Longhorns seek to keep rival Sooners down, angry

Published October 7, 2006

DALLAS - By beating Oklahoma last year, the Texas Longhorns made life more pleasant for themselves this week. Finally free from their long losing streak to the Sooners, they avoided the endless questions of whether coach Mack Brown would ever be able to beat his nemesis from across the Red River.

Darn the Longhorns' luck, though. As the latest installment of this rivalry approaches today, a new question is looming: Can they do it without Vince Young?

No. 7 Texas has won four of five games in the post-Young era, but that one loss was against No. 1 Ohio State. Until Brown and his new quarterback, redshirt freshman Colt McCoy, beat a ranked team - perhaps especially No. 14 Oklahoma - Young's shadow will continue to linger.

"There's no denying, (without) Vince Young back there it's just different," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said this week.

McCoy was on the sideline for Texas' 45-12 victory over Oklahoma last year, so he has some experience with the hoopla and excitement surrounding the rivalry., which enters its 101st renewal. Most important, he saw how well Young handled it all.

"He was calm, he was collected, he never seemed to let things get to him. He just went out there and played," said McCoy, who has done much of the same since losing to the Buckeyes, completing 83 percent of his passes for 514 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.

The Sooners come in still fuming over their referee-marred loss at Oregon and none too pleased about having spent the last year watching Texas soak up much of the glory that had been theirs lately. Beating Texas wouldn't erase everything that has gone wrong but it would help.

"It's a big boost," Stoops said. "But in the end, you still have a lot of football games to play."

UCLA: A misdemeanor assault charge against former running back Tyler Ebell was dropped because of insufficient evidence. Ebell was originally charged in May with felony assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury in connection with an April 23 attack on a man at a Denny's in Los Angeles.

Late Friday

Utah 20, TCU 7: Brett Ratliff passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns and Utah handed the visiting Horned Frogs their second consecutive loss after a 13-game winning streak. The Utes forced three fumbles in the fourth quarter, converting one into a field goal.