One of the biggest highlights of the jam-packed Saturday slate for Week 7 of the NCAAF regular season is this year’s edition of the Red River Showdown. The Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns will do battle at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Oklahoma enters the game ranked 6th in the nation and boasting one of the most prolific offenses in all of College Football. The team is a perfect 5-0 and has outscored opponents by a margin of 267-95. The offense isn’t missing a beat with Jalen Hurts behind center, while the defense has looked better than last year’s unit thus far.
Texas is ranked 11th and checks in with a mark of 4-1. The lone blemish came courtesy of a home defeat to LSU, a team which is ranked 5th and has been one of the most impressive programs in the nation through six weeks. Since dropping that tilt, the Longhorns have responded by ripping off three wins in a row, and they also have three double-digit wins on the 2019 resume.
These are the two best programs in the Big 12, and they have a habit of hooking up for some memorable affairs. We could be in store for another one on Saturday afternoon. Let’s take a closer look at this intriguing tilt, starting with the game lines.
Oklahoma vs Texas, 12 PM EST, Sat. Oct.12, FOX
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Oklahoma vs Texas Pick:
The Sooners were on the road over the weekend at Kansas. The end result was another double-digit victory, but they missed the cover. They walked on the field as 32-point favorites, but exited with a 45-20 win. Hurts contributed four TDs in the victory. Oklahoma has won all five of its games this year by 10 points or more. The lowest margin of victory was 18 points in the season opener versus Houston.
The Longhorns were also on the road this past weekend. They paid a visit to West Virginia and walked away with a 42-31 win as 10.5-pont favorites. Sam Ehlinger contributed four total scores in the victory. This was the team’s third victory in a row in the wake of the loss to LSU, two of which came by double digits. A few weeks back, Oklahoma State provided a test in a 36-30 win for Texas.
|Oklahoma||5-0||2-0||267||95||W5||1-Big 12||AP 6|
|Texas||4-1||2-0||209||133||W3||1-Big 12||AP 11|
Through five games, the Sooners have been dominant with a scoring differential of +172. The offense has dropped 40 or more points in all five of the wins, while opponents have only cracked 30 points once. That happened in the season opener versus Houston. Since that point, Oklahoma has held four straight opponents to 20 points or less.
The Longhorns are off to a solid start as well, but they have been nowhere near as dominant as their rivals with a scoring differential of +76. For the teams last two wins, the total margin has been just +17. Texas has scored 36 points or more in each of its outings, but they have also allowed three opponents to score 30 points or more.
While the offense garners the attention for Oklahoma, the defensive side of the ball has done a solid job through five games as well. This was a sore spot for the team last season, but we’ll have to wait and see how it holds up with some anticipated Big 12 shootouts on tap. The club is doing a solid job on pressure and protection, but giving up 90+ yards in penalties per game isn’t going to cut it against tougher foes.
Hurts is firmly inserted into the Heisman conversation. He has thrown for 1,523 yards, 14 scores and two picks while completing 75.2 percent of his passes. Hurts has also rushed for 499 yards and seven TDs. Trey Sermon leads the backs with a line of 45/345/4, while CeeDee Lamb paces the pass catchers at 18/439/7. Kenneth Murray leads the team with 37 tackles.
The Texas offense has been productive and balanced, while the defense is showing some weakness against the pass. The Longhorns can hold lesser foes in check, but this could be an issue as play in the pass-happy Big 12 continues to heat up. Shoring up QB protection is an additional area for the team to focus on. Ehlinger can sling it, but additional time to do so wouldn’t hurt.
Ehlinger has completed 69.4 percent of his throws for 1,448 yards, 17 TDs and two INTs. On the ground, he has run for 236 yards and three scores. Keaontay Ingram leads the way out of the backfield at 66/313/3. Devin Duvernay is the top pass catcher with a line of 45/463/4. Caden Sterns tops the team with 30 tackles, but Joseph Assai and Brandon Jones are right behind with 29 each.
This is one of the most historic rivalries in all of College Football. Texas leads the all-time series by a margin of 62-47. The Longhorns took last year’s regular season showdown by a score of 48-45 in a memorable affair, but the Sooners bounced back for a 39-27 win when they met again in the Big 12 title tilt.
For the season to date, Oklahoma is 3-2 against the spread and 2-2-1 on totals. Texas is 3-2 ATS and 4-1 on the Over/Under. Since the 2016 season, the Longhorns are 7-10 as underdogs and 11-5-1 ATS. The Sooners are 38-3 as favorites over that span and 21-19-1 ATS.
Through five weeks, the Sooners have been the much more impressive team. The team is lights out on offense, and the defense has been playing well to boot. Texas was viewed as a team that could take a big leap this season, but that hasn’t materialized as of yet.
That said, this is a game that both teams have circled on their calendars. The Longhorns can hang with the Sooners, but they may not have enough to pull out the upset this time around. Oklahoma wins, but Texas covers.