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Sooners outlasts Longhorns 53-45 in 4OT Thriller

Photo: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

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In what was essentially a must-win game for both programs, the Oklahoma Sooners (2-2, 1-2) defeated the Texas Longhorns (2-2, 1-2), in quadruple overtime at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday.  The win was the third straight for Lincoln Riley over Tom Herman, and the second straight loss for a Texas program that had hopes of competing for a spot in the College Football Playoff before the season began.

At halftime the score was tied 17-17, but the Sooners pulled away early in the second half, scoring 17 unanswered points.  Texas mounted an impressive comeback, scoring two touchdowns in the final 3:28 of regulation to force overtime.  The two teams battled through four overtimes before Oklahoma intercepted Sam Ehlinger to end the game with a 53-45 win.

The Longhorns were penalized 11 times for 101 yards , while the Sooners committed 10 penalties for 106 yards.

Both teams turned the ball over three times.

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger had his share of struggles and didn’t get the help he needed from his offensive line again.  The senior quarterback threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions and also ran for 146 yards and four touchdowns.  Ehlinger was sacked six times.

Bijan Robinson and Keaontay Ingram handled the remaining carries for Texas, combining for just 34 yards on eight carries.

Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler battled through a slow start plagued with turnovers but put together a strong second half to propel the Sooners to their first Big 12 win of the season. He finished the day with 209 yards passing and three touchdowns.

The Oklahoma rushing attack accounted for 208 yards with T.J. Pledger leading the Sooners with 131 yards.

The Longhorns have a bye week next weekend before hosting the Baylor Bears in Austin on October 24th.

GAME SUMMARY

After holding Oklahoma to -4 net yards on their opening drive, Texas running back Keaontay Ingram fumbled on the Longhorns’ second play from scrimmage. The fumble was recovered by the Sooners, who converted the turnover into a Gabe Brkic 19-yard field goal to give Oklahoma a 3-0 lead.

The Longhorns went three and out on their next possession, punting and giving Oklahoma the ball at their own 40 yard line.  After picking up a first down, the Sooners wasted no time in scoring again. Spencer Rattler found a wide-open Marvin Mims who ran it into the end zone untouched, capping a  four play 60 yard drive that took just 1:33 off the clock.

Demarvion Overshown picked off Spencer Rattler as the first quarter expired, setting the Longhorns up inside the Oklahoma red zone. Texas couldn’t find the end zone, instead settling for a Cameron Dicker 33-yard field goal.

With 13:40 remaining in the first half, Oklahoma held a 10-3 lead over Texas.

Spencer Rattler committed his second turnover of the day on the following drive, with T’Vondre Sweat forcing a fumble that was recovered by Juwan Mitchell. Texas took over at the Oklahoma 19 yard line and used three plays to punch it into the end zone on Sam Ehlinger’s six yard touchdown run, evening the score at 10-10.

The Sooners turned the ball over on their next possession, their third straight turnover, on Joseph Ossai’s forced fumble on T.J. Pledger. Texas went three and out, and Ryan Bujcevski’s punt was blocked by Oklahoma’s David Ugwoegbu. Sooners began the drive at the Texas 5-yard line and used five plays to reclaim a 17-10 lead on Marcus Major’s 5-yard rushing touchdown.

Sam Ehlinger’s second rushing touchdown came at the 4:14 mark in the second quarter, capping an eight play 45-yard drive that took 2:44 off the clock and tied the score at 17-17.

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The Longhorns received the ball to start the second half and managed -12 yards on three plays and punted to Oklahoma.  The Sooners benefitted from a personal foul on Ryan Bucjevski at the end of the play, giving OU the ball at the Texas 16 yard line.  Three plays later T.J. Pledger would rumble in from two yards out to give the Sooners a 24-17 lead at the 11:40 mark.

After another three and out for the Longhorns, the Sooners struck again, with T.J. Pledger scoring his second consecutive touchdown. The impressive Sooner drive milked over eight minutes off the clock and used 17 plays to extend the Oklahoma lead.

After three quarters Oklahoma led Texas 31-17.

Texas made a late push with Joshua Moore’s 9-yard touchdown reception with 3:28 left in the game, cutting the Sooner lead to 31-24.

The Longhorns struck again late, with Sam Ehlinger manufacturing an eight play, 84 yard drive that ended with a 2 yard touchdown reception by Keaontay Ingram which sent the game into overtime at 31-31.

Sam Ehlinger rushed for a touchdown and Austin Stogner hauled in a Spencer Rattler touchdown pass in each team’s first Overtime possession.

Tied at 38-38, Oklahoma started on offense in the 2nd Overtime.  Spencer Rattler capped a five play drive with a two yard rushing touchdown allowing Oklahoma to take a 45-38 lead.  Sam Ehlinger would hurt the Sooners with his feet again, this time scampering 25 yards for a score to tie the game up at 45-45.

In the 3rd Overtime Cameron Dicker’s 33-yard field goal attempt was blocked, giving Oklahoma the ball at the Texas 25 yard line.  The Sooners moved the chains enough for a first down but then elected to let Gabe Brkic attempt a 31-yard game winning field goal.  Brkic’s kick sailed left of the goal posts giving the Longhorns life.

After an incomplete pass to Charleston Rambo in the 4th Overtime, Rattler connected with Drake Stoops in the end zone for a Sooner touchdown.  Oklahoma was forced to go for two and successfully converted on Theo Wease’s three yard reception.   Oklahoma led 53-45.

On their next possession, Texas moved the ball to the Oklahoma 9-yard line before Christian Jones was flagged for holding, moving the chains backward to the Oklahoma 19 yard line.  Two plays later Sam Ehlinger was intercepted in the end zone by Tre Brown, sealing the Oklahoma win.

Aaron Carrara is the founder and publisher of HornSports and has covered University of Texas athletics since 2011. Aaron is a member of the Football Writer's Association of America and the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association and is a proud father to three boys.

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