Skip to main content

Previewing the Texas-OU Game

Kid Reporter Riley Zayas previews the annual Red River Showdown.

The Texas-Oklahoma rivalry celebrates its 112th meeting this season, with the first game dating back to 1900 when Texas beat Oklahoma 28–2. Since then, many things have changed, including star players and great coaches!

This year’s game will be no exception. Both teams have new, young coaches headlining their programs, which might change the feel of the game as well as both teams’ game plans versus last year. Watch this exciting rivalry because it will be played at one of the oldest stadiums in college football, the Cotton Bowl, which was built in 1930. There will be exciting young stars to watch, hyped-up fans, and two new, young coaches. Read below to see some of the key matchups to watch in this year’s Texas-Oklahoma game!

UT’s Tom Herman vs. OU’s Lincoln Riley
Aside from watching the athletes on the field, take a look at the coaches on the sidelines. It will be up to them to see who can make the halftime adjustments and late-game decisions. Riley relies on his offense, led by senior quarterback Baker Mayfield and his excellent wide receiver unit, while Herman will expect his defense to perform like it did on the road against USC and Iowa State.

OU’s receiving corps vs. UT’s secondary
After UT’s defense played well against San Jose State, Iowa State, and USC, as well as in a thriller at home against Kansas State, the Horns still showed some trouble spots despite the seven interceptions for 155 yards. That could be a positive for both OU’s Mayfield and his top targets, Mark Andrews, Ceedee Lamb, and Kentucky transfer Jeff Badet, all players who stepped in upon star Dede Westbrook’s departure for the NFL.

Pay attention, though: In addition to the interceptions, the Longhorn defense as a whole has only allowed 74 points during their last four games. Meanwhile, Sooner receivers have scored 17 touchdowns and gained 1,922 yards throughout their season.

UT’s Chris Warren III vs. OU’s Abdul Adams and Trey Sermon
All three running backs have rushed for more than 270 yards in five games this season. For Sermon and Adams, they have the tough job of filling the shoes of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, both difference-makers for OU now gone to the NFL. However, both have made the most of these first few games of the season, including a strong game for both at Baylor. In a game the Sooners won by eight points, Sermon had a season-high two touchdowns and 148 rushing yards while Adams had a “Sportscenter play” with an impressive 99-yard TD.

Meanwhile, Warren III is coming off a 2016 season in which he only played four games because of injury. This season, he’s been a big contributor on a young team with an average of 5.5 yards per carry and four rushing touchdowns. Because of all these crazy statistics—each player has also had plays of more than 40 yards—it’ll be a real treat to watch these three backs battle it out on the gridiron!

While Texas comes off of a close win versus Kansas State, Oklahoma is coming off an upset loss to Iowa State. With both teams fighting for a spot in the Big 12 championship game, this should be an exciting edition of the Red River Showdown!

Photograph by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images