For the first time since 1903, the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners will share the field for a second time in a single season.
The Longhorns captured the first go-around, outlasting a late Oklahoma push to secure a 48-45 win courtesy of Cameron Dicker’s game-winning field goal. The stakes are much higher this time around, however. While Texas will hold onto the Golden Hat regardless of Saturday’s outcome, a Big 12 Championship is now at stake, and for the Sooners, a potential trip to the College Football Playoff.
The Burnt Orange Nation staff got together to discuss what it will take for Texas to come out on top again and much more.
Favorite OU memory?
Cody Daniel — Co-Editor: I was a huge fan of Buddy Hield’s rise to stardom.
Joe Hamilton — Recruiting Reporter: When Kyler Murray transferred to Oklahoma.
Evan Kirschner — Contributor: The King of the Hill episode where Hank & Bobby go to Wichita Falls.
Anthony Rizzo — Contributor: Watching Buddy Hield.
Does OU suck?
Cody: What time is it?
Joe: If they’ve made it this far, I don’t think so.
Evan: Is Kyler Murray short?
Anthony: In big games, yes.
What Texas player is not getting discussed right now that we are going to be talking about after Saturday? Is there a game-changer currently being ignored?
Cody: Devin Duvernay. An already struggling OU secondary is now even more depleted with injuries, and what able bodies remain will be focused on LJH and Collin Johnson. Duvernay could have a sneaky good game.
Joe: D’Shawn Jamison. I think he’s going to get enough touches to impact the game in a major way. Whether it’s in the return game or taking off on a jet sweep. Jamison’s a guy I think you want to get involved fast and early.
Evan: Texas has gotta score to win this game, and OU’s secondary is so bad. Everyone’s mentioning LJH and CJ, but I think Duvernay has a big game (100+ yards and a score). I haven’t heard much talk on him and he was quiet in the RRS game this year — if he puts up that stat line, that would easily be his best game of the year.
Anthony: I’ll go with P.J. Locke. Oklahoma loves to take advantage of secondaries with their speed in the slot. As the Nickel cornerback, Locke will have to make tackles in space against OU’s speedy athletes in both the run and pass game.
Any thoughts on ever moving the Red River Rivalry to Jerry World?
Cody: Definitely not. The Cotton Bowl is this rivalry’s home, but if Texas can finally keep pace with Oklahoma long-term, we could be seeing many more meetings in Arlington.
Joe: The Cotton Bowl has too much tradition. I’d keep it at Fair Park.
Evan: You’d have to be someone who works at FOX/ESPN or Steve Patterson to even consider this. It’s greedy and wrong — that game should forever be at the Cotton Bowl and State Fair.
Anthony: No, the Cotton Bowl is the perfect venue for it. The atmosphere between both fan bases with the burnt orange-crimson split right at midfield can’t be matched.
Texas scores a touchdown to get within one point with 45 seconds to play. Do you kick the PAT to tie the game or go for two? If you go for it, what do you run?
Cody: Go for two. Oklahoma hasn’t stopped many people this season, especially Ehlinger in October, so the QB power with some additional blockers for the win.
Joe: Go for two and I’d basically run the same play that Lil’Jordan and Collin connected on for the first score of the game in the last meeting. Fake the QB dive with Sam and hit the infamous jump-pass to a big target. Either way, defense is going to have to make a stop.
Evan: Since it usually takes Oklahoma about 45 seconds to score anyways, I go for the jugular and go for two. The Philly Special was born in Westlake, I’m sure Texas has a two-yard play they can play here that they like.
Anthony: Kick the PAT and trust your defense in the short-field.
In terms of sucking, does OU suck?
Cody: What time is it?
Joe: Their defense does.
Evan: Only on days that end with Y. But actually they’re good, but by far the worst of the CFP contenders. OU’s elite offense and special teams masks what is a colossally bad defense.
Anthony: Does Big 12 officiating suck?
Texas is playing with a probable Sugar Bowl appearance on the line — win or lose. Does Saturday’s outcome determine the success of the season this year, or is it just an added bonus?
Cody: Outside of a few, most didn’t realistically expect Texas to reach the Big 12 title game, so losing to a playoff-bound Oklahoma team certainly wouldn’t mark a failure. If nothing else, a nine-win Texas team still made a New Year’s Six bowl.
Joe: If Texas wins the Big 12 Championship that is most definitely an added bonus to their season. You’ll see a huge momentum swing shift in the Longhorns direction. As an overall team and on the recruiting trail. Many of Texas prospects will have their eyes glued to the television during this one.
Evan: No – this year has been a success even with a Big 12 Championship participation trophy. Everyone’s seen that Texas can win again. Winning the conference and Sugar Bowl, though, turn this season from a minor success to a major one.
Anthony: A conference championship would capture a very successful season and mark history, but a loss won’t determine any measure of success. Going 1-1 the rest of the way to get to 10 wins would be crucial for momentum heading into next season.
OU’s defense has been hysterically bad all season. How many points does Texas need to score to win?
Cody: Probably as many as last time — 48-plus.
Joe: They need to score over 45 points to pull this one off.
Evan: More than OU. In all seriousness, though, this game could play out like the Sooners’ game at WVU did last week. Texas will need to put up at least 38 points per game to remain competitive.
Anthony: You never know how much you’re going to need when facing OU’s offense, but reaching the 48-point mark from the first matchup should be the goal. 35-42 points will be enough if Texas is able to completely have their way with the tempo and pace of play.
Predict Ehlinger’s stat-line after Saturday’s game.
Cody: 26-of-36, 319 yards, 2 passing TDs, 13 rush attempts, 57 yards, 2 rushing TDs
Joe: 22-for-31 - 308 Pass Yds - 3 Pass TDs - 1 INT, 14 Rush Att - 64 Yds - 1 Rush TD
Evan: 29/40 for 360 yards and 3 TD, with 10 rushing attempts for 55 yards and 1 TD. No INT’s, please.
Anthony: 31-for-38 with 325 passing yards, 48 rushing yards, and 4 total touchdowns.
Which Big 12 coach outside of the two on the field Saturday would you most like to get a beer with while watching this match up together?
Cody: Matt Campbell, no doubt. Mike Gundy would be a close second because there’s no telling what kinds of stories you would hear.
Joe: Definitely Matt Campbell from Iowa State. Love his overall approach!
Evan: Les Miles if I want a good time, Dana Holgorsen if I want to forget everything from that day.
Anthony: Matt Campbell. Dude seems cooler than the other side of a pillow. I’d love to hear his list of schools he’d leave Iowa State for.
Which player leads Texas in rushing in the Big 12 Championship?
Cody: Ingram. He won’t get quite as many touches as Ehlinger, but he’ll break free for a couple big gains.
Joe: Keaontay Ingram. His game is best suited to gash OU’s defense. Ingram’s too dynamic.
Evan: Tre Watson.
Anthony: Considering what happened in the first meeting, I’ll say Keaontay Ingram. Oklahoma has struggled against all-around running backs like Ingram all season long.
Prediction time: Does Texas overcome the odds and top Oklahoma yet again?
Cody: We’ll be in for another nail-biter in the fourth quarter and OU comes out on top this time, 51-42.
Joe: All of us pretty much know that this game will come down to who has possession of the ball last. Unfortunately, I just don’t see Kyler losing to Texas twice and especially in that stadium. Texas 45, Oklahoma 51.
Evan: Texas beats OU in 9 overtimes to win 120 - 114
Anthony: Beating a team twice in one season is a tough task. But, this Texas team matches up really well against Oklahoma. If Texas is able to win the line-of-scrimmage on both sides of the ball, give me the Horns in this one. Big 12 Champions 38, Land Thieves 34.