It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Texas fans. Texas will look to knock off the undefeated Oklahoma Sooners tomorrow in the Cotton Bowl. Currently, the spread sits at Oklahoma -10.5. We think that’s way too high, given the favored team has not covered the spread in many years. Texas will look to be physical, while Oklahoma will look to use its speed to run away with the game. It will be really difficult for Texas to come away with a victory, won’t it? Not so fast, my friend:
Without sounding trite, throw out the records, personal stats and all the underdog/favorite chatter – and be prepared for a close game. Oklahoma has Jalen Hurts, Texas has Sam Ehlinger. Jalen Hurts can run, and Sam Ehlinger is more than capable of holding his own while carrying the rock. The Oklahoma receivers are fast, physical and can separate in coverage. Texas has Devin Duvernay, Brennan Eagles and Collin Johnson is back in the lineup…. These two teams are equal offensively in my opinion which means lots of points will be scored. The Longhorns have a better team all-around this year than they had last year when they defeated the Sooners during the regular season, but Todd Orlando’s secondary is dinged up. Like last year, this game is shaping up to be a shootout that hinges on turnovers and the battles in the trenches. Texas has the best leader on the field in Sam Ehlinger, which is why I believe the Longhorns will pull off the upset again, but it likely comes down to a Dicker field goal in the 4th quarter.
Prediction: Texas 41, Oklahoma 38
For the 10th straight season, the Longhorns enter the Red River Showdown as underdogs. Despite losing Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the Oklahoma offense continues to hum along with Jalen Hurts at the helm. The real difference-maker will likely be the Oklahoma defense under Alex Grinch, who is in his first season in Norman. The Sooners have had the luxury of facing Texas Tech without Alan Bowman and Kansas in their first two conference matchups. Saturday’s matchup will be the toughest test to date for the Sooner defense. Sam Ehlinger will make his 3rd start in the rivalry and will have the benefit of having Collin Johnson back. As has been the case over the past couple of years, this game will likely be decided in the 4th quarter and come down to the wire.
Prediction: Texas 35 Oklahoma 31
I give the Horns more of a fighting chance than most people do. Oklahoma is a game every year that is competitive and high-scoring, no matter how good or bad either team is, and Texas thrives in those kinds of matchups. It is key for Texas’ linebacker corps to have a great game on Saturday by preventing big plays across the middle, which has become Oklahoma’s bread-and-butter in 2019. The Longhorns will also have to stop Jalen Hurts inside the pocket. With Oklahoma down two starting offensive linemen, Hurts will almost surely be flushed out of the pocket a number of times, and as long as Texas doesn’t let him beat them with his feet, the Horns should be in good position to pull off the upset.
Prediction: Texas 38 Oklahoma 34
We say it every year – this is a match-up where all stats and records go out the window. The past three games have gone down to the wire, and two of those saw crazy swings in momentum with 20-point deficits being erased in a small amount of time. OU is missing their starting tackles, they’re one of the post penalized teams in the nation, they haven’t been tested on either side of the ball and this may be the first year in a decade where Texas can say they are the more talented team. I expect Todd Orlando’s unit to play bend-but-don’t-break defense which will give Sam Ehlinger and Texas’ offense the setup they need to methodically throw the kitchen sink at OU. My head says OU because of recent history and their ability to light up the scoreboard, but my heart says sip the burnt orange drank and toast to Trill Sammy while he works.
Prediction: Texas 38, Oklahoma 34
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