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Red River Shootout — Oklahoma Football vs. Texas: Game preview, storylines & predictions

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All eyes are upon the Cotton Bowl in Dallas for this monumental showdown.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 06 Red River Showdown - Texas v Oklahoma Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The annual Red River Shootout is upon us as the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners are set to face off against the No. 11 ranked Texas Longhorns. The first meeting between the two schools began in 1900 and the school from Austin, TX currently holds series lead 62-47-5. However, it should be known that Oklahoma holds a 13-7 edge in the series since 2000 if we’re counting the 2019 Big 12 Title Game (we should) as well as a 7-3 series edge since 2010. Since WWII, Oklahoma has an advantage of 36-35-3.

The most cliché thing we can say about this game at the State Fair is to throw out the record books, but it’s true. The underdog mentality has given life to underdog Texas teams this decade, as the Sooners have been heavy favorites while Mack Brown, Charlie Strong, and Tom Herman have been at the helm. In recent history, the records have meant nothing when the team south of the Red River would hoist and don the Golden Hat for post game festivities.

Time & TV: Saturday, 11 a.m. CT, FOX

Commentators: Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Joel Klatt (analyst) and sideline reporter Jenny Taft.

Line: Oklahoma -10.5 (as of Friday at 8 a.m.)

O/U: 76

Q & A with Burnt Orange Nation

Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast: Talking food at the State Fair, recapping Kansas and looking forward to the Red River Shootout

Allen Kenney talks to Bomani Jones of ESPN to preview the Texas game

Storylines

Texas dealing with injuries

Texas has been missing quite a few players, but the ‘Horns are still going to be without the services of Jalen Green and Caden Sterns — both integral pieces to the Texas defense. Also, the Longhorns are still missing the services of Josh Thompson, another defensive back, due to a broken foot.

The Texas defense has been gashed for points vs LSU, Oklahoma State and West Virginia, giving up totals of 45, 30, and 31. However, Todd Orlando was able to bring the pressure on Austin Kendall while in Morgantown, W.V. and force four interceptions. This brings us to the next storyline...

The Sooners are still having issues at OT

As Lincoln Riley said, Adrian Ealy and Erik Swenson are big question marks heading into the weekend. The Sooners have yet to sustain any sort of consistency on the offensive line, as Bill Bedenbaugh has been trying to make the best of a very fluid revolving door for his unit. Without Ealy and Swenson, OU has deployed R.J. Proctor at LT, shifted Tyrese Robinson from RG to RT and inserted redshirt freshman Brey Walker at RG. All in all, it’s been a bit of a mess.

Swenson is rumored to have a pretty serious injury that would maybe cause him to miss most of the 2019 season, but it’s quite possible Adrian Ealy makes a return to the starting unit for the game this weekend. Regardless, the offensive line is a group that needs time and snaps to gel and act as one, and the Sooners have not had any continuity at that position since Week 1.

There is no fun allowed for players and hand gestures

It was made very clear over the summer that Big 12 Officials would penalize teams that decided to do the “horns down” motion since last year’s debacle involving Will Grier. Now, it’s very interesting because the fans on both sides hate it, but also it apparently only applies to certain teams or crews since LSU players flashed the “horns down” during their bout in Austin and were not penalized for it. That, of course, was an SEC crew.

Let’s revisit a tweet from Sam Ehlinger that has since been deleted. The internet, of course, never forgets.

The Texas Longhorn players claim to want the smoke, and Ronnie Perkins is here for it

These quotes get a “yikes dawg” from me. These young men are certainly excited about playing the Oklahoma Sooners this weekend and are on the verge of talking out of their own buttocks. The Texas leadership is not averse to such comments about their opponents, as B.J. Foster also said of Jalen Hurts, “He’s not dumb, He’s gonna have to slide, or it’s not gonna be good for him.”

So while the Texas players are allowed to talk and do their own hand gestures, the Oklahoma players essentially sit in silence. Or... well, until Ronnie Perkins finds out and posts on social media.

As what some might consider a grown man, I am here for all of this chiding and tension clouding the air. Full-grown athletes all want a piece of each other and they are making it known, which makes the inability to do the “horns down” hand gesture more bearable.

Thoughts on the game

After everything is said and done, this game reminds me too much of 2015. Baker Mayfield had a patchwork offensive line that wasn’t finished yet and had no time to throw, leading to sacks and costly turnovers. Although the Oklahoma defense is improved, so is the Texas offense. I see Jalen Hurts scrambling more for his life than for extra yards.

Our Predictions

Kamiar Mehrabian: Texas 35, Oklahoma 24

Austin Brown: Oklahoma 41, Texas 24

Kartik Rajendran: Oklahoma 42, Texas 34

Seth Oliveras: Oklahoma 43, Texas 37

Jack Shields: Oklahoma 38, Texas 31

Allen Kenney: Oklahoma 42, Texas 30 (here’s his preview for Athlon)