The Red River Showdown between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns started way back in 1900. The two teams have met a total of 116 times with Texas winning 62 of them. Last year’s matchup was a four-overtime thriller, with the Sooners winning 53-45.
This year’s contest should be a tight one, as the Sooners are favored by three and a half points (ESPN). Let’s break down each team on both sides of the ball to see who has the upper hand in this iconic rivalry game.
Oklahoma Offense vs. Texas Defense
Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley is one of the best offensive minds in all of college football. However, QB Spencer Rattler and this year’s offense have not lived up to expectations so far. OU is only averaging 5.7 yards per play which ranks 52nd in the country. The offense did perform much better last week against Kansas State, as Rattler completed 22 of 25 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns.
The Longhorns defense has had a rough start to the season. This unit has plenty of raw talent but they’re giving up 5.9 yards per play (90th in the nation). Texas has a glaring weakness against the run, which means that Sooners RB Kennedy Brooks could be in for a big day.
Texas Offense vs. Oklahoma Defense
New head coach Steve Sarkisian has this Texas offense moving at warp speed. Sark is an outstanding play-caller and he finds creative ways to get his best weapons the football. The Horns are averaging 268.6 yards rushing per game which ranks fourth in the nation. RB Bijan Robinson could be a dark horse Heisman candidate, as he has 652 rushing yards and seven touchdowns already this season.
The Sooners have come a long way on defense in a short time. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has put together a solid scheme that plays to his players’ strengths. The OU front seven has been impressive so far, especially against the run (only allowing 2.9 yards per carry). The Sooners d-line against the Horns o-line will be the most important matchup of this game.
Our Pick: Texas +3.5
This should be a fun game to watch as both teams are loaded with talent on the offensive side of the ball. Oklahoma is the higher-ranked team but they haven’t played a team with a pulse yet. Our numbers say that the Sooners should be favored, but only by a couple of points.
We think that Sark’s offense will be too much for OU’s defense to handle at times. If Grinch wants to stack the box to take away Robinson and the Horns running game, Sark will find other ways to get Robinson the ball in space.
Getting +3.5 points in a rivalry game is a no-brainer! The underdog in this series has covered the point spread in seven out of the last nine meetings. Take the points and yell Hook ‘Em Horns! Good luck!