The Longhorns are entering this year’s Red River Showdown looking to earn their first victory over the Sooners since 2015. Our staff analyzes if Texas can come away with the victory in Dallas this weekend.
Daniel Seahorn (2-3)
This is one of my favorite rivalries because records don’t matter, and anything can happen once the ball is teed up in the Cotton Bowl. 50/50 split right down the middle. Burnt orange and white on one side with crimson and cream on the other.
Last year the Longhorns almost pulled off the upset despite having a freshman signal-caller facing off with the eventual Heisman Trophy winner, but almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. This isn’t the NFL, where for some reason they still allow teams to tie. There has to be a winner and there has to be loser.
The Sooners hold the edge offensively with Kyler Murray leading a very explosive offense that will provide Todd Orlando’s defense with their stiffest test to date. On the flip side, Texas has one of the best defenses in the Big 12 and will definitely provide a solid test for Murray and the Sooner offense on Saturday.
I predict this game will be close when the clock strikes triple zeroes on Saturday. I’m also expecting both teams to hang some crooked numbers. The Longhorns have proved me wrong on multiple occasions this year. And they will have to do so again this weekend. I’m picking the Sooners in a tight one in Dallas.
Prediction: Oklahoma 34, Texas 27
Jameson McCausland (4-1)
It’s been a long time since a Texas-OU has meant so much. The Longhorns have an opportunity to knock off a team with playoff aspirations while continuing to pursue their goal of winning a Big 12 championship. Not many experts are giving Texas a chance, and it’s understandable. Kyler Murray is a legitimate Heisman contender and he has dangerous weapons all around him.
If there is one factor working heavily in Texas’ favor, it is the fact that Mike Stoops fields a defense that has a ton of question marks. The Longhorns have a huge size advantage outside at WR and Keaontay Ingram should be close to 100%. Texas is going to have to sustain drives and use the clock, but they need to also understand that playing conservative is a good way to get embarrassed and have the game be over by halftime.
I think this is a very close game, but it’s hard to go against Oklahoma and what they can do on offense. I think Texas is able to get enough stops to make it a game, but it’s hard to contain Kyler Murray and Lincoln Riley’s offense for 60 minutes.
Prediction: Oklahoma 35, Texas 31
Aaron Carrara (4-1)
Oklahoma owns a two-game win streak over the Longhorns, but those two games have been decided by just 10 points. Both teams are ranked in the Top 25, and the winner will be in the driver’s seat for the Big 12 crown. This is a high stakes game and I think the Longhorns are up for the challenge. Texas is finally healthy again and Sam Ehlinger’s development from game-to-game is apparent. Expect Keaontay Ingram to carry the load on the ground, and expect the Texas secondary to be challenged often. All-in-all, Tom Herman has to like where his team is heading into the big game on Saturday.
With that being said, Oklahoma is an offensive machine. Kyler Murray is playing at an extremely high-level, and he has an array of weapons at his disposal. Conversely, Texas has to see potential for success against Lincoln Riley’s defense, which ranks 90th amongst FBS teams.
This is a rivalry game where records are thrown out and hunger matters. Tom Herman said last week that winning is “intoxicating.” I think Texas wants to eat on Saturday, and will carry the “buzz” into Baylor next Saturday.
Prediction: Texas 34, Oklahoma 31
Harrison Wier (2-3)
It’s been a couple of years since Texas defeated Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl, but this year is as good as any for the Longhorns to shift the momentum in their favor. In rivalry games, anything can happen — and nobody knows this better than Texas.
The main advantage Texas has over the Sooners heading into this year’s matchup is defense. The Oklahoma defense has struggled against the likes of Army and Baylor, whereas the Texas defense is one of the best in the Big 12. Add this to the fact that Oklahoma has faced opponents whose combined record falls below .500 and Texas has quite the recipe for success.
The problem with this recipe is that the Texas offense has been inconsistent this season and the Texas defense will have to face its toughest challenge yet — containing Kyler Murray. Although Murray hasn’t been challenged much this season, expect Todd Orlando to give him everything he can handle, including having LB Gary Johnson serve as a quarterback spy all day long.
Although Texas has a great opportunity to pull away with a victory, I believe they’ll come up just short. Oklahoma is going to put up points, and the Texas offense has stalled just enough this season to give me doubts about their ability to keep up with a high-powered offense like Oklahoma.
Prediction: Oklahoma 27, Texas 24
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