COLUMBIA – Texas coach Mack Brown and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, whose teams will play Saturday in Dallas, are very familiar with each other's best athletes.
Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford won the Heisman Trophy last year and was healthy enough to play Saturday against Baylor. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, who finished second to Bradford in the Heisman voting, returns along with standout wide receiver Jordan Shipley.
Brown said Shipley, who leads the Longhorns (5-0) with 583 receiving yards this season, has had a big impact in more than one area.
"Jordan has been unbelievable for us," Brown said in Monday's Big 12 coaches teleconference. "He's consistent. He's a consistent catcher. He's open every game. He's got great hands."
Shipley caught 11 passes and also returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown last year in Texas' 45-35 win over then-No. 1 Oklahoma. He is active on the Longhorns special teams unit.
"He's one of the best punt returners all time in Texas history," Brown said. "I don't think he gets credit for the speed he has."
Stoops gave him credit, and said Shipley is a difficult receiver to contain.
"Well it's always a challenge," Stoops said. "You have to try and find different ways to double him. You've got to pick and choose when you do it."
Stoops said McCoy's athleticism has hurt the Sooners (3-2) previously.
"He's a great leader, he's every positive adjective you could think of. I thought a year ago one of the big factors in the game was his ability to scramble."
Brown said he was impressed with what he saw from Bradford in Oklahoma's 33-7 win Saturday.
"I thought Sam looked just like he did last year when he threw five touchdown passes against us," Brown said. "If I had not been told Sam had been hurt, I wouldn't have seen any difference on Saturday."
Kansas plans defensive adjustments
Besides Texas, Kansas is the other undefeated team in the Big 12 Conference. The Jayhawks trailed going into the fourth quarter last week, but beat Iowa State 36-31.
"We were able to win a high-scoring game," Kansas coach Mark Mangino said. " (On) defense we did not play as well as we'd like."
Mangino suggested he would try to make his defensive strategy less complicated for upcoming games and focus more on basic tasks.
"We played pretty good defense against two highly respected offenses early in the year," he said, in reference to UTEP and Duke. "We may be doing a little bit too much now. (We) try not to get too fancy or too sophisticated. Simple is best sometimes. We're not going to simplify too much," he said.
Ahead by five points in the fourth quarter, Kansas prevented a potentially game-winning drive by the Cyclones.
"Our defense showed character at the end of the game," he said.