2 AM the night before OU-Texas: “No chance in hell I’m waking up at 6.”— C&C Machine - Oklahoma SB Nation (@CCMachine) October 6, 2018
6 AM: pic.twitter.com/pXfBVLjil0
During my time attending the University of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Sooners claimed a perfect 5-0 record in the Red River Shootout (or Rivalry or Showdown or whatever it’s called this year) against the Texas Longhorns. It was the time of a young Bob Stoops enjoying his golden years of coaching. It was also an ancient time in which brother Michael fielded one of the most dominant defenses in the land.
Ah, those were the days.
As I was reminiscing with one of my old college roommates earlier this week, we knew at the time we were lucky to be witnessing such greatness — especially after growing up suffering through the Howard Schnellenberger/John Blake years of OU football — and that things wouldn’t go that way forever. But one thing we probably didn’t know was just how lucky we were to see the type of defense that was played by the Sooners through the 2000-04 editions of the OU-Texas matchup.
I digress, back to the matter at hand — the 2018 edition of the Red River Whatever It Is Called in 2018. I think it’s safe to say OU is no longer known for that brand of defensive swagger these days. However, the Sooners have been the standard of excellence on the offensive side of the ball for the last three seasons led by offensive mastermind Lincoln Riley, and this Sooner squad won’t be denied often when the ball is in its possession this afternoon. I may be kidding myself, but it would be a watershed day for the OU defense to make a statement, too.
Head on down to the comments section for the game thread, where we’ll be asking questions, making predictions and discussing the day’s action with y’all.
TV: FOX 11:00 A.M. CT
Live Stream: FoxSportsGo
TV Commentary: Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Jenny Taft (FOX) / Gregg Daniels, Tony Hill (Compass Media)
Although Tom Herman may or may not be building what many across the nation are predictably calling an eventual contender, this won’t be the year he pulls an upset against his team’s biggest rival. A possibly wild first quarter with a back-and-forth rhythm will give way to a steady and spectacular display of offensive prowess from an Oklahoma team waiting to showcase the most exciting player in college football — quarterback Kyler Murray.
There is simply too much for this Texas team to contend with on OU’s offense. Even if the Longhorns are able to score some points on a suspect Sooner defense, which has shown vulnerability in defending big targets on the perimeter — the likes of which Texas boasts in Collin Johnson and Lil’Jordan Humphrey — Tom Herman’s offense just doesn’t appear to be able to keep pace with the Sooners for 60 minutes. Even if Sam Ehlinger can channel his inner Tebow (laughs uncontrollably while typing), it just won’t be enough to match OU.
It just won’t be enough against Murray, Marquise Brown, CeeDee Lamb and the bevy of running backs in OU’s stable, including the emerging Kennedy Brooks, along with the elite playcalling of Riley. While I expect this game to feature some of the usual twists and turns we’ve come to know with this rivalry matchup, Kyler Murray’s singular talent, dynamic potential and ability to execute under pressure will carry Oklahoma to its’ third-straight victory over a feisty Longhorn squad.
The Oklahoma defense may not be what it was at the turn of this millennium, but it will have just enough to slow down Texas and allow the offense to take the victory and the spoils.
Score Prediction: OU - 38, Texas - 31
Take care and enjoy the game today, Sooner Nation. Peace and Boomer Sooner. #BeatTexas