This Saturday, the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 2-0) and unranked Texas Longhorns (3-2, 2-0) will face off for the 108th time in what has become known as the Red River Rivalry. The game will be played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. Both teams began the season with uncertainty surrounding their programs and both teams have taken different paths to reach this game.
Despite an early season battle at quarterback between Blake Bell and Trevor Knight, Bell has emerged as the top player and has provided consistency for the Sooners. Bell has thrown for 835 yards and six touchdowns with a 69.2% completion rate. Most importantly, Bell is yet to throw an interception. In addition to strong play from its starting QB, Oklahoma has rushed for over 1200 yards this season. Also, Oklahoma’s kicker Michael Hunnicutt has made every extra point and is 12 for 13 on field goals.
On the other side, Texas has struggled immensely and has even seen some coaching changes made this season. The Longhorns have been ridden with injuries to some of their key players and can’t seem to come up big late in the game. Texas’ difference makers are David Ash at quarterback and Johnathan Gray at running back. The Longhorns’ offense has improved each game, but their defense has struggled. They have given up more than 30 points in all but one game.
If Texas hopes to win on Saturday, its defense will have to contain Blake Bell early in the game and hope that its offensive starters stay healthy, as supported by ESPN. The game will have a bit different touch to it this year, as both teams will be sporting uniforms with gold in honor of the Golden Hat Trophy, according to the Houston Chronicle. Even though Oklahoma has dominated Texas in recent years, there are many implications surrounding this game for both teams and the game should be close. For Texas, head coach Mac Brown’s job security might change depending on the outcome. For Oklahoma, the Sooners will look to remain unbeaten and move into the top-10.