPN College GameDay at Cotton Bowl

Prescott is already a shoo-in for Comeback Player of the Year and would the be odds-on favorite to pull a double with Dallas’ first league MVP since Emmitt Smith led the Cowboys to a second straight Super Bowl in 1993, but I’m giving Murray the edge for now.

It’s hard to be believe that just two years ago, Murray was torn between playing football and professional baseball, but I’m going out on a limb to say yes, he made the right decision.

Murray is what Johnny Manziel should have been. He has a similar skill, but is faster in the open field and much smarter with the ball when plays break down.

Through three games, he's off to what will be record-breaking year if this keep ups. He’s second in the league in combined rushing and passing touchdowns with 12, is completing a league-high 76% of his passes and he's third in total QBR at 74.

After Sunday’s shocking road blowout over the Tampa Bay-conquering Los Angeles Rams, Murray is sending out a message that the little guys can still get it done in a position that’s largely dominated by men who stand 6-2 and taller. Murray is listed at 5-10, but anyone who has stood next to him would insist he’s closer to 5-8.

None of the accepted measurables seem to matter in his case, except for maybe his heart. The 4-0 Cardinals are off to a special start because of their smallest guy.

Denver Broncos safety Caden Sterns has been one of the league's top rookies through the first four games. The Texas ex, who was the 151st pick in the draft, sacked Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson twice, one week after grabbing his first interception in a win over the New York Jets.

Texas ex Sterns makes early impact: Rookie safety Caden Sterns was one of the bright spots in the Denver Broncos' otherwise dismal game against Baltimore with two sacks of the elusive Lamar Jackson, both on blitzes. Sterns also has picked off a pass and is solidifying his position as one of the building blocks — along with first-round pick Patrick Surtain II — in an organization that has prided itself on putting great defensive backs on the field. He's off to one heck of a start.

Not bad for the 151st pick in the draft.

Urban blight: So Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer apologized to his players, Jaguars owners Shad Khan and his family after a video of him dancing with a woman who wasn’t his wife in an Ohio nightclub went viral over the weekend.

"I just apologized to the team and staff for being a distraction," Meyer told reporters. "Just stupid, and so I explained everything that happened and owned it. Just stupid. Should not have myself in that kind of position.”

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer apologized Monday to the organization, his family and Jaguars owner Shad Khan after a video of him dancing in an Ohio nightclub with a woman that wasn't his wife went viral on the internet over the weekend. The Jaguars are off to a 0-4 start.

I don’t know what’s worse, a high-profile coach who doesn't understand the dangers of social media when partnered with camera phones, or a 57-yard-old married man shaking his money maker with the full knowledge that he's the most important face in an organization that's worth a reported $2.8 billion.

The Jags should be credited for not overthinking the decision to draft quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick, but now they sit at 0-4 with a burned out former college coach who apparently has his mind on much more than winning games.