3 Texas football players ready to breakout in Red River vs. OU

DeMarvion Overshown, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
DeMarvion Overshown, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Ethan Burke, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Ethan Burke, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The excitement is building for the annual Red River Rivalry game between Texas football and the Oklahoma Sooners this weekend. Texas will take on Oklahoma on Oct. 8 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas with each team trying to prove a point by winning one of the best rivalries games in all of college football.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns are an increasingly heavy favorite in this game over new head coach Brent Venables and the Sooners as this week has progressed. Oklahoma is very banged up and the team just didn’t look good in the last two weeks to start out Big 12 play.

Meanwhile, Texas has some momentum after playing well in a convincing 38-20 win at home over the West Virginia Mountaineers on Oct. 1.

While I would usually say that this would inspire confidence coming into a big game for Texas, Red River is often something that causes you to throw any records and assumptions out the window. What Texas needs in this game is for both sides of the ball to continue to step up the way they did in the win over WVU.

Who can breakout for Texas football vs. OU in Red River

It would also be nice to see some players that have yet to have a real standout game so far this season breakthrough against OU. Here’s a look at three players to watch that could break out this weekend in Red River.

Ethan Burke, EDGE

If there was one true freshman that I would pick for Texas to get a big game out of this weekend on the defensive side of the ball, it would probably be the former three-star recruit Ethan Burke. This first-year edge rusher got some early live-game reps in two of the first three games of the regular season.

Burke saw action in 32 defensive snaps spread over Weeks 1 and 3 against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks and UTSA Roadrunners, respectively.

And in that span of 32 defensive snaps, we saw Burke come up with four quarterback pressures and one QB hit. That came on just 19 snaps for him as a pass rusher.

Despite the success Burke found in generating pressure on the opposing quarterback in those two games, he has yet to get any defensive snaps in the last two weeks.

Moreover, Texas still did not get home all that much in the last two games. Texas’ pass rush has generated a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. But that amounted to just a few sacks in the last two games.

I like what I’ve seen in waves from sophomore edge rusher Barryn Sorrell this season. But the production from senior edge rusher Ovie Oghoufo does leave something to be desired.

If co-DC/LB coach Pete Kwiatkowski and the Longhorns defensive staff feels like a change is in order to start generating a more effective pass rush, getting Burke in the rotation at times this weekend against the Sooners could make sense.

I don’t know if this staff is ready to throw a true freshman into the mix against Oklahoma in Red River. But I don’t mind the idea of Burke getting in the game for a few reps as a pass rusher to try and shake up the looks along the defensive front.

It also could help Texas on the recruiting trail in the pursuit to flip the commitment of the four-star Oklahoma commit and Austin Westlake edge rusher Colton Vasek if Burke sees some time on the field in Red River.