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OU, A&M, Texas, Baylor Face Off in Red River

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OU, A&M, Texas, Baylor Face Off in Red River

Texas looks to its home opener in the Red River Conference this weekend, as they host Baylor following a workmanlike 27-0 shutout of TCU last week.

The longhorns were supposed to have opened up conference play a month ago, but Texas Tech canceled. Still the Longhorns should be in comfortable position this early in the fall.

“In Texas every game is a rivalry,” said Head Coach Chris Hopps. And certainly Baylor qualifies. “I think these teams are improving and this is a competitive conference.”

Leading the way for the Longhorns is senior captain Tyler Hayes, who has been getting a serious look from scouts at 7s.

“He makes us tick,” said Hopps. “It’s his commitment to fitness and how hard he works that is really the example.”

Adding to that experience is a recruiting class of about 20 players with high school experience. Flanker/center Jon Murphy from Gonzaga is one of those.

While Texas hopes to stay undefeated, the same can be said of Oklahoma, which opened up the Red River season this past weekend with a 57-12 defeat of Baylor.

Michael Al-Jiboori may be the go-to guy on the scoresheet, but he’s not the only one, said Head Coach Jason Horowitz.

“A lot of these guys are used to doing pretty much everything for their teams, so now they have to learn to trust their teammates - trust is a word we use a lot around here,” said Horowitz.

Thomas Chinellato has turned heads at flyhalf. The French exchange student has shown excellent poise in running the offense. Jayce Crowder is the forwards captain and a massive presence (literally) in the pack while David Nixon is a classic #7 in the back row. Sophomore scrumhalf Alex Markowski is partnering nicely with Chinellato, and Manny Soto has showed well on the wing.

It seems the Sooners are coming together, but they have to face Texas A&M. While the Aggies leave their 2nd side behind to play an SWC conference match, A&M’s 1sts will visit Norman. It’s a test for A&M and one they have usually been up for.

Horowitz thinks now’s the time for Oklahoma to make a statement.

“We went there last year and we were hurting on numbers and got a tie, and I wasn’t too happy with that,” said the Sooners coach. “This year we are at home and fully-stocked. So we’re excited.”

A&M chose to split their squad into two conferences because, with their large numbers, they have struggled to find B-side games. So now their ends are pushing for a SWC title. But it’s a difficult ask for any program to send teams to two locations, especially of both are on the road at the same time. How that affects the Aggies 1st side remains to be seen, although it might be seen this weekend.