Five bold predictions for Texas’ matchup with Oklahoma

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The Red River Rivalry is finally here, and both teams are vying to ascend to the top of the Big 12 rankings.

While Texas has picked up major momentum as of late thanks to the dominance of Heisman contender Bijan Robinson, Oklahoma has been somewhat underwhelming despite their perfect record.

This Oklahoma squad looks different than the one’s we have grown accustomed to recently. Instead of having a poor defense, it’s seems that their offense forgot how to be transcending. The Sooners’ offense has struggled against everyone, including sub .500 Big 12 teams to Group of Five schools.

Texas enters the Red River Showdown ranked as the No. 21 team in the nation, and a victory over Oklahoma would at least propel them into the top-15, whereas Oklahoma is ranked No. 6 at the moment and could possibly bounce back into the top four with a signature win this week.

This year’s Red River Showdown will feature two of college football’s best play callers in Steve Sarkisian and Lincoln Riley, and regardless of where the teams rank, this rivalry always has potential to be an instant classic.

It is time for my weekly bold predictions, and hopefully this is a bounce back week after the TCU predictions did not go so hot.

Casey Thompson outguns Spencer Rattler

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This one is the boldest of them all, but Casey Thompson may have more interior motive than anyone on the field to perform at his best this game. He is coming off the first game in his college career where he did not perform well, struggled to make decisions, and had his worst QBR and completion percentage as Longhorn.

Thompson has been struggling with deep passes, only connecting on 3-of-15 for one touchdown and three interceptions. However, he is very much a film junky along with being a workaholic, so I am smelling a huge comeback performance. Not to mention, he is an Oklahoma kid, whose dad starred at Oklahoma, and his older brother also played for the Sooners prior to transferring to Utah.

While Rattler has been inconsistent all season, he has still racked up some impressive numbers, but Thompson has started two less games than him, and has one less passing touchdown while having the same amount of total touchdowns. I expect both quarterbacks to make some big plays, but being that these are bold predictions, I’m calling for Thompson to bounce back and look like the quarterback that we have grown accustomed to watching and have more passing yards and touchdowns than Rattler.

Texas defense forces at least one interception

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Spencer Rattler has thrown an interception in more games this season than games where he has not. He is prone to forcing the issue, and wanting to make the big throw even when his receivers are not open, which is what usually hurts him. The Longhorns have a combined three interceptions on the season, and seem to still be trying to solidify the defensive backs.

Even if the defensive line is not getting heavy pressure on Rattler, there is a very good chance that he will lob one up and hope for the best. Getting pressure on him will fluster him even more, and this year’s Red River Showdown seems like one where the team who can build a lead from the jump will win the game. Not sure if this one will be as back and forth as they usually are, and getting in the head of a quarterback trying to do too much is a good way to do so.

Texas will get a special teams touchdown

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I have called for this one a few times, and it has yet to happen so far. However, D’Shawn Jamison has had some very explosive returns cut short or even called back, and something about this rivalry game has me feeling confident that he will either return one for a touchdown, or Keilan Robinson will block a punt that gets returned for a touchdown. Robinson has been an absolute menace on special teams, and has gotten to a couple punts on the year already.

The Longhorns need a complete performance from all three aspects of the game, and having a big special teams play could factor into whether they win or not.

Dicker the Kicker continues his hot streak

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After starting the year 1-of-3 and having many people like myself doubting him, Cameron Dicker had a great week last week against TCU and was one of the main reasons Texas won. He went 4-of-4, and the Longhorns needed every single one of them in order to get by TCU.

This is the game where his fame started, as when he was a freshman he lined up and hit the game-winner that many thought would be the start to a Justin Tucker type of career. However, he has been inconsistent since, but with a change at holder he seems to be more confident, so if he’s confident I’ll take the bait.

Bijan Robinson out gains all of Oklahoma's running backs by himself

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Bijan Robinson has been on an absolute tear as of late, and caught the attention of the nation with his performance at TCU. On 35 carries, he accumulated 216 yards and two touchdowns along with two catches for 22 yards. He is the FBS leader in total yards, and is No. 2 in the FBS in rushing yards.

While Oklahoma’s defense has had fantastic success against the run this year, the best running back they faced was Kansas State’s Deuce Vaughn, who although is a great talent is nowhere near the level of Robinson. Oklahoma is currently only allowing 83 yards per game on the ground, but Robinson is impossible to tackle first try. He leads the nation in forced missed tackles, and as we saw against TCU, Steve Sarkisian has no problem giving him large amounts of carries. If he stays healthy, Robinson has the potential to have a great game that leads Texas to victory, and gets his Heisman hype trailing rolling even more.