WY – Though Texas finished last season as one of the top teams in the country following its third BCS bowl victory in five years, the Longhorns felt like it should have ended differently.
One game into the 2009 campaign, they're seemingly already in good position to accomplish what they didn't last year.
Bet College Football Week 2
The second-ranked Longhorns look to build on a convincing season-opening victory and take advantage of a rival's early stumble as they visit Wyoming on Saturday.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made
Texas -33.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 87% of bets for this game have been placed on
Texas -33.5 (View College Football bet percentages).
Texas went 12-1 last season, beating
State in the Fiesta Bowl and finishing fourth in the AP poll. The Longhorns, though, were frustrated that they didn't get a chance to play in the national championship game.
They lost out on a trip to the Big 12 title game on a tiebreaker despite defeating eventual conference champ
Oklahoma during the season. The Sooners rode their third consecutive Big 12 title to the national championship game, where they lost to
Texas already has a leg up on
Oklahoma. The Longhorns cruised to a 59-20 win over Louisiana-Monroe last Saturday, while the Sooners fell 14-13 against BYU in part because reigning Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford suffered a shoulder injury that could keep him sidelined for a month.
Texas coach Mack Brown was less concerned with what
Oklahoma did than what he saw on the field against the Warhawks. Heisman finalist Colt McCoy completed 21 of 29 passes for 317 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, Jordan Shipley caught eight passes for a career-high 180 yards and a TD, and freshman tailback D.J. Monroe returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball.
It was an impressive showing but not as polished as Brown expects from a team with national title aspirations.
"Colt wasn't as pleased with himself in the first half, but his standard is set really, really high," Brown said. "If we were great tonight, why practice any more? Opening games should be your worst."
The Longhorns also had some concerns about their defense after giving up the most points in a season opener since a 23-20 loss to
State in 1999.
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp didn't take solace in the fact that 10 of the points his unit allowed came in the fourth quarter, after the Longhorns had put the game away and their starters had been replaced.
"We don't want to give up 20 points. Ever," Muschamp said.
Texas' defense could again be challenged by a
Wyoming team that used a new no-huddle, spread offense to beat
State 29-22 in its opener last Saturday.
The Cowboys were last among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams with 12.7 points per game last season and 108th with 296.0 scrimmage yards per contest, but they totaled 434 yards to give Dave Christensen a win in his coaching debut.
Darius Terry rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman Austyn Carta-Samuels threw for 101 yards and ran for 22 more.
Christensen, who spent the last eight seasons as the offensive coordinator at
Missouri, said he thought the offense missed some opportunities.
Wyoming failed to convert on two possessions that started deep in
State territory in the third quarter.
"That's a little disheartening, but we'll work on that," he said. "We'll improve."
It might take some dramatic progress to keep up with
Texas, the highest-ranked team ever to visit
Laramie. The Longhorns won their first two meetings with the Cowboys in 1974 and '78.
Wyoming, which was outscored 138-14 in three losses against Top 25 teams last season, hasn't beaten a ranked opponent since 2002 and has never defeated a team ranked better than 11th.
Bet College Football Week 2
Posted: 9/8/09 1:49PM ET