Oklahoma used a big day receiving from Dede Westbrook and a big second half to outgun Texas 45-40 in the Red River Showdown in Dallas Saturday. On a day full of big plays and in which the defenses of both teams struggled, Westbrook stood out with 10 reception for 232 yards and three touchdowns to propel Oklahoma to the win. The Oklahoma offense ruined Texas coach Charlie Strong’s defensive coordinator debut by accumulating 672 yards of offense on the reconfigured Texas defense.
The game was a tale of two halves in which the first half saw bend but don’t break defenses and sluggish offenses. Oklahoma turnovers also slowed down their offense but a late 71 yard touchdown throw to Westbrook from Baker Mayfield sent them into halftime with a 14-13 lead.
Both teams came out of the locker room with both guns blazing. Texas received the ball to open the second half and promptly went 79 yards in 5 plays with the big play being a 63 yard touchdown pass from freshman QB Shane Buechele to freshman receiver Devin Duvernay. It was Duvernay’s first college touchdown reception and he would lead Texas receivers on the day with 3 receptions for 81 yards.
Oklahoma answered right back with a 79 yard drive of their own but in only 3 plays. Mayfield hit Westbrook on a 42 yard pass for his second touchdown on the day to put the Sooners back on top 21-20. That would set the tone for the rest of the second half as both teams traded blows with big plays for touchdowns. Texas scored next on a 45 yard TD pass from Buechele to Dorian Leonard and Oklahoma followed that with a drive culminating in a 4 yard Mayfield touchdown run.
With Oklahoma leading 28-27 after stopping Texas for the first time in the second half, Mayfield would once again hit Westbrook on a 47 yard touchdown pass ending a 4 play, 76 yard drive. A Samaje Perine 3 yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter made the score 42-27 and the Sooners were never seriously threatened again. Perrine finished the day with 214 yards on 35 carries and two touchdowns for his best effort of the season.
Texas would add two fourth quarter touchdowns on a 10 yard pass to Armanti Foreman and a 22 yard run from D’Onta Foreman to get the Longhorns within one score with seconds left but no miracles were forthcoming. Foreman led Texas in rushing with 25 carries for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
Texas freshman quarterback Shane Buechele finished 19-36 for 245 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. But he had several other throws that were nearly intercepted and at times looked every bit the freshman playing in his first Red River Showdown. A late throw near the Sooner goal line was ruled an interception and thwarted a golden Texas opportunity to score after a Sooner turnover. Mayfield for his part, looked like the experienced quarterback. He evaded the Texas rush several times to complete big third down passes and set up big plays with his feet. Mayfield finished 22-31 for 390 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.
With the win, the Sooners move to 3-2 on the year and 2-0 in Big 12 Conference play. They will seek to keep their conference record unblemished next week against Kansas State in Norman.
Texas is 2-3, 0-2 with the loss and has now lost 3 games in a row after two season opening wins. Charlie Strong’s job security is hanging by a very thin thread and hopes to salvage his job and the season begin next week with their first home game in a month against Iowa State. Iowa State handed the Longhorns an embarrassing 24-0 loss last year and has been a major talking point for Strong’s detractors. A good showing is imperative in Austin next week.
|3rd Down Eff.||7-18||8-14|
|4th Down Eff.||1-1||0-0|
|Yards Per Pass||6.8||12.6|
|Yards Per Rush||3.9||5.1|
|Time of Poss||24:20||35:40|
Emptying The Notebook
With 85 combined points, this is the highest-scoring matchup in Red River Showdown history. The previous high was 84 in 2012 (Oklahoma won, 63-21).
Dede Westbrook finished with 232 receiving yards Saturday against Texas, breaking Oklahoma’s school record of 217 set by Ryan Broyles against Kansas in 2011.
The Texas defense had created only one turnover on the season before getting four from the Oklahoma offense and special teams.
Keep improving, keep winning.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) October 9, 2016
— Joseph Hoyt (@JoeJHoyt) October 8, 2016