ESPNDallas chats Texas-Oklahoma
Welcome to ESPNDallas.com! On Thursday, we'll be previewing this weekend's Texas-Oklahoma game with chats all day.
Our afternoon chat session begins with Tim Griffin's regularly scheduled Big 12 chat at noon CT/1 p.m. ET. He'll be followed right here with former Texas Longhorn Tommy Nobis at 1 p.m. CT and former Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys DT Tony Casillas at 1:30 p.m. CT.
Send your questions now and join the chat Thursday at 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET!
Tommy Nobis (2:03 PM)
I'm excited about being here today and trying to answer any questions that you might have. Let's get started!
Gus Ortlieb (Austin, TX)
Do you wish that they'd play this game at each school's home fields?
Tommy Nobis (2:05 PM)
There is such tradition in the Texas-Oklahoma game. I think alumni and fans would love to have a home-away series. With Oklahoma not being too far away, I think the fan base will be split down the middle. But I do think people would enjoy it if it was in a campus setting.
If McCoy gets the breakout game hes due for, does he become the front runner for the Heisman?
Tommy Nobis (2:08 PM)
I'm not the one that makes that decision. But I do think he is a front runner now but there is a lot of season left to play. His first desire is to help the Longhorns win. If he does that, then everything else will fall into place. All-American and Heisman awards will come along with good play.
Was the rivalry any more intense when you were playing
Tommy Nobis (2:11 PM)
(Laughing) I don't think so. I've become an old man and it's been a long time his I've played in that game. Tradition and rivalry is what players and coaches live for. Both teams have dominated in the past. I can ensure you as a player, you run onto the field in front of all those fans and there is nothing like it. The three years I played in this game (1963-65) was the best time of my football life.
Tommy...If OU shuts down Shipley..Do you think Texas still has a shot???
Tommy Nobis (2:15 PM)
(Laughing) Yes, I do. When you talk about a game this big, people forget about how these team prepare. Both teams will be prepared on every side of the ball for whoever will be on the field. The week leading up to the game, teams do extra just to get their mind and body right. They are extra motivated to do their best and come out with bragging rights. As a Longhorn, you want to be able to say "I beat the Sooners" and as a Sooner you want to be able to say "I beat the Longhorns."
Steve (Round Rock, TX)
Hey Tommy,If Jordan Shipley have a big game this weekend against OU, do you think he will join the Heisman race?
Tommy Nobis (2:17 PM)
I don't see why not. With their conference, tough schedule and all the recognition that Texas gets he'll be in the talks. I do think it's important that the Longhorns win and again, everything else will fall into place.
Michael (McKinney, TX)
How do you think Texas's running game will fare against OU?
Tommy Nobis (2:21 PM)
First of all let me say this, it's hard for me to follow the Texas program because I live in Atlanta. I only get to see about two to three games a season even though I am a season ticket holder. With that said, I can't really analyze one particular player this early in the season.
Will the Texas D-Line have a good chance against OU's O-Line to get after Bradford
Tommy Nobis (2:25 PM)
Being a Longhorn fan and supporter, I hope so. It's up to the Texas defense. I know the coaches will put in a good game plan and it's up to the players to out there and get it done. But I do think Bradford will be a factor in the game.
Your fondest memory of the TX/OU game while you were playing
Tommy Nobis (2:29 PM)
There are so many fond memories in the three games I've played against Oklahoma. Playing Oklahoma was a motivation in spring training to train harder. Running out on the tunnel seeing Sooner colors on one side and Longhorn colors on the other side was like running into a bee hive. It was so loud as they were trying to introduce players. Fans truly don't realize how important they are in a game like that. It's hard to explain the feeling. You have to experience it to know the feeling. I'm getting goosebumps just talking about it.
Larry (San Antonio, TX)
What will be the final score?
Tommy Nobis (2:30 PM)
(Laughing) You know who I'm going to pick to win. I don thin kit will be a hard fought game. They both have a chance to make it to a championship game. I say Texas 21-Oklahoma 17.
Tommy Nobis (2:30 PM)
Thanks for all the questions! Go Longhorns!
Buzzmaster (2:32 PM)
Tony Casillas is up next!
Tony Casillas (2:33 PM)
Happy to be a quest today. I think there is a small game going on this weekend. As far as the OU-Texas game, it's a great weekend. From the fans to former players. It's a great tradition and I can't wait to get started!
Tony, what's the key to the game this weekend?
Tony Casillas (2:37 PM)
If you look at last year, this game is always marked by big plays and turnovers. Last year, the Longhorns were able to capitalize on the play of Jordan Shipley. Oklahoma couldn't stop the big plays from McCoy to Shipley. This year, Texas has to be able to run the football. I think Oklahoma needs to contain Shipley and McCoy. They need to have momentum on their side to keep the crowd noise down.
does the winner of this game play in the national title game?
Tony Casillas (2:39 PM)
This is a must win for Oklahoma. In the past couple of years, the Big XII Championship has had teams from the south. If Texas wins this game and goes on to run the table, they have a better chance. Oklahoma already have two losses and I don't see a two loss team playing for the National Championship.
How much trash talking goes on on the field during a Texas-OU game?
Tony Casillas (2:42 PM)
Well there is always a certain amount of trash talking in any game but this is a huge game. You try to respect the other team but you play like to don't respect them. When you get to the stadium and you see what's about to happen, you get a wave of emotions that come over you. But you always have to talk smack, it wouldn't be a game if you didn't. The fans from Oklahoma and Texas will be talking enough smack for everyone.
Hey Tony C. you ready to watch your boys get their teeth kicked in?
Tony Casillas (2:46 PM)
(Laughing) Raymond we'll see. Texas will have their mouth pieces so hopefully that won't happen. You would like to think that you have the better football team but that always isn't true. I do remember this Raymond, when I wasn't playing and I came back to watch the game, all I saw was red and blue in the stands. All the Texas fans left and the seats were empty because I believe Oklahoma beat you Longhorns 63-14. That's a little trash talk from me!
What can Bradford do to avoid the rush and stay upright?
Tony Casillas (2:48 PM)
I would like to see Oklahoma get him out of the pocket. Maybe with some pass action. With him coming off an injury, he can't afford to get hit too many times. With a young line and the defense of Texas, he can't just stand in the pocket and take hits.
What's the defensive key for Oklahoma shutting down that tough Texas offense?
Tony Casillas (2:52 PM)
I think defensively that they guys up front are good at stopping the run and the Longhorns are good at running the ball. Texas hasn't really played great teams so far this season. Defensively Oklahoma can't get beat by the deep play. They need to give McCoy and the Longhorn offense underneath plays. They need to create turnovers and make the big play without giving up a big play.
Both teams have good offenses...do you think this will be a shootout?
Tony Casillas (2:55 PM)
If it becomes a shootout, I like the Longhorns. OU has some good playmakers but they lost one of their biggest playmakers in Jermaine Gresham early in the season. The Longhorns has the players to get it done. I don't think Oklahoma wants to get into a shootout. They want to control the clock and make this a low scoring game.
Tony, what was it like playing for Barry Switzer?
Tony Casillas (2:59 PM)
I always tell everyone when they ask me about the coaches that I played for that I was lucky to be able to play for one of the best if not the best college coach. I think I have a better relationship with him now then I did when I was a player. He was a great motivator, leader and a polarizing figure. When he talked to you, you listened. It's always great to be able to pick up the phone and get his perspective on the game.
Are disheartened by OU's propensity for choking in major bowl games?
Tony Casillas (3:02 PM)
(Laughing) That's a great question. Its one thing to play in the regular season, but the Big XII Championship game and the National title game is something totally different. But at the end, I guess you can say at least we made it. As a coach, you need to motivate players. Let them know that we have to close it out. End the season the way that we started the season.
Tony Casillas (3:06 PM)
I'm looking forward to a great game this weekend. This time out year it's always nice to call Matt McMillian (Oklahoma assistant coach) to get a sideline pass. It doesn't matter how old you get, it's always exiting to run down the tunnel onto the field during the Red River Rivalry. I'm looking forward to seeing Oklahoma kick some butt. Go Sooners!