COLLEGE GAME OF THE WEEK: OKLAHOMA VS. TEXAS
OKLAHOMA NOTES (OKLAHOMA SPORTS INFORMATION)
OPENING KICK In a matchup of the Big 12’s two most successful programs, No. 6/5 Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0) meets No. 11/11 Texas (4-1, 2-0) for the 115th time on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT. The AT&T Red River Showdown, played in Dallas for the 91st straight year, will be televised by FOX with Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft announcing. Oklahoma has won 12 Big 12 titles in the first 23 years of the league, with no other program during that span winning more than three. All 12 of OU’s Big 12 titles have come in the last 19 years, with no other program winning more than two during the span. Texas ranks second with three Big 12 titles (last one in 2009; OU has won six since then). This marks the second straight season both OU and Texas enter their October matchup ranked in the AP Top 25 (prior to 2018 it had not been done since 2012). The Sooners have been ranked in the AP poll at the time of the October game each of the last 14 years and in 19 of the last 20 seasons. Texas was unranked when playing the Sooners from 2013 to 2017. Texas is the only Big 12 program with a winning record against the Sooners. Oklahoma trails 62-47-5 in the series, but owns a 26-20-3 advantage since 1971. In the Big 12 era, OU is 14-10 against the Longhorns. The Sooners have won seven of the last 10 meetings and 13 of the last 20. Dating back to the start of the 2012 season, the Sooners are 37-7 (.841) in regular season games away from home. In those 44 contests, Oklahoma has outscored its opponents 1,821-1,255 (41-29 average). OU has scored at least 30 points in 37 of those 44 games. OU has won 36 of its last 38 games (.947) against Big 12 opponents dating back to the 2015 season. The losses were to Iowa State in 2017 (38- 31 in Norman) and to Texas last year (48-45 in Dallas). Twenty-one of those 36 victories have been by at least 15 points, and 10 by at least 30 points. The Sooners have scored at least 34 points in 15 straight games (longest streak in school history) and in 26 of the last 27. The 15-game streak is tied for the third longest nationally since at least 1980. Oklahoma has scored at least one touchdown in all 20 quarters, establishing a school record to start a season (previous record was first 15 quarters in its 2000 national championship season). Going back to last year, OU has scored a TD in each of its last 23 quarters. In a stat that speaks to OU’s success on both sides of the ball, the Sooners have run only six more plays than their opponents this season (324-318) but have outgained them by a staggering 1,487 yards (3,219- 1,732). OU leads the nation in total offense (643.8 ypg) despite ranking 111th in plays per game (just 64.8)
Saturday’s game will feature the Big 12’s top two teams in terms of scoring offense. Oklahoma ranks second nationally with its 53.4 points per game while Texas is 13th at 41.8. Similarly, OU leads the nation with its 643.8 yards per contest while UT ranks 19th at 483.6 per game. Defensively, the Sooners are tied for second in the league and 25th nationally by allowing 19.0 points per game while the Longhorns rank seventh and 67th (26.6). An area to watch when OU has the ball is the passing game. The Sooners lead the nation with their 217.4 pass efficiency rating and are fifth with their 355.4 passing yards per game. Texas is last in the Big 12 in pass efficiency defense (145.0) and passing yards allowed (325.0). u OU quarterback Jalen Hurts recorded a passing efficiency rating of at least 245.0 in each of his first four games this season and is the only FBS player since at least 1996 to record more than two such outings (min. 18 attempts) in a season. He leads the nation with his 231.3 season pass efficiency rating and owns four of the nation’s top 13 figures this year (253.6 vs. South Dakota, 251.3 vs. Houston, 249.0 vs. Texas Tech and 245.9 at UCLA). Hurts also leads all quarterbacks with his 99.8 rushing yards per contest (next most among those who have played at least five games is 76.2 by Wyoming’s Sean Chambers). Oklahoma is averaging a nation-leading 643.8 offensive yards per game, which is 73 yards more than the next highest average (571.0 by LSU). Making that even more impressive is the fact the Sooners rank 111th out of 130 teams by averaging just 64.8 plays per game. OU averages 9.9 yards per play, which is 1.6 yards more than the team with the second-highest average (8.3 by Alabama). Last year, OU set the FBS single-season record by averaging 8.6 yards per play. u In their history, the Sooners have rushed for 300-plus yards and passed for 300-plus in a game 14 times. Amazingly, eight of those occasions have come in the last 19 games (since the start of last season), and OU has accomplished the feat seven times in the last 12 contests (including each of the first three games this season). Only three other programs (UCF [three times] and Cincinnati and Louisiana [twice each]) have registered more than one such performance since the start of the 2018 season. Under the direction of first-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, OU has forced six turnovers, seven turnovers on downs and 27 punts through five games, while registering 34 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. It has also forced 17 three-and-outs (12 before halftime). For the first time since 2006, Oklahoma has held four consecutive opponents (in the same season) to 20 points or less. OU has allowed only seven first-quarter points this year and has permitted just 34 first-half points (average of 6.8). After ranking 118th nationally last year in defensive third-down conversion percentage (46.4%), OU ranks fifth nationally this season (24.6%; 16 for 65). Conversely, the Sooners are 25 for 45 on the year offensively for 55.6% (fourth nationally). They are the only team in the country to rank in the top five in both categories. The Sooners led the nation last year in both yards per pass attempt (11.3) and yards per rush (6.6). So far this season, they are doing it again. OU ranks first nationally (among teams attempting at least 10 passes per game) with its 12.7 yards per pass attempt (next highest average is 11.3) and with its 7.8 yards per rush (next highest average is 7.3).
OU boasts one of the nation’s best 1-2 receiver punches in junior CeeDee Lamb and redshirt sophomore Charleston Rambo. Lamb ranks sixth nationally in yards per catch (24.4), seventh in touchdown receptions (seven) and 26th in receiving yards per game (87.8). Rambo ranks fourth in the nation with his 27.4 yards per grab and 45th by averaging 76.6 yards per contest (has four TD catches). The duo has combined for eight catches of at least 45 yards this season (Lamb has receptions of 45, 48, 65 and 71 yards while Rambo has grabs of 48 [two], 56 and 74 yards).
TEXAS SPORTS INFORMATION
The University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma will meet for the 115th time on Saturday in the AT&T Red River Showdown. Kickoff from inside the Cotton Bowl will be at 11 a.m. CT on FOX. • Texas currently boasts 912 all-time wins, the third-most in college football history. UT holds an all-time record of 912-371-33 (.705). • The Longhorns enter the matchup with an overall record of 4-1 and a 2-0 mark in the Big 12 Conference. UT bested West Virginia, 42-31, last Saturday. • Oklahoma is 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12. The Sooners are coming off a 45-20 win at Kansas last weekend. • Texas is 62-47-5 all-time against the Sooners in the AT&T Red River Showdown. Tom Herman is 2-2 alltime against OU as a head coach, picking up victories in 2016 while at Houston and in last year’s AT&T Red River Showdown in Dallas. • The game will be broadcast on FOX, with Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft on the call. • FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff delivered will broadcast live on Lone Star Blvd. between the Texas Hall of State and the Esplanade at the Texas State Fair. Rob Stone, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, Brady Quinn and Urban Meyer will be live on FOX beginning at 9 a.m. CT. • The Longhorn IMG Radio Network broadcast with Craig Way (play-by-play), Roger Wallace (analyst) and Quan Cosby (sideline) can be heard on Sirius channel 136, XM channel 199, and app channel 953 in addition to the local affiliates listed on page two. • The Longhorns’ spanish-language broadcast, Cadena Deportiva, can be heard in Austin and Dallas, or online at TexasSports.com. Dr. Rubén Pizarro-Silva (play-by-play) and Jesus Mendoza (analyst) are on the call. • Longhorn Network’s broadcast begins at 9 a.m. CT with Texas GameDay. The two-hour pregame show will featured interviews, stories and analysis surrounding Saturday’s game. After the game, LHN broadcasts Texas GameDay Final, with postgame interviews, analysis and highlights.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES • There is no rivalry quite like the Texas-Oklahoma series, which is being played for the 115th time on Saturday. Texas leads the series 62-47-5. • The series, which began in 1900, has been played in Dallas since 1912 and at the State Fair since 1929. Saturday marks the 92nd time the game has been played at a neutral site in Dallas. • The first matchup between the two teams in 1900 ended with a 28-2 Longhorns’ victory. Texas is the only Big 12 Conference team that holds an all-time series lead against the Sooners. • Only Texas A&M (118 times) has played the Longhorns on more occasions. Since 1900, the only years Texas and Oklahoma have not played were 1918, ‘20, ‘21 and 1924-28.
AT&T RED RIVER SHOWDOWN TRADITIONS • Texas State Fair: The Texas-Oklahoma game is once again a part of the State Fair of Texas in 2019. After the series ended following a game in Austin in 1923, the tradition of the two schools playing at the State Fair began in 1929 in an old wooden structure called Fair Park Stadium. The new structure, also called Fair Park Stadium, but renamed the Cotton Bowl in 1936, was built in time for the 1930 matchup. The first Texas-OU game played at “The Cotton Bowl” was in 1937. • The Battle Line: One of the unique characteristics of the great rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma is the colors. Tickets are divided equally and the stadium is split in half (burnt orange and crimson) at the 50-yard line. As the home team in 2019, the Longhorns will wear their burnt orange uniforms and occupy the west bench area (press box side). • Texas Fight Rally: The annual Texas Fight Rally is set for Wednesday night at the Main Mall on the UT campus. Head coach Tom Herman and members of his team will be on hand. • The Governor’s Cup: The Governor’s Cup is exchanged annually by the Governor of Texas (Greg Abbott) and the Governor of Oklahoma (Kevin Stitt) following the AT&T Red River Showdown. The tradition began when Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe donated the trophy, and each year it is transported from the office of the previous year’s winning Governor to Dallas. It is displayed in the Hall of State on game day and transported to the office of the winning Governor after it has received its engraving. • The Golden Hat: To the victor goes the Golden Hat, a rotating trophy given annually to the winner of the Texas-Oklahoma game. A gold cowboy hat that is mounted on a large block of wood, it has been part of the rivalry since the State Fair of Texas donated it in 1941. When the hat first arrived, it was known as the “Bronze Hat” and was actually made out of bronze. The hat was reworked in the 1970s and came out gold, hence the name change to the “Golden Hat.”
LET’S PLAY TWO • Last year Texas and OU met twice – in their annual October meeting (UT, 48-45) and in the Big 12 Championship Game (OU, 39-27), marking the first time since 1903, and just the third time ever (also 1901), that the two schools met twice in a season. • In 1901, UT won 12-6 on Oct. 19 at home and then 11-0 on Nov. 25 at Oklahoma. In 1903, UT tied 6-6 on Oct. 17 at home and then won 11-5 at Oklahoma on Nov. 13.
- When Senior WR John Burt takes the field on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl, it will be the sixth time he’ll play against Texas’ Red River Rivals. Burt played three times from 2015-17 then two of his four games during a redshirt year in 2018 came against Oklahoma. Though there aren’t records to confirm participation in all six games, the only Longhorn that would have likely played against the Sooners six times is Rembert Watson from 1901-04. Prior to last season, the only time Texas played Oklahoma twice in a season was 1901 and 1903. RED-RIVER RANKINGS • Saturday’s matchup will pit the No. 11/11 Longhorns against the No. 6/5 Sooners. It is the third-straight meeting that both teams are ranked. Before last season’s AT&T Red River Showdown, when Texas was ranked No. 19/20 and Oklahoma No. 7/5, the two teams had not met as ranked foes since 2012. • Since 2000, the two teams have met as ranked foes 14 times. Oklahoma owns an advantage in such matchups, having won 10-of-14 contests against Texas. • Before last season’s Big 12 Championship Game, when No. 9/9 Texas met No. 5/5 Oklahoma, the last time the two teams were both ranked inside the Top 10 for a meeting was in 2008, when No. 5/5 Texas defeated No. 1/1 Oklahoma 45-35. A TEXAS WIN WOULD… • Be Texas’ 913th victory all-time, keeping UT as the third-winningest program in college football history. • Mark Tom Herman’s 44th victory as a head coach and his 22nd at The University of Texas. • Mark the Longhorns’ 10th win in their last 12 Big 12 games since the start of the 2018 conference slate. • Mark Texas’ eighth win in the AT&T Red River Showdown since 2005 (7-8 overall). • Improve the Longhorns to 2-2 against the Sooners during Tom Herman’s tenure as head coach. • Push Tom Herman’s record to 3-2 all-time as a head coach against Oklahoma.
EHLINGER AGAINST OKLAHOMA • In three career games against Oklahoma, Ehlinger has totaled 391, 386 and 384 yards of offense, the three highest outputs by a Longhorn QB in school history vs. OU. His 391-yard effort came in the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game. • His 349 passing yards in the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game were the most ever by a Texas QB against OU. • His five total touchdowns in the October 2018 game were the most ever by a Longhorn quarterback against the Sooners. He totaled nine touchdowns (four passing, five rushing) in 2018 against Oklahoma. • Ehlinger’s 278 passing yards in the Red River Showdown in 2017 were a UT true freshman record in the game. • In that game, he became just the fourth player (seventh time) to pass for 275 yards and rush for 100 in school history. He joined Vince Young (Nov. 6 & 13, 2004) as the only other player in school history to do so in backto-back games.