In the highest scoring Red River Showdown ever, the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners overcame their largest deficit in series history to stun the No. 21 Texas Longhorns (4-2, 2-1), 55-48. With the win, OU improves to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in Big 12 play.
It was déjà vu for Spencer Rattler inside the Cotton Bowl. In this game last season, the star QB was briefly benched after struggling to take care of the ball, but came back in to start the second half and lead Oklahoma to a win in quadruple overtime. Amazingly, the same thing happened once again, only this time Caleb Williams came in and immediately took command of the offense. Going forward, there’s a true quarterback controversy in Norman, but that’s a debate for another day.
Texas got the fireworks started early as OU’s Jaden Davis missed a tackle on a screen that led to a 75-yard touchdown by UT’s Xavier Worthy. To make matters worse, Oklahoma’s offense went three-and-out with the quickness, and on the subsequent punt attempt, Michael Turk’s punt was blocked. The Longhorns took over inside the five yard line, and two plays later, Bijan Robinson found the end zone to put his team up 14-0 less than two minutes into the contest.
Facing a two score deficit, Rattler and company responded right away with a methodical drive ending in a two-yard TD run by the redshirt sophomore QB to make it a 14-7 game halfway through the first quarter.
After a promising stop by the Sooner defense, Rattler took over once again, but a miscommunication with Austin Stogner resulted in an interception to set up Texas near midfield. A few plays later, Thompson found Joshua Moore for a 10-yard TD reception. Next, OU would stall on offense, and the Longhorns responded with an 80-yard drive in six plays to go up 28-7 with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter.
On fourth and inches to start the second quarter, backup QB Williams housed it 66 yards to cut the Sooners’ deficit in half. The Oklahoma defense rose up on the next possession to force UT into a three-and-out, and the OU offense capitalized on its momentum by adding a 39-yard field goal from Gabe Brkic to make it a 28-17 ball game.
Following a Rattler fumble, Bijan Robinson made the OU defense look silly on an electrifying 50-yard run to set up the Longhorns for an eventual score by Jared Wiley. After the ensuing kick-off, Riley would make the call to replace Rattler with Williams. The true freshman phenom led Oklahoma on a solid drive that resulted in another Brkic FG. As the half ended, Texas would respond with a field goal of their own to take a 38-20 lead into the break.
In the third quarter, both teams traded field goals for a 41-23 game. Kennedy Brooks then put the team on his back and broke off a massive 65-yard run to set up Williams and the OU offense in the red zone. On a broken play, Williams found Marvin Mims in the corner of the end zone to slice further into the Longhorns’ lead.
Caleb Williams out there making it happen. pic.twitter.com/bb7adO7HCp— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) October 9, 2021
Oklahoma continued to surge in the fourth quarter. After yet another Brkic field goal, Williams connected with Mims once again for an incredibly acrobatic 52-yard TD reception. Rattler would then come back into the contest to find Drake Stoops for the game-tying two-point conversion.
WILLIAMS ➡️ MIMS ARE YOU SERIOUS? pic.twitter.com/lSXzMuKE6W— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) October 9, 2021
On the ensuing kick-off, Texas’ Worthy brought the ball out of the end zone for an ill-advised return, and old man Caleb Kelly made one of the plays of the day by stripping and recovering the ball in one swift motion. On the very next play, Kennedy Brooks gave his team the lead on an 18-yard run. OU would go ahead, 48-41.
KENNEDY BROOKS GIVES OKLAHOMA THE LEAD. pic.twitter.com/NDrHfAo01r— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) October 9, 2021
Steve Sarkisian’s offense wasn’t finished just yet, as Thompson and company drove back down the field to tie the game up at 48. With just over a minute left in regulation, it was in the Sooners’ hands to either seal the deal or play more football in overtime.
Fortunately, Brooks completely stole the show in Dallas down the stretch. His consistent rushes eventually bubbled into big plays that changed the tide of the game. On 25 total carries, the redshirt junior racked up 217 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including this insane game-winning 33-yard run.
What a game. What a win.
Caleb Williams’ final line of the day was mighty impressive for the situation he was thrust in. The true freshman racked up 212 passing yards and two passing touchdowns on 16 of 25 attempts. He also rushed for 88 yards and another score on four carries. Simply put, the young man has proven himself as the real deal, and it’ll be interesting to see what Lincoln Riley does regarding the QB position over the next week.
Up next, Oklahoma will return to the Palace on the Prairie to host TCU (2-2, 0-1) on Saturday, Oct. 16. The Sooners have won their last seven overall meetings with the Horned Frogs, including a 33-14 outing in Fort Worth last season. A kick-off time and broadcast details for this contest are still to be determined, but expect either an 11 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. CT start on either FOX or ABC.
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