It seems like just yesterday our 2019 Countdown to Kickoff series began, and already there are only 89 days remaining until the Oklahoma Sooners take the field against Houston on Sept. 1. Speaking of which, did you know OU has outscored Texas by 89 points since 2010?
Let’s take a brief look at each of the past 10 meetings between the Sooners and the Longhorns since the turn of the decade.
From 2010 to 2012, Oklahoma beat Texas by scores of 28-20, 55-17, and 63-21. With this stretch, OU was +88 over UT. Then the two rivals alternated wins over the next four seasons.
2013 - 36-20, Texas. I still can’t believe OU lost to Case freaking McCoy.
2014 - 31-26, Oklahoma. Remember this weird box score? Points are still paramount.
2015 - 24-17, Texas. Honestly, this one was not as close as the score indicates.
2016 - 45-40, Oklahoma. An epic shootout gave Baker Mayfield his first Red River W.
The Longhorns were +13 in total scoring margin over that stretch, but that trend didn’t hold for long as the Sooners won the 2017 matchup, 29-24 and avenged a three point loss in 2018 a couple months later with a 39-27 victory for the Big 12 Championship. In total, Oklahoma has outscored Texas by 89 points in the last 10 meetings, which translates to more than a touchdown difference per game. We’ll see if OU pushes that margin into the 90s this October.
Now let’s cover the days we missed since our last countdown post:
90 Days! - Neville Gallimore aka Big Canada
Coming out of St. Catharines, Ontario, Gallimore was a four-star recruit and one of the highest rated international prospects in the class. The big man in the middle is only the second Canadian to play for OU (OL Josiah St. John in 2014 was the first). After redshirting in 2015, he quickly found himself in the Sooners’ regular rotation, and even started six of the 13 games he appeared in.
Gallimore’s first two seasons were solid overall, but certainly not the picture of dominance he had envisioned for himself since he arrived in Norman. As a junior in 2018, he took his game to another level, despite the defense around him struggling for much of the year.
After starting in 11 of his previous 25 games, Gallimore went 13 for 13 last season, only missing the Kansas game due to an injury. His presence as a run stuffer was sorely missed against the Jayhawks, as they ran for an absurd 348 yards at a 9.7 per rush clip.
Here’s another example of what Gallimore can do when he’s on the field:
For his career, Gallimore has 118 total tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-loss, 4.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and a pair of pass breakups. After playing his junior season listed at 330 pounds, the 6’2” senior has dropped a significant amount of weight — 35 pounds to be exact. As Oklahoma prepares for a new defensive era under DC Alex Grinch, several players have changed their bodies to better adapt to a more intense pace.
If No. 90 continues to play with the same nastiness he’s had all throughout his career while also becoming a more finely tuned athlete, that would bode extremely well for the Sooners this fall.
91 Days! - Jalen Saunders’ 91-yard punt return vs. Iowa State
On senior day in 2013, the Cyclones were seeking another major upset under head coach Paul Rhoads. Oklahoma came out with almost zero energy, but just before halftime, WR Jalen Saunders put the team on his back and raced down the sideline for a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown.
This return remains the third longest of its kind in OU history, just behind Darrell Royal’s 96-yarder in 1948 and Eddie Hinton’s 93-yarder in 1966. The Sooners would go on to defeat Iowa State 48-10 that day, and finish the season on a four-game winning streak, including a monumental Sugar Bowl victory over Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
After being picked up by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Saunders bounced around five different practice squads across the league over the next year before finally settling with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2017. On May 16, 2019, he was released by Hamilton.
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