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The Red River Showdown Lives Up To The Hype

Oklahoma may have saved their playoff hopes with a huge win in the Cotton Bowl.

Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire

The 112th Red River Showdown certainly lived up to the hype. In what is always a hard-hitting rivalry game, the Oklahoma Sooners were able to hold of the Texas Longhorns to secure a huge victory, 29-24. For the sixth time in eight yeas, the golden hat is headed back to Norman.

Oklahoma improves to 5-1 on the year and 2-1 in the Big 12, while Texas drops to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in conference play. This was one of the more competitive Red River Showdowns of the decade, and both teams displayed immense heart, despite a large deficit early on in the game.

Oklahoma started fast, as Texas seemed stunned in the first quarter, due to Oklahoma’s pace and offensive prowess. The early onslaught started when Baker Mayfield threw a 54-yard bomb to Jeff Badet to give the Sooners a 7-0 lead, barely two minutes into the game. Oklahoma added a field goal to extend their lead to 10-0 heading into the second quarter. Despite an excellent quarter from the Sooners, Texas trailed by only ten, thanks to a lengthy Oklahoma drive.

Early in the second quarter, Rodney Anderson slipped out of the backfield and found the end-zone on an impressive 15-yard run, extending Oklahoma’s lead to 17, and putting the offensively challenged Lonhorns in a hole. Oklahoma added another Austin Seibert field goal to extend their lead to 20-0, and looked primed to pull away with just over four minutes left in the half.

However, the Texas offense finally responded, and mounted an explosive drive, capped by a Kyle Porter screen pass. The Texas defense stiffened up the next series as well, with John Bonney intercepting Baker Mayfield, giving the star quarterback his first interception of the year. Texas added a field goal as time expired in the half, and shockingly held all the momentum after a disastrous start.

Oklahoma started the third quarter strong, driving downfield at will before adding another Austin Seibert field goal. Trailing 23-10, Texas drive down the field and was able to punch it into the end-zone when Sam Ehlinger pushed Chris Warren across the goal line.

Texas carried that momentum into the final quarter, as Sam Ehlinger dashed into the end-zone to give the Longhorns their first lead of the game, at 24-23. Baker Mayfield and the Sooners answered quickly with a touchdown of their own, as Mayfield found Mark Andrews streaking down the sideline uncovered. That score game Oklahoma a 29-24 with just under seven minutes remaining in the game, and really shifted momentum away from Texas for the first time all half.

The Longhorn offense began to mount a drive, but after Ehlinger was knocked out of the game for a few plays, the drive stalled, effectively ending the comeback bid. The Longhorns turned the ball over on downs with under two minutes left and the rest was history, as the Sooners escaped with a tough win over their arch rival.


1st Downs 20 23
3rd Down Eff 5-15 8-17
4th Down Eff 1-2 1-4
Total Yards 518 428
Passing 344 289
Comp-Att 18-28 21-43
Yards Per Pass 12.3 6.7
Interceptions 1 0
Rushing 174 139
Rush Att 39 39
Yards Per Rush 4.5 3.6
Fumbles Lost 0 0
Penalties 8-81 5-33
Possession 31:46 28:14
OU – B. Mayfield 17/27 302 11.2 2 1 69.1
UT – S. Ehlinger 19/39 278 7.1 1 0 49.7
OU – T. Sermon 20 96 4.8 0 20
UT – S. Ehlinger 22 110 5.0 1 18
OU – M. Andrews 4 104 26.0 1 59
UT – L. Humphrey 4 56 14.0 0 23


Texas seems to have solidified their quarterback position. True freshman Sam Ehlinger played his heart out and displayed great promise, as he went 19 of 39 for 278 yards and a touchdown, and added 110 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Austin native grew up a die-hard Longhorn fan, and seems to be the perfect fit for Tom Herman’s offense.

Oklahoma played their best game since their matchup with Ohio State. The Sooner defense finally stepped up and made some timely stops, albeit against a rough Texas offense. The secondary avoided allowing the big plays that have hurt them in the past, which is extremely encouraging for the Sooners. This defense still needs work if Oklahoma wants to challenge for a playoff berth, but they turned in a good performance against their rival.

Baker Mayfield arguably had another Heisman moment against Texas. He was extremely clutch, and willed his team to victory despite playing through a shoulder injury. He finished the day at 17 for 27 for 302 yards and two touchdowns, which isn’t jaw dropping for him, but it was enough for the win, against a great defense. Seven weeks into the college football season it still seems as if the Heisman is a three-man race, with Saquon Barkley, Bryce Love and Baker Mayfield all putting up gaudy numbers.


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