Texas said all the right things regarding the return of Sam Bradford, the Oklahoma quarterback who came back from a much-publicized shoulder injury and helped the Sooners open Big 12 play by beating Baylor.
"Anytime you play an opponent, you want them to be at their best," said defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
Essentially, that set the tone for other comments among the Longhorns, who beat Bradford and the Sooners 45-35 last season but then were kept out of the Big 12 championship game because of a controversial tiebreaker. A three-way tie between Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech was decided by the BCS standings, and the Sooners held a slight lead.
That, of course, is one of the underlying elements behind Saturday's renewal of the Red River Rivalry in Dallas. Texas will seek to avenge the conference slight that left the Longhorns out of the national championship hunt last season; Oklahoma will seek to avenge its loss to Texas.
Game plans, however, will be built on scouting reports, not emotion. And in watching the Sooners, Muschamp detected little difference in offensive tendencies whether Bradford or his backup, Landry Jones, was directing the attack.
"I didn't see a whole lot of drop-off at all," Muschamp said.
For that matter, Texas coach Mack Brown didn't detect a whole lot of rust on Bradford in the Baylor win.
"If I'd not been told Sam had been hurt, I would not have seen any difference," said Brown, who referenced the 387 yards and five touchdowns Bradford fired in last year's clash.
Texas (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) probably needs to defuse those totals just a bit. The Longhorns have produced inconsistently on offense, and the unit generated just 17 points in a 38-14 win against Colorado on Oct. 3. Three touchdowns for Texas in that game came off returns.
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