Oklahoma Sooners vs Texas Longhorns
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 12, 2019
Where: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
DALLAS – Oklahoma has suffered only three losses while winning four straight Big 12 championships, although two of those defeats have come courtesy of Texas. The fifth-ranked Sooners will try to avoid a second straight regular-season loss to the 11th-ranked Longhorns today when the bitter rivals square off at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas in the 115th edition of the Red River Showdown.
Texas held a 45-24 advantage with less than nine minutes remaining in last year’s meeting before Oklahoma scored 21 points in less than six minutes to even it up with 2 1/2 minutes left, but Sam Ehlinger engineered a nine-play, 52-yard drive that led to a game-winning field goal in the closing seconds. The Sooners got their revenge less than two months later with a 39-27 win in the Big 12 championship game, officially becoming the first Power 5 team to win four outright conference titles in a row since Florida in the SEC in the mid-1990s.
Oklahoma boasts the most explosive offense in FBS (643.8 yards per game) and has yet to play a game decided by fewer than 18 points this season, although it was held to season lows in points and yards (545) in a 45-20 victory at Kansas last weekend. Texas has won its first two Big 12 contests by a total of 17 points following last weekend’s 42-31 triumph at West Virginia but has already shown its mettle on the big stage this season, going toe-to-toe with No. 6 LSU before falling 45-38 on Sept. 7.
TV: Noon ET, FOX. LINE: Oklahoma -11.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (5-0, 2-0 Big 12): Although he finished with a passer efficiency rating lower than 245.0 for the first time this season versus the Jayhawks (165.6), Alabama graduate transfer Jalen Hurts still leads FBS in passer efficiency rating (231.3), yards per completion (18.6) and yards per pass attempt (14.0). For the second time in 2019, junior running back Rhamondre Stevenson ran for over 100 yards and a touchdown on six or fewer rush attempts, needing only five carries to amass 109 yards last week; he has scored exactly one TD in every game. No Sooner registered more than two catches against Kansas, although CeeDee Lamb (two receptions for 25 yards) scored to move into a tie for first place in the conference with seven receiving touchdowns.
ABOUT TEXAS (4-1, 2-0): Roschon Johnson – a converted quarterback – took over for starting running back Keaontay Ingram (neck) versus the Mountaineers and ran for 121 yards on 21 carries, earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors with the best rushing performance by a Texas true freshman since 2015. Ehlinger has thrown 40 touchdowns versus only five interceptions over his last 18 contests, although two of those interceptions have come over the last two games – one apiece against Oklahoma State and West Virginia. Devin Duvernay, who is the only player in FBS with multiple 12-catch efforts this season, ranks second in the country with a Big 12-best 45 receptions – two shy of school record for the most through five games set by Jordan Shipley in 2009.
- Texas is the only Big 12 program with a winning record against Oklahoma (62-47-5), although the Sooners have won seven of the last 10 meetings.
- Ehlinger has totaled 391, 386 and 384 yards of offense in three career games against Oklahoma – the three highest outputs by a Texas quarterback in the history of this rivalry.
- The Sooners have held four consecutive opponents to 20 points or fewer in the same season for the first time since 2006.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 45, Texas 41