By Matthew Girard
Killeen Daily Herald
Being the No. 1-ranked team in the country isn't always the most comfortable to place to be, but so far, the top spot suits the Texas Longhorns.
Facing their first test as the No. 1-ranked team, the Longhorns (7-0, 3-0 Big 12 Conference) dismantled the then No. 11-ranked Missouri Tigers, 56-31, but the road to staying undefeated and on top is far from a sure thing.
For the third straight week Texas will face a Top 15 team (No. 7 Oklahoma State) on Saturday and – for the first time under coach Mack Brown – then face its fourth straight ranked opponent (at No. 8 Texas Tech, Nov. 1) the following week.
After the win against the Tigers, Brown said the Longhorns are very aware of the challenges ahead.
"Our goals are to try to be the best in the country and to win the Big 12 Championship," Brown said. "So we've got to continue to improve each week. We have five more big tests and then we'll probably play Missouri, Kansas or somebody again if we do our job and get to the Big 12 Championship. Playing somebody twice is really tough as well."
Since Brown took over in 1998, the Longhorns have faced three straight ranked opponents three times (1999, 2002 and 2004) and are 4-5 in those contests.
The Longhorns are No. 2 in the country in scoring (48.1 points per game), No. 10 in total offense (484 total yards per game) and No. 1 in the conference in rushing defense (48.1 rushing yards per game).
Despite the recent dominance by the Longhorns, wide receiver Quan Cosby said Texas still has room to improve.
"We still haven't hit our stride," Cosby said. "We can do better than that – just little things about the game that we can always work on. We're just going to go back to work tomorrow."
Although Texas received all 65 first-place votes in this week's AP Top 25 poll, the ranking isn't going to the Longhorns' collective heads.
"I think we're a really mature team and we know we have our goals," offensive lineman Adam Ulatoski said. "It's one game at a time."
Notes: For the second straight week, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was named the Big 12's Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. McCoy threw for 337 yards on 29-of-32 passing and two touchdowns against Missouri. Oklahoma defensive back Lendy Holmes was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting two passes in a 45-31 win against Kansas. Kansas State kicker Brooks Rossman earned Special Teams Player of the Week by nailing two field goals, including a conference-best 53-yarder, in a 14-13 loss to Colorado.
Contact Matthew Girard at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569.