football Edit

Mind of Mike: Scattershooting the Big 12 title game

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray (AP Images)

The Mind of Mike is a scary place, but we thought we’d go there to see what his thoughts are on the Big 12 title game.

MORE: Scattershooting the Big Ten title game | SEC | ACC | Pac-12

... Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has been electric all season, with 3,674 yards through the air, 853 yards on the ground, and 48 total touchdowns. There was some discussion of making Murray a five-star during the rankings process, but his lack of size held him back and he ended up ranked No. 71 in the country. Murry signed with Texas A&M out of high school and transferred to Oklahoma. A first-round draft pick in baseball as well, he will play his final year of football this season. None of the five dual-threat quarterbacks ranked ahead of him – Deondre Francois (FSU), Blake Barnett (USF), Travis Waller (now Jonsen, Oregon) and Brandon Wimbush (Notre Dame) have come close to Murray’s success.

... Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger may not be receiving the same national attention as several other quarterbacks are, but he is still piecing together an impressive season with 2,774 yards, 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions. This included a 24-of-35, 314-yard, two-touchdown, no-interception effort against Oklahoma in the first meeting. Ehlinger was at one point in the Rivals100, but an injury his senior season pushed him back to No. 115 overall. However, he was still highly regarded and, like Murray, ranked fifth as a dual-threat in his class.

... Texas duo Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson form one of the top wide receiver combos in the country. Together they have totaled 129 receptions for 1,826 yards and 14 touchdowns. Humphrey was ranked as an athlete coming out of high school and could have easily played defense as well. He was a high three-star at athlete, while Collin Johnson was a four-star ranked No. 165 in the nation at wide receiver. Johnson was a big pickup for Texas out of California, a state that Oklahoma also recruits very well.

... Aside from Murray’s rushing prowess, Kennedy Brooks and Trey Sermon are both game-breaking backs for the Sooners. Together they have totaled 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground. Brooks was a Texas kid who was ranked No. 183 in the country nationally at running back in 2017, while Sermon was a big pickup from Georgia and ranked No. 171 nationally in 2017. Sermon was ranked No. 10 at running back, while Brooks was No. 12. In between them was Texas running back commitment Toneil Carter.

Keaontay Ingram
Keaontay Ingram (AP Images)

... The running game for Texas has not been as potent as the passing attack, with grad transfer Tre Watson and true freshman Keaontay Ingram splitting the carries. Ehlinger is also a threat to run the ball, with a team-high 11 touchdowns on the ground. Ingram looks like he could be a future star, as he’s just a freshman. He was ranked No. 218 in the nation last year, but No. 7 at his position.

... The receiving duo of Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb has been lethal throughout the season for Oklahoma, totaling 2,146 yards and 19 touchdowns through the air. Both were four-star kids in the rankings, with Brown coming from the JUCO ranks and Lamb ranked No. 71 nationally in 2017. There was some discussion of Lamb being a five-star at one point in the rankings process because he was such a prolific talent in high school.

... While the receivers get most of the attention, tight end Grant Calcaterra from Oklahoma has proven to be a reliable target for Murray, with 22 receptions for 340 yards and four touchdowns. Calcaterra was ranked as a four-star athlete because he played wide receiver in high school quite a bit but projected as a tight end. He also, at one point, had the frame to grow into an offensive tackle if the desire was there.

... Safety Caden Sterns has been one of the top true freshmen in the country for Texas this season, with 59 tackles and four interceptions. He will obviously need a huge game against the Sooners’ pass-happy offense. He is a former five-star prospect.

... Aside from Sterns, the Longhorns have two additional playmakers on the defense, with linebacker Gary Johnson and defensive end Charles Omenihu, who have totaled 114 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. Johnson was the No. 4 JUCO prospect in the nation in 2017, when he chose Texas, while Omenihu was a four-star defensive end in 2015 outside the Rivals250.

... Despite the lackluster play by the Oklahoma defense this season, the linebacking duo of Kenneth Murray and Curtis Bolton continues to produce. Totaling 256 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and eight sacks, the duo has tried to lead by example this season. Murray was a four-star outside the Rivals250 in 2017, when he chose Oklahoma, while Bolton was a mid-range three-star way back in 2014 and wasn’t as heavily recruited as he should have been.

... Oklahoma’s pass defense has been victimized throughout the season, as proven by the unit only totaling four interceptions (only three by the secondary). Getting a steady pass rush from the defensive line has also been an issue for the Sooners, with Ronnie Perkins, a true freshman, sharing the sack lead with Murray and Bolton with four.

... Texas is looking to get 10 wins for the first time since the 2009 season, when it played Alabama for the national championship. Texas enters the game on a three-game winning streak, but only scored 24 points in each of their last two wins against Iowa State and Kansas.

... Oklahoma has given up at least 40 points in each of the last four games.

... Texas defeated Oklahoma 48-45 on Oct. 6.

... The last time these two teams played twice in the same season was 1903.

... Prediction time: Oklahoma 47, Texas 40