The pandemic edition of the Red River Showdown is on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Week 6. This isn’t going to feel like a normal Red River Showdown in Texas. For one, tailgating will not be permitted. That’s a huge part of the college football experience. If you’ve tailgated before for a big game, you’ll certainly know what I mean.
Attendance will be allowed at the Cotton Bowl, but only at 25% capacity. For some games, you wouldn’t even know attendance is capped because some stadiums only fill a quarter to half of their facility in a normal year anyway. However, the Red River Showdown is always a hot ticket for Texas and Oklahoma fans. As far as the on-field product is concerned, that feels a bit different going into this game.
Oklahoma isn’t rolling through their schedule and have had to deal with kinks offensively. The transition from Jalen Hurts to Spencer Rattler hasn’t been blemish free. Oklahoma has relied on quarterback transfers from Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Hurts in the last several years. Rattler, though, a freshman signed with Oklahoma out of high school. He redshirted last season and saw 11 attempts in garbage time.
The Sooners are coming off losses against Kansas State and Iowa State. They lost 38-35 against K-State at home and then 37-30 last week on Saturday night in Iowa. I don’t think you can call either game a letdown or lookahead spot. More so last week against Iowa State with Texas on the schedule, but after losing to K-State, you would have thought the Sooners would have been focused on the Cyclones.
There has been offense for Oklahoma, so I don’t want to say they’ve been terrible. But the explosive offense that we tend to see from the Sooners hasn’t been present, at least not yet. Rattler passed for 300 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception last week. He also rushed for 20 yards and a score on the ground. Through three games Rattler has put up 10 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 73.4% completions.
The biggest challenge for Rattler is keeping up with NFL hopeful Sam Ehlinger. Texas is coming off a hard loss as well. They were 33-31 losers in Austin against the TCU Horned Frogs. This was after the Longhorns were lucky to survive against Texas Tech the previous week. They needed overtime, but got the win by a score of 63-56 over the Red Raiders. The defensive flaws were on display again versus TCU. Head below for our free Texas vs. Oklahoma pick for October 10, 2020.
Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners NCAAF Betting Odds:
Texas vs. Oklahoma Prediction:
Texas heads into the Cotton Bowl with a record of 2-1. After their 63-56 loss against Texas Tech, it was fairly evident that this wasn’t going to be an easy season for the Longhorns. It was another season with plenty of hype going into 2020 for the Longhorns. But when is that ever not the case? Texas is always expected to finally become a contender again. Certainly with this defense they are not going to be successful.
Sam Ehlinger has to carry the load solely on his back with the defense being a non-factor. I think if Texas had a reliable defense, then this would be a dangerous Longhorns’ squad. However, Ehlinger can only do so much and can’t prevent the defense from getting gashed.
Ehlinger has passed for 14 touchdowns and 2 interceptions with a 63.3% completion rate. He threw for 32 touchdowns in a full season. Ehlinger is well on his way to smashing that career-high in 2020. He can also run the football ala Tim Tebow. Not the fastest guy, but is a tough runner that will surprise defenders.
Ehlinger has gained 130 yards on the ground for 4.8 yards per carry and a touchdown. He won’t be running over defenses in the NFL, but scouts will appreciate that he can move around in the pocket and roll out well. The Texas offense has averaged 51 points per game with Ehlinger at the helm this season.
If the defense can’t stop anybody, then it’s going to be all for nothing, though. Texas Tech, which is a quality offense, but nowhere near where they’ve been in previous seasons, racked up 56 points on the Longhorns two weeks ago. The Red Raiders ran the same simple crossing routes and Texas had no answers. An average offense in TCU was able to score 33 last week versus Texas. Rattler and the Sooners’ offense hasn’t been great in 2020, but this could be a spot for them to come out of their shell.
It’s hard to speak too favorably of the Oklahoma defense as well. Kansas State scored 38 and then Iowa State had 37 points up on the board last week. Ehlinger is going to be the most difficult quarterback they’ve had to prepare for this season. I’m expecting the Longhorns to exploit what appears to be a vulnerable Oklahoma defense. It’s hard to see them stopping Rattler and company, though. I’d look at the OVER in a game that likely won’t feature much defense.