Not only is this the biggest rivalry game of this season for the Texas Longhorns, it holds even more weight for Strong and this Texas team this season. Two very different narratives could be written for the Longhorns once this game against the Oklahoma Sooners is over Saturday afternoon.
Don’t forget to give us your predictions below as well.
Wescott Eberts — editor
The players really love Charlie Strong and, like last year, there's increasing speculation about his job security, so I don't think there's any question that the Longhorns will be ready to play in this game.
However, it feels like this is the year that Oklahoma finally takes Texas seriously once again, so my fear is that the defense will continue to have issues with busted coverages and the running game will struggle against the Sooners defensive front without sophomore running back Chris Warren.
In truth, I really have no idea how this is going to play out because the Red River Showdown is notoriously unpredictable and momentum can swing so quickly.
Oklahoma 48, Texas 28
Cody Daniel — co-editor
After back-to-back losses, the 'Horns have lost their confidence and the Red River Showdown is the perfect place to get it back and finally play with some energy and excitement. I think Texas will do just that, but I also think Oklahoma has learned its lesson about sleepwalking against a Texas team that isn't to par after last season.
Both sides have injuries at key positions and I think both sides will still manage to put up points in bunches in what likely becomes yet another shootout. But considering Texas will be up against a lethal backfield and a quarterback that can make plays with his feet, the 'Horns could be in for another shootout.
And if the last two weeks taught us anything, it's that the Texas defense has some serious strides to make before Texas is winning any shootouts.
Oklahoma 42, Texas, 38
Robert Larkin — staff writer
Anything can happen in the Cotton Bowl, that’s why we love this rivalry, but it’s really hard for me to believe Charlie Strong will pull out another miracle like he did last year.
There are so many problems with this defense right now (poor tackling, blown coverage, and lack of elite play-makers) that I think Charlie Strong’s presence with the defense won’t make much of a difference after spending only one week with the unit.
Sterlin Gilbert’s offense will put up points against a bad Oklahoma defense, I have no doubt about that. But I feel it just won’t be enough, continuing a trend the Longhorns have dealt with for the past two games.
Again, anything can happen in Dallas, but I just don’t envision this Texas team stealing one from a better Oklahoma team.
Oklahoma 42, Texas 31
Michael Pelech — staff writer
There are few guarantees in the world: death, taxes, and OU sucking. This week at the Cotton Bowl, OU will continue their impressive run of suckitude. It's almost unfair that we're being asked to predict that.
Oh, the game? Charlie Strong has had Bob Stoops' number so far, and I'll keep riding that seemingly improbable run until the choice is taken from me. D'Onta Foreman tops 150 again and Tyrone Swoopes racks up 3 rushing TDs. Charlie Strong's defense shows some improvement against a hobbled Baker Mayfield and patchwork OU OL, especially by given up fewer big plays.
Texas 35, Oklahoma 33
Wes Crochet — staff writer
Because this game is as big of a rivalry game as it is, more often than not it’s a toss-up regardless of what each team has done up to this point.
Both of these teams enter this game 2-2, and both of these teams desperately need a win come Saturday.
One on hand, Strong has always gotten his Texas teams to play well in this game against Oklahoma. On the other, his team enters this game needing a big turn around, especially on defense.
The line is sitting around 10 or so points (I believe) in favor of Oklahoma at the moment. I see this game being closer than that, coming down to a touchdown or field goal.
Given that D’Onta Foreman enters this game a bit banged up, Chris Warren is out, and the defense has yet to show it can play better than it has been, I unfortunately have the Sooners winning this one as they look to get revenge from last season and get their own season pointed in the right direction. I’ll gladly accept being wrong though. OU freaking sucks,
Oklahoma 35, Texas 28