While there are a number of interesting games that kick off at noon EST on Saturday, it’s pretty tough to not look at this year’s edition of the Red River Showdown as the most appealing of the bunch. The Cotton Bowl in Dallas plays host to what looks to be an incredibly entertaining game which will be broadcast nationwide by Fox.
The rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma is intense enough as it is, but the fact that both squads come in as nationally ranked schools ramps it up even further. The Texas Longhorns are currently ranked #19, while the Oklahoma Sooners enter this game as the #7 team in the nation.
Let’s take a look at this highly anticipated matchup in detail.
Texas vs. Oklahoma, 12 PM EST, Fox
- Texas +7 (-110)
- Oklahoma -7 (-110)
- Texas +230
- Oklahoma -275
- Over 61 (-113)
- Under 61 (-107)
Texas vs. Oklahoma Pick:
Texas opened up the season with a disappointing 34-29 loss to the Maryland Terrapins. Since that point, the Longhorns have delivered four consecutive wins, including last week’s tough 19-14 road victory over the Kansas State Wildcats.
Interestingly, the Longhorns seem to step up their play for games against nationally ranked squads. In Week 3, Texas delivered a 37-14 beatdown of USC, which came into the game ranked #22. The following week, #17 TCU went down to defeat to the Longhorns by a score of 31-16.
On the season, the Texas offense is averaging 243.4 passing yards, 153.2 rushing yards, and 28.8 points per game. Sophomore signal caller Sam Ehlinger has been solid, completing 64.7 percent of his passes for 1,185 yards, nine scores and two picks. Ehlinger has also rushed for 153 yards and three additional scores.
To date, the Longhorns have mainly been using a committee approach out of the backfield. That may be changing, as numerous reports point to additional work heading in the direction of freshman Keaontay Ingram. He has been solid thus far – 34/27/2 plus 10 catches for 39 yards – and the school is expecting big things.
Junior wideout Lil’Jordan Humphrey has been leading the way for the Longhorns pass catchers, hauling in 26 balls for 402 yards and three scores. Fellow junior Collin Johnson is a close second, as he has produced a line of 24/350/3 thus far.
Defensively, the Longhorns are giving up an average of 218.2 passing yards, 115 rushing yards, and 19.8 points per game. Texas has also generated seven sacks and forced seven total turnovers through the first five games of the season.
Oklahoma enters this game with a perfect mark of 5-0, which is good enough for first place in the Big 12. The Sooners have been pouring on the points so far, as the squad has outscored opponents by a score of 243-116.
Only two of their five games have been decided by a margin of 10 points or less – Week 3’s 37-27 victory over Iowa State and Week 4’s 28-21 win over Army – while the other three have been blowout victories for the Sooners. Last week, the Baylor Bears came to town and were promptly thrashed to the tune of 66-33.
For the year, the offense is averaging 317 passing yards, 206.2 rushing yards, and 48.6 points per game. Junior QB Kyler Murray has been outstanding. He has completed 70.6 percent of his passes for 1,460 yards, 17 scores, and two picks. Murray has added on 285 rushing yards and four additional scores for good measure.
Sophomore Trey Sermon has been leading the way in the backfield since junior Rodney Anderson was lost for the year to injury. Sermon has delivered a line of 55/294/2, and he’s caught three passes for 55 yards to boot.
Murray has a pair of talented pass catchers at his disposal as well. Junior WR Marquise Brown has delivered a line of 24/544/5, while sophomore CeeDee Lamb has produced 19/348/5. Oklahoma’s prolific offense leaves the defense exposed to giving up yardage to opponents playing catch up, and that’s reflected in the season averages.
Through five games, the Sooners are giving up an average of 252.4 passing yards, 152.8 rushing yards, and 23.2 points per game. The defense has produced 15 sacks, which is tied for 15th in the nation, and generated five turnovers.
This is one of the most historic rivalries in all of College Football, and it traces its roots back to 1900. Texas took down the first contest between the two schools by a score of 28-2. All told, they have met 112 times, with Texas holding an all-time series edge of 61-46-5.
Over the past decade, Oklahoma holds a 6-4 edge straight up, and a mark of 3-6-1 against the spread. The Over has been the correct choice six times over that span, but the Under has won out in three of the past five games. The Sooners are on a two-game winning streak.
In 2016, Oklahoma was the victor in an entertaining 45-40 game. Last year, the Sooners also pulled out a five-point victory by a margin 29-24. In addition to the two-game winning streak in the series, Oklahoma has been the straight-up winner in six of the last eight meetings of these two rivals.
While Oklahoma has been the better program in recent years, it looks like the Longhorns are on their way back to relevancy. Whether that translates into actually competing for the Big 12 crown this season remains to be seen, but Texas appears headed for a nice record and an appearance in a solid bowl game.
Oklahoma has legitimate national title ambitions, but its path to get there is filled with potential landmines. After this week’s contest, the school has a week off before closing out the month with games against TCU and Kansas State. The Longhorns have a date with Baylor next week before they take the following week off.
In the end, Texas just isn’t ready to take down a high-powered Oklahoma squad. That said, the Longhorns are a team on the rise, and there doesn’t appear to be any reason they can’t keep this one really interesting into the late stages of the final quarter.
We’ll take Texas plus the points in what could be an entertaining shootout.
The Bet: Texas +7 (-110)