In a year, Oklahoma and Texas’s annual date in Dallas looks incredibly different. There’s a new coach on Oklahoma’s sideline, and the quarterbacks that participated in the game a year ago transferred to different schools.
Here we are, preparing for another Red River Showdown, and for Texas, they seem like the much more stable team heading into the game. They don’t have the massive injury concerns Oklahoma does, and they’ve played pretty consistent football all season.
Texas enters with two losses. One was to Alabama in an incredible environment in Austin, going blow for blow with a college football heavyweight. Their second was a road loss to Texas Tech in overtime on by three points.
Oklahoma is in a rough spot right now and if they don’t show up ready to play, they could get blown out for the second straight week. Texas features some NFL-caliber skill players that can give the Oklahoma defense fits if unprepared.
For the uninitiated, we mapped out the five Texas players to know heading into the matchup.
Bijan Robinson, RB
Sep 17, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) runs for a touchdown against the UTSA Roadrunners during the fourth quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports
Bijan Robinson is the nation’s best running back and is trending towards a top 10 NFL draft pick, according to ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay.
He had 20 carries for 137 yards and a touchdown last year against Oklahoma. This year, he enters the game with 88 carries, 515 yards, and eight touchdowns. That’s almost six yards per carry.
He’s fast, agile, powerful, and has great vision. A simple scouting report would be that he’s always a cut away from a big play.
At its core, Texas will want to get Robinson involved heavily. Stopping the run has been a struggle the last two weeks for this Sooners’ defense. Will it continue?
Xavier Worthy, WR
Sep 10, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (8) catches a pass and lands out of bounds near the end zone against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
With Bijan Robinson the number one ground threat for the Longhorns, they needed a complementary piece to attack teams through the air with. That is Xavier Worthy, a receiver Sooners fans are familiar with. His performance last year was absurd.
The future NFL wide receiver took the first play from scrimmage on a WR screen and beat every Sooners defender down the sideline for the opening score. Worthy was in a zone, catching nine passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. He had his way against the Sooners’ defensive backs, and many of those same players will get to line up again across from him.
He’ll be playing on Sundays, and it’s pretty evident why. He’s got size, speed, and the mentality to dominate. After Oklahoma struggled with Quentin Johnston, figuring out how to slow down Worthy could be just as challenging, if not more.
DeMarvion Overshown, LB
Ricardo B. Brazziell-USA TODAY NETWORK
A fifth-year linebacker, DeMarvion Overshown is a leader for this Texas defense. He was chosen as a 2022 preseason watch list candidate for the Butkus, Bednarik, Lombardi, and Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
He is in the top 10 for tackles in the Big 12. He can rush the passer and is a spirited run defender. He’s played in his game before and will have something to say if Oklahoma tries a run-heavy approach.
Quinn Ewers, QB
Oct 1, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) watches the second half from the sideline against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
The former number one player of the 2021 class, Quinn Ewers, looks to be ready for a return in the Red River Rivalry. He’s from the DFW area where he went to Southlake Carroll.
This will be his first taste of the rivalry, and prior to his injury that knocked him out of the Alabama game, he was putting together some really nice moments.
Will he crack under the environment, or will he thrive? This game is different, and everyone that has played in it has said as much.
Kelvin Banks Jr, OT
Texas’ Keilan Robinson (7) celebrates with Kelvin Banks Jr. (78) and Austin Jordan (4) after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)
Another former five-star for the Texas Longhorns, Kelvin Banks, is putting in a heck of a true freshman season. He has played exceptionally well in his first season in Austin.
He held his own against Will Anderson, one of the nation’s best players, and has continued to stack good performances together.
At its core, this Oklahoma defense wants to thrive off negative plays and disruptive defensive linemen. That’s its foundation. Making things hard for a young offensive tackle could really help in that department.
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