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Mack Brown and Texas have to beat Oklahoma on Saturday. The Longhorns coach (right) has taken a lot of flak for his five-game losing streak against Bob Stoops and the hated Sooners, especially given the scores in 2000 (63-14) and '03 (65-13). This is the first time since the skid began, though, that Texas clearly has the better team. Oklahoma was undefeated going into the five previous games; now Texas is unbeaten, at 4--0, while the Sooners are 2-2. UT is ranked No. 2, while OU is unranked. Brown and offensive coordinator Greg Davis have been criticized for conservative play-calling against the Sooners, but with a savvy leader in quarterback Vince Young and a ferocious defensive line that should manhandle Oklahoma's young blockers, there's no excuse not to open things up this time.

Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams

Despite the presence of Williams (left), who rushed for 1,948 yards and 22 touchdowns last season, the Tigers figured to struggle this fall because they had to replace a four-year starter at quarterback and four starting offensive linemen. The outlook got worse when Memphis's top two quarterbacks went down with broken legs. But the 5'10", 217-pound Williams has put the team on his back, stringing together three consecutive 200-yard games, including a 35-carry, 236-yard outing last Saturday in which he scored the game-winning touchdown to knock off previously unbeaten UTEP. The Tigers improved to 2-2 and could wind up competing for the Conference USA title.


1 Watch out for Maryland (3-2). Twice in coach Ralph Friedgen's five-year tenure (in 2002 and '03) the Terps have overcome multiple early losses to produce a 10-victory season. In last Saturday's 45--33 win over No. 19 Virginia, Maryland's previously stagnant offense exploded for 570 yards, including a breakout performance from sophomore running back Lance Ball (17 carries, 163 yards, two touchdowns).

2 The Big East's loss of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College to the ACC has decimated the conference. The league's teams are just 13-15 against Division I-A opponents this season, and last weekend a trio of its members suffered embarrassing defeats to ACC opponents. West Virginia, Syracuse and new Big East member South Florida were throttled by Virginia Tech, Florida State and Miami, respectively, by a combined 99--38.

3 Bill Callahan's radical offensive makeover of Nebraska (4-0) looks to be complete. After decades as an exemplar of the power-running team, the Huskers rushed for just 36 yards--their lowest total in 38 years--in their 27-20 double-overtime victory against Iowa State, but they won thanks to quarterback Zac Taylor's school-record 431 yards passing.

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