Game day greetings, Sooner Nation! The college football weekend we eagerly await every year has finally arrived. The Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns are just hours away from facing off in the 114th edition of the Red River Shootout/Showdown/Rivalry/whatever, being played for the 91st year at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
For the third consecutive season, this matchup will feature a different signal caller on the Oklahoma offense, with Alabama grad-transfer Jalen Hurts taking the reigns for the 6-0 Sooners, while a familiar face in junior Sam Ehlinger hopes to lead Texas to back-to-back regular season wins against his biggest rival.
It’s time to get your popcorn ready for the marquee matchup of the Big 12 on this action-packed Saturday of college football. Jack was unable to make his gambling picks this week, but I’m sure you’ll all understand — our guy’s holding it down for us down in Dallas. Party on, Jack. Hoist those horns down for peace, all f’in weekend! (Sorry, Eddie).
However, he went ahead and added the college football viewing chart, which is typically in his gambling post. You can find it down at the bottom.
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 and Jenny Taft
ICYMI, here’s the latest episode of Oklahoma Breakdown (Ep. 35): BEAT TEXAS WEEK with Kyle Carpenter of Barking Carnival and BLATANT HOMERISM PODCAST: Some OU-Texas talk with ESPN’s Bomani Jones. (As usual, earmuffs for the kids. Possible NSFW stuff here.)
I’m always anxious heading into this game week, as I’m sure many of you are, as well. We’ve seen in recent years when an undefeated, highly ranked Oklahoma team travels to the Cotton Bowl and gets handed an upset L by a Texas team playing the role of spoiler. This season, however, I feel the Shorthorns — as potent on offense as OU — are a sleeping giant, likely soaking up the talk of a resounding OU victory from talking heads and Vegas, alike. OU will need to avoid the RAT POISON, indeed.
I gave Kam my score prediction of 42-34 OU before learning of the not-so-promising statuses of Oklahoma’s tackles on an already inconsistent offensive line. I’m now more inclined to feel that Texas dirties it up at the line of scrimmage, and Jalen Hurts’s arm will be tested early and often from the UT defense. There’s a good chance defensive coordinator Todd Orlando dials up more pressure than what we’re used to typically seeing out of his Texas defensive unit, in order to exploit the weakened OU offensive line.
Lincoln Riley says Adrian Ealy and Erik Swenson are "highly questionable" this week.— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) October 7, 2019
"They're dealing with more than a bump or a scratch."
So, if that’s indeed the case when OU has the ball, Hurts’s mobility and improvisational playmaking skills will be the most important factor in giving the Sooners the win. Look for the oft-poised Hurts to make plays all game long and convert those crucial third downs consistently, while on the other side for Alex Grinch’s unit getting off the field on third downs as they have all season will be the countering key on the dynamic Longhorn attack. Ehlinger has killed OU on third downs the last couple of seasons. The Sooners must flip the script.
Sleek and lumbering Collin Johnson, Texas’s do-it-all, giant WR is expected to be back on the field after being absent the last couple of weeks with injury. Pairing up with possession threat Devin Duvernay, quarterback Sam Ehlinger has his targets to take his shots downfield and testing a so-far untested Oklahoma secondary in a way fans are used to seeing the past few years.
Is this year the Sooners defense responds with the pass rush of its own to make it tough on Ehlinger? I’d venture it’s a good bet, as Grinch’s defense could invoke shades of Brent V’s blitzing front. Let’s hope it pays off.
I’m expecting a grind-out first half, possibly with a combined 20 points going into halftime, and the offenses to open up a bit more in the second. Jalen Hurts takes over the game late to preserve an Oklahoma victory in a tight, intense contest. Sooners make more plays down the stretch to survive a hard-fought W against a very motivated Texas team.
Gonna be a close one, but I’m sticking with my original prediction. Let’s go get ‘em, Sooners.
Score: OU 42, Texas 34
Saturday TV Schedule (ET)
|South Carolina at #3 Georgia||12:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#6 Oklahoma at #11 Texas||12:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|#16 Michigan at Illinois||12:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|#23 Memphis at Temple||12:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Maryland at Purdue||12:00 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Mississippi State at Tennessee||12:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Rutgers at Indiana||12:00 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Miami (OH) at Western Michigan||12:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Toledo at Bowling Green||12:00 PM||CBS Sports Network||CBSSports.com|
|Georgia Tech at Duke||12:30 PM||ACCNX||WatchESPN.com|
|Ball State at Eastern Michigan||2:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Old Dominion at Marshall||2:30 PM||Stadium||WatchStadium.com|
|New Mexico State at Central Michigan||3:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|#1 Alabama at #24 Texas A&M||3:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|Florida State at #2 Clemson||3:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Michigan State at #8 Wisconsin||3:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Washington State at #18 Arizona State||3:30 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|#25 Cincinnati at Houston||3:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|BYU at South Florida||3:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Kent State at Akron||3:30 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|Northern Illinois at Ohio||3:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|UConn at Tulane||3:45 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Texas Tech at #22 Baylor||4:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|San Jose State at Nevada||4:00 PM||AT&T SportsNet||None|
|UNLV at Vanderbilt||4:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Iowa State at West Virginia||4:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Rhode Island at Virginia Tech||4:00 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Middle Tennessee at Florida Atlantic||4:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Georgia State at Coastal Carolina||5:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|UAB at UTSA||6:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Army at Western Kentucky||7:00 PM||None||WatchStadium.com|
|UMass at Louisiana Tech||7:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|North Texas at Southern Mississippi||7:00 PM||None|
|Fresno State at Air Force||7:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Ole Miss at Missouri||7:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Charlotte at Florida International||7:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|USC at #9Notre Dame||7:30 PM||NBC||NBCSports.com|
|#10 Penn State at #17 Iowa||7:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Louisville at #19 Wake Forest||7:30 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Nebraska at Minnesota||7:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Arkansas at Kentucky||7:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Navy at Tulsa||7:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|#7 Florida at #5 LSU||8:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#15 Utah at Oregon State||8:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Hawai'i at #14 Boise State||10:15 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Wyoming at San Diego State||10:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Washington at Arizona||11:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
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