In less than 24 hours, Texas and Oklahoma will face off in the Cotton Bowl for a crucial Big 12 matchup.
The Red River Shootout has been decided by single digits all but one time since 2014 and this year should be no different. Oklahoma enters the matchup as the No. 6 team in the country, while Texas re-entered the rankings at No. 21 this week.
Through the first five weeks of the season, the Sooners have had their fair share of struggles and narrowly avoided a few upsets. On the flip side, the Longhorns have found some consistency after their humble loss to Arkansas and deploy one of the most dangerous offenses in the country.
This will be the first time that offensive guru’s Lincoln Riley and Steve Sarkisian will face off against each other. Which one will call the better game?
Oklahoma is currently favored -3.5 over Texas courtesy of Tipico Sportsbook. Take a look at who the experts feel will win the Red River Showdown.
College Football News' Pete Fuitak
Is this still going to be as much fun when the two are in the SEC and not playing for Big 12 world domination? That’s for another day.
The real question is this. Is Oklahoma really playing so many tight games because it’s being relatively conservative – and sputtering in a play-not-to-lose sort of way – or is it because it can’t do what it’s supposed to.
We’re about to find out.
This probably goes one of two ways. Either the Oklahoma defense rises up and rocks – and that becomes the storyline – or the Texas offense gets hot and the OU O really doesn’t have the extra gear.
Or it might be a little of both. The Texas offense plays better, the Oklahoma defense keeps this in range, and in the end, Rattler and the attack doesn’t quite come through with the one clutch scoring drive it needs to pull this out.
Bleacher Report's Kerry Miller
The Red River Rivalry always delivers.
In each of the past seven years, the regular-season meeting between Oklahoma and Texas was decided by a single possession. Last year’s game necessitated four overtimes before Oklahoma won 53-45, which, somewhat fittingly, was the widest margin of victory since 2013—excluding the 2018 Big 12 championship. That game was closer than the final 39-27 score, by the way.
And goodness knows Oklahoma has had a propensity for nail-biters this season. The Sooners have played four games against FBS opponents, winning each of them by seven points or fewer.
Can Texas do its ground thing against this Sooners front seven, though?
Led by Bijan Robinson, Texas is averaging nearly 270 rushing yards and 3.4 rushing touchdowns per game. But Oklahoma has held each of its five opponents to 100 rushing yards or fewer. And though the preseason Heisman favorite hasn’t been anywhere near as proficient as expected, we’ve got to go with Spencer Rattler over Casey Thompson if this boils down to which quarterback has the most fourth-quarter heroics up his sleeve.
247Sports' Chris Hummer and Brad Crawford
I’ve gone back and forth on this all week. One thing I can guarantee: It’ll be close. Each of these rivalry games played in Dallas since 2014 have been decided by a possession. As for the result? I lean ever so slightly to Oklahoma. The Sooners’ weakness is along the o-line, but Texas has a non-impact pass rush (101st nationally in PFF’s pass rush grade) and has been bad against the run (4.67 yards allowed per play). Oklahoma wins unless Bijan Robinson has his Heisman moment and the defense takes a step.
I’m hammering this as my lock of the week and potentially putting a little down on the Longhorns winning outright as well. I love where Texas is during Steve Sarkisian’s first season since the loss at Arkansas and now have a shot at a signature win. We still have yet to see Oklahoma play its best football thus far and I think the Sooners have played with fire too many times through the first five games of the season. Look for a big game from Bijan Robinson and a Texas win in Dallas.
Dallas Morning News
Scott Bell: Texas
Chuck Carlton: Texas
Corby Davidson: Oklahoma
Joseph Hoyt: Oklahoma
Full slate of picks can be found here.
Longhorns Wire predictions
It’s Red River. Everything I say gets thrown out the window the second both teams hit the field. All I know is the score will be close.
Texas’ defensive line will be the difference. If they can get home and make Spencer Rattler uncomfortable, a few turnovers will go in favor of the good guys. Give him time to make throws and it will once again be last one to score wins.
Here’s to praying my overall record is 4-2 this time next week.
Oklahoma 42, Texas 40
Is accurately predicting the Red River Shootout even possible?
I’m not quite sure that we truly know who this Oklahoma team is yet. Through the first five weeks of the season, they certainly haven’t resembled the type of offensive powerhouse that we’ve grown accustomed to. Are they being relatively conservative? Are they just executing poorly?
Regardless, I am confident in Steve Sarkisian’s ability to dial up mismatches for Texas’ offense in order to move the ball down the field efficiently. Oklahoma’s primary goal will be to limit Bijan Robinson on the ground and force Casey Thompson to beat them through the air. I don’t think they’ll be successful with that.
While Robinson won’t explode for another 200+ yards rushing in this one, I certainly think it’s realistic for him to have a 100-yard game. He is that rare of a talent, and coupling him with one of the top offensive guru’s in the game is a lethal combination.
I expect both offenses to have their fair share of success in this one, and it may come down to which defense can force a game-changing turnover.
Texas 38, Oklahoma 35
I flipped a coin a couple times and it landed on the middle twice, trying to accurately predict this game just is not something I am looking forward to. One thing is for certain, there will be football played between Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday.
The Longhorns will need a big performance from Casey Thompson, possibly the best of his college career, in order to win this game. The Oklahoma defense is likely going to do everything they can to force Thompson, rather than running back Bijan Robinson, to beat them.
Texas’ defense cannot get beat vertically like they did against Texas Tech. If the defense can make Rattler uncomfortable, the crimson side of the stadium will surely be calling for Caleb Williams. Oklahoma has done very poorly against lesser competition, so theoretically, if this were not the most unpredictable game ever, the Longhorns would finally beat them.
This game has been decided by single digits all but one time since 2014, but I am calling for a double digit win for Texas. I do not think this will be a blowout, but more-so a game that the Longhorns build and hold a lead.
Texas 42, Oklahoma 30