The 105th edition of the Red River Rivalry commences as the #21 Texas Longhorns (3-1) visit the #8 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0) during week five of NCAA college football season. Vegas odds have placed Oklahoma as -3 point favorites at home.
Texas’s 34-12 loss last week to UCLA took some of the luster off this game nationally but the rivalry is still a big deal for Big 12 positioning and for bragging rights between the two rivals. Texas was outdone against UCLA by five turnovers and a leaky defense that surrendered 291 yards in total offense, including over 200 yards on the ground. Garrett Gilbert did not play poorly, throwing for 264 yards and a touchdown, but many were short passes and the running game was stymied. The game played at Austin was a shocker in many ways and may have exposed the Texas defense against a powerful Oklahoma offensive unit.
Oklahoma had its own struggles but survived the team’s first road test in Cincinnati, downing the Bearcats 31-29. Both teams moved the ball at will, and while Oklahoma passed for 370 yards, the Bearcats did just as well, gaining 461 yards of total offense. Quarterback Landry Jones is having a terrific year with 1221 yards passing and 9 touchdown passes while receiver Ryan Broyles has 41 catches, 482 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Running back DeMarco Murray has also been a big contributor with 436 yards and 7 touchdowns, though he was held to just 67 yards against Cincinnati.
Texas will need to take better care of the ball if they have any chance of pulling-off the upset in Norman. Oklahoma, on the other hand, should find some big plays against the Texas defense, stand poised to cover the spread, and gain the upper hand in the Red River Rivalry.
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