Saturday afternoon marks the date of the 2017 edition of the Red River Rivalry in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl. This game, as long as I can remember, took place at 12:00 EST, so I guess they decided to push it back to a better time slot. The Oklahoma Sooners are on the heels of one of the biggest upsets of the year, losing as 33-point favorites to Iowa State.
There have been bigger upsets with respects to the point-spread, but none with implications like this. Oklahoma went from a playoff team, to a team sitting out of the top-10 at 12th in an instant. Ohio State won the national championship with 1-loss on their resume. They lost to Virginia Tech early in the year and still went on to beat Alabama and Oregon to win the 2014 National Championship.
It’s true about how you finish, instead of what happened earlier in the season. However, Oklahoma doesn’t control their own destiny now, they have to hope for numerous teams ahead of them lose. It’s rare that there are four undefeated teams going into the playoff, so the Sooners can’t give up hope just yet. Are they on life support?
Yeah, because Oklahoma must run the tables, including beating Oklahoma State later in the year. They still have that win against Ohio State in their back pocket, so they have some ammunition on their resume come December. Again, this is only if they run the tables. They would have wins over Ohio State, Texas, and Oklahoma State which would be hard to ignore.
Do you think they were looking ahead to this weekend? I’d say so. It doesn’t matter who they are, if you take a team lightly and go in unprepared an upset is the result. Oklahoma found out the hard way, after they allowed Iowa State to rally for a 38-31 win. Following the Ohio State game, I thought how I’ve never seen their defense that physical in a long time. A few weeks later they’re letting Iowa State dictate the game. So much for the physical defense.
Texas got their offense going against Kansas State, scoring 40 points in a good K-State defense. Sam Ehlinger looked like the quarterback Texas was expecting when he signed up to play for their school. He was advertised as a dual-threat quarterback who can do multiple things well. We seen it on display against Kansas State. Now, he must bring it to Dallas for the Red River Rivalry. Head below for our free Texas vs. Oklahoma pick.
Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners Betting Odds:
vs. Oklahoma +8(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Texas vs. Oklahoma Pick:
Ehlinger is going to be difficult to prepare for if Texas utilizes him like they last week. It looked like they opened the playbook a bit more for him, which is typical of teams to keep a limited playbook for freshmen early in the year. It appears that the training wheels are off and allowing Ehlinger to play his game. He rushed for 107 yards and 380 yards passing with 2 touchdowns.
That’s his game right there, and the numbers they’re going to expect of him for the next few years. It’s the first game we’ve seen him use his speed, so Oklahoma may want to be careful looking at his tape from USC and San Jose State. I like the Longhorns to completely open it up against Oklahoma.
The Sooners are 44th in the nation, allowing an average of 356 yards per game. They drew up such a good game plan for Ohio State, and now they’re regressed, especially against the pass. Oklahoma are 80th defending the air attack. They’re much better against the run, allowing 123.6 yards per game on the ground, 32nd in the FBS. Texas has the same issues, good against the run but getting exposed through the air.
Texas are 98th against the pass. They haven’t played a quarterback like Baker Mayfield yet, too. You could argue Sam Darnold but he hasn’t done anything, and the USC receiving core isn’t giving him any help. I expect Mayfield to have a field day on Texas in this matchup. This is his last Red River Rivalry, expect him to go out with a bang. Oklahoma are 1st in the nation overall with regards to offense per game.
Mayfield has passed for 15 touchdowns with 0 interceptions, parlayed with a whopping 74.6 completion percentage. The Sooners are going to do damage. If you think Ehlinger can keep up, then Texas is the pick. I can see this a 8-10 point game so the spread is dead on. I think Tom Herman and Lincoln Riley are too smart to just play into the others strengths, which is the run D. You can make a case for exploiting the secondary, though. 38-30, almost like a role reversal of last week for Oklahoma should take place. A selection on the OVER looks like a winning pick.
PICK: OVER 64.5 (-110)