NORMAN — Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles doesn't know much about Texas' ballyhooed defensive backs.
Doesn't know three of them are on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list.
Doesn't know at least four of them probably have futures in the NFL.
Doesn't even know their names.
And when asked by a Texas reporter how he plans to match up against a collection of defensive backs who someday will be playing on Sundays, Broyles bristled back.
"Well, hopefully one day I'll be playing on Sunday, too," he said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge. So is this team."
The battle of strength on strength in this Red River rivalry will be Broyles, perhaps the top receiver in college football, against arguably the best secondary.
Broyles is far from intimidated.
"I don't really know about all that, Jim Thorpe, none of that," Broyles said. "I've just got to make plays, doesn't matter who I'm going against."
Broyles' mettle, however, will be tested by a Longhorn defensive backfield brimming over with talent.
Cornerbacks Curtis Brown and Aaron Williams, the one who reinjured Sam Bradford's throwing shoulder last year, are projected to go on the first day of the upcoming NFL Draft. Texas' third cornerback, Chykie Brown, is also expected to get drafted. And along with Williams and Curtis Brown, safety Blake Gideon was on the preseason All-Big 12 defense after picking off six passes last season.
The Longhorns rank sixth nationally in pass defense, and weren't the cause for Texas' 34-12 loss to UCLA — the Bruins had only 27 yards passing.
"The uniqueness of this crowd is some of them have been playing a long time, because they got thrown out there as freshmen a couple years ago," said OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. "A lot of speed. Multiple players. Just very fast. They're very aggressive and attack-oriented. They're not sitting back soft. They've got the speed to get up in your face, press you, challenge you, make you work."
But containing Broyles will be the Texas secondary's toughest challenge of the season.
Last year in the Cotton Bowl, Broyles played with a still hairline-fractured shoulder blade, yet managed to haul in a 35-yard touchdown pass against the Longhorns.
This year, now 100 percent, Broyles leads the nation in receptions (41) and is second in receiving yards (482), despite facing double coverage almost every play.
Broyles has posted at least nine receptions and 100 receiving yards in every game so far. In fact, going back to last year, Broyles has seven consecutive 100-yard receiving games, the longest active streak in the nation.
"Texas has great players back there. And Ryan probably is an NFL first rounder, too," said Sooner quarterback Landry Jones. "So it's going to be an exciting matchup, for us, and for them."