Two historic college football programs, check. Two National Championship winning head coaches, check. Two Big 12 football teams that can’t stand one another when they’re on the field doing battle, check. Now what have you got? The 107th meeting between the #15 Texas Longhorns and the #13 Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry.
The first edition of this rivalry happened back on October 10, 1900, with Texas earning a 28-2 victory. Last season, the Sooners got the best of the Longhorns 55-17 behind a strong performance from quarterback Landry Jones. This year’s contest will take place at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas with a start time of 12 p.m. Eastern.
This year, both teams enter the game with one loss on their record (Oklahoma 3-1, 1-1 in Big 12 and Texas 4-1, 1-1 in Big 12), so the loser of this contest could be on the outside looking in when the Big 12 Championship Game comes rolling around in December. Oklahoma is currently averaging 273.3 passing yards per game (37th in FBS), 190.5 rushing yards per game (36th), 38.3 points per game (24th) and 16 points allowed per game (20) while Texas is averaging 268 passing yards per game (39th in FBS), 209.4 rushing yards per game (28th), 46.8 points per game (6th) and 26.4 points allowed per game (66th).
The Sooners are going to need Jones (93-147 for 1,032 passing yards 7 TD and 2 TD) to have another huge game in his final Red River Rivalry match up in order for them to match points with a high-powered Texas offense. Running back Damien Jones will also need to show up in a big way for Oklahoma. So far this season, the junior has rushed for 341 yards and five touchdowns on 44 carries and also hauled in eight receptions for 102 yards. Jones will be looking to hook up with junior wideout Kenny Stills in the passing game in order to exploit the very vulnerable Texas defense. If the Sooners call hold the Texas offense under 30 points, then they will have an excellent chance at winning this one.
The Longhorns will need their potent offense to fire away early and often, which means sophomore quarterback David Ash must continue the fine play that he has shown all season. This year, Ash has passed for 1,276 yards, 11 touchdowns and just a single interception while completing 77.5% of his attempts (2nd in FBS). Ash will be looking to get the ball down field to wide receivers Jaxon Shipley (22 receptions for 250 yards and 4 TD) and Mike Davis (19 receptions for 263 yards and 2 TD) while running backs Joe Bergeron (69 carries for 300 yards and 9 TD) and Malcolm Brown (40 carries for 245 yards and 3 TD) will look to control the ground game. Texas will need their defense to show up in this contest if they are to have a chance at knocking off their Big 12 rivals and stay alive in the conference.
At the end of this edition of the Red River Rivalry, the Texas Longhorns will come out victorious because I just don’t see them losing in consecutive weeks and their defense will play with a sense of pride and urgency this week.
Texas 38 – Oklahoma 27.