Red River Rivalry Blowout!

Saturday’s show down between Texas and Oklahoma is one for the record books.  However, for the Sooners it is a game to forget.  The Longhorns 49-0 victory over the Sooners is the Longhorn’s largest win in series history.  Oklahoma has never lost by a 49-point margin to any team until today.  This was also the first game in 167 games that Oklahoma has went without a touchdown.  Lastly, this is the first time in Sooner history that they have lost by 30 points or more in consecutive games.  It seems that Lincoln Riley’s exodus to USC has had farther reaching effects than all of us have anticipated.


Target Practice

Texas and Oklahoma put a target on their backs when they signed contracts to join the SEC.  They left for the money.  Many have posited that the Big 12 won’t survive without these two historical powers.  It seems that “the many” are mistaken.  Texas had already fallen to Texas Tech, and Oklahoma suffered losses to Kansas State and TCU.  Coming into the weekend Oklahoma, TCU and Kansas were all undefeated.  Meanwhile the Longhorns and Sooners were both 3-2.  My, how the mighty have fallen.


Longhorns Improving

Texas is much further along than Oklahoma.  The whole nation saw how good Texas could be with Quinn Ewers under center against Alabama.  When he went down, the Longhorns chances at competing for a national championship went with it.  Still, they only lost to the Crimson Tide by one point.  Hudson Card stepped in and was good enough to lead the Longhorns to two out of three victories.  He is a serviceable backup who played well enough to win against the Red Raiders, but the Longhorns defense faltered in a big way in Lubbock.  That is the story of the Longhorns season thus far.


Sooners Fools Gold

Oklahoma has been fools gold from the very beginning.  Defeating juggernauts such as UTEP, Kent State and Nebraska by an average margin of 33 points a game certainly points to domination, doesn’t it?  The truth is no one had any idea what Oklahoma was going to be like until the Wildcats exposed them in Manhattan.  The Wildcats showed the nation that Oklahoma is vulnerable in the trenches as well as in the secondary.  TCU followed the Wildcats game plan and improved upon it.  The Longhorns victory is a culmination of what the Horned Frogs and Wildcats had exposed and exploited.

Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables yells during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Texas at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The pace of the today’s game didn’t pick up until the second quarter.  Both squads were feeling each other as the Longhorns only scored one touchdown in the opening fifteen minutes of play.  The Sooners managed to get some drives going but they were playing with one hand tied behind their back.  The Horned Frogs knocked the Sooners starting quarterback out early in the 3rd quarter of last week’s game.  On a depleted Sooners roster, this year’s backup quarterback was likely rated as third or fourth on the depth chart last year.  Davis Belville’s play showed it, throwing for only 38 yards on six of twelve throws for the whole game.  The Longhorns dominated the second and third quarters scoring a collective 35 unanswered points.  The Sooner’s defense was consistently blown off the ball. Quinn Ewers and company had their way running and passing the football up and won the Cotton Bowl field.  The Sooners coaches didn’t have their team ready to play.


Texas Wins Line of Scrimmage

The worst part of this game for the Sooners is the fact that for the third week in a row, they have been dominated on the lines of scrimmage.  It started in the Kansas State game and has gotten progressively worse over the last three games.  The Sooners fail to establish any kind of line of scrimmage on the offense or defense.  The Sooners started the game off running the ball well, gaining 154 yards in the first half.  However, they finished with 177.  During the second half of play, the Longhorns stoned the only positive the Sooners had.  The passing attack was pitiful.  Forty passing yards is all the Sooners could manage.  The Longhorns flat out shut the Sooner offense down.  That has not happened since before the days of Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley.


Quinn Ewers Playing like a Pro

Quinn Ewers feasted on Oklahoma’s defense.  The Longhorn offense is energized by Ewers play.  He plays with poise, confidence, and intelligence.  As Coach Sarkisian pointed out, he only had one bad throw in the game.  Late in the second half he went to throw the ball away and instead threw a pop fly off his back foot, putting the ball in jeopardy allowing it to be intercepted by the Sooners.  It didn’t matter.  The Texas defense shut the Sooners down the next possession.


Ewer’s play is a sign of things to come for the young signal collar.  When you break him down you can see that he has the right amount of touch in his throws at the right time.  He can fit a ball over a defender in tight coverage third down throws and he can flat out launch it for a long pass as needed.  Third and long isn’t too big of a challenge for him.  Ewers isn’t easily rattled either.  His ability to pass is greatly aided by a fantastic Longhorn rushing attack led by Bijan Robinson.  Bijan has been the one constant consistent player on the Longhorn offense.  Averaging over 100 yards a game, he always gives the Longhorns a chance for victory.  Today’s game was no different.  Bijan rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns.

Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers celebrates by donning the golden hat with fans after winning an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma 49-0 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Right now, the stock is up on Texas and way down on the Sooners.  It is shocking to see a Brent Venables defense perform as poorly as the Sooners have performed the last three games.  They have allowed over 40 points a game in each of the last three games.  Venables used to be the defensive coordinator for Bob Stoops.  He eventually made it over to Clemson where he had even more access to top level talent from the south.  Venables is going to have to step up his recruiting game if he hopes to compete with the SEC when the switch finally happens.


For now, this year’s Red River Rivalry is in the books.  It set records.  It gave one team something to build on and another team something to work on.  For now, the Golden Hat rests in Austin.



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