Texas coach Mack Brown could use a victory over No. 12 Oklahoma
Embattled Texas coach Mack Brown leads his team against No. 12 Oklahoma in Saturday’s Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
The Associated Press
DALLAS – All that matters to Texas coach Mack Brown this weekend is trying to win a game.
That hasn’t always been an easy task in the Red River Rivalry against Oklahoma.
With so much speculation about whether Brown’s job is in jeopardy, a victory by the Longhorns (3-2 overall, 2-0 Big 12 Conference) over Bob Stoops and the 12th-ranked Sooners (5-0, 2-0) on Saturday at the State Fair of Texas would settle things down — at least temporarily.
“None of that is a factor,” Brown said. “None of that matters. Winning matters.”
A fourth straight loss by the Longhorns to Oklahoma, especially another lopsided one such as those of the past two years, probably would accelerate a burnt-orange panic.
Oklahoma is 9-5 in the series under Stoops, with romps by 38 and 42 points the past two seasons and a 52-point rout 10 years ago.
“Anytime you win, there’s positive memories,” Stoops said. “Over 15 years, we’ve won our share here, so those are always fun.”
For the second straight year, neither team is ranked among the top 10. Before last year, that hadn’t happened since 1999, the first in the series matching Stoops against Brown.
Asked if the bigger challenge was facing Oklahoma or working with his own team, Brown quickly responded, “It’s with us. We have got to continue to get better. ... We have got a lot of things we have got to fix.”
The Red River Rivalry has been part of the State Fair of Texas since 1929. The game is played at the Cotton Bowl, where the crowd is split about 50-50 in burnt orange and Oklahoma crimson.
“It’s always exciting. It’s a great experience,” Stoops said.
“It’s really special. It’s always kind of a bowl game in the middle of the year.”
Texas holds a 59-43-5 series lead.
No. 25 Missouri visits No. 7 Georgia
ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia’s Aaron Murray won’t be the only accomplished senior quarterback in town Saturday.
Murray is the Southeastern Conference’s career leader in passing yards and is on the verge of passing former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow as the conference’s all-time leader in total offense. Those records, plus victories over top-10 teams South Carolina and Louisiana State, have placed Murray in the national spotlight for No. 7 Georgia.
James Franklin and 25th-ranked Missouri also are earning national respect. Franklin threw four touchdown passes to lead Missouri (5-0, 1-0 SEC) to a 51-28 victory at Vanderbilt last week.
“James is playing pretty well,” said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, a former Washington Huskies offensive coordinator. “This will be another test for him. James’ performance does not surprise me right now. His leadership is great, and he is kind of what I thought he would be. There are people around him that can make plays.”
Georgia (4-1, 3-0) lost tailback Keith Marshall and two receivers — Justin Scott-Wesley and Michael Bennett — to injuries in last week’s 34-31 overtime victory at Tennessee.
Marshall and Scott-Wesley are out for the season.
• No. 17 Florida (4-1, 3-0 SEC) visits No. 10 LSU (5-1, 2-1).
In terms of the national title, LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow said, “This is kind of like an elimination game. It’s like we’re both playing for our lives right now.”
• Coach Dabo Swinney of third-ranked Clemson has suspended Germone Hopper, who is the team’s second-leading receiver, and safety Ronald Geohaghan for Saturday’s game against Boston College for what he called poor behavior.