The Red River Showdown needs no introduction.
Since 1900, the year of the first matchup between Texas and Oklahoma, the Longhorns and Sooners have met 115 times. In 1929, the teams agreed to play their annual matchup at Fair Park in Dallas.
While the State Fair of Texas won’t backdrop this year’s matchup, the storied rivalry will go on.
Texas leads the all-time series 62–48–5, but the Longhorns are 7–13 in the last 20 matchups and 1–4 in the last five matchups against the Sooners.
It’s a troubling trend that’s coincided with Oklahoma’s success over the last decade and Texas’ turmoil.
GAME TO REMEMBER:
The rivalry is full of classics, including the famous 2018 Dicker the Kicker game, but for this week’s game to remember, we’ll take a look at the first time head coach Tom Herman and then-freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger faced the Sooners in 2017.
The Longhorns were heading into the Cotton Bowl after a disappointing opening-day loss to Maryland and a “moral victory” against No. 4 USC in a double-overtime loss.
Against a 5–1 Sooners team with College Football Playoff aspirations and Baker Mayfield at quarterback, Herman, Ehlinger and the Texas team were set up for “the perfect coming out story,” The Daily Texan’s Trenton Daeschner wrote in 2017.
Instead, Oklahoma jumped out to an early lead, continuing a hot start after scoring a touchdown on the first possession of the game. The Sooners took a 20-0 lead with 4:22 left in the second quarter.
But Texas clawed back with a late second-quarter interception and an Ehlinger drive that led to 10 crucial points before halftime.
With 8:18 left in the fourth quarter, Ehlinger showed off his scrambling skills and evaded defenders on an 8-yard touchdown run to give the Longhorns their first lead of the afternoon at 24-23.
But on the next possession, Oklahoma didn’t waste any time snatching back that lead. Mayfield threw a 59-yard touchdown to then-redshirt junior tight end Mark Andrews on a busted coverage.
With one more chance and a missed Oklahoma 2-point conversion, Texas had its shot to close the game out, down 29-24.
After driving down the field but stalling at Oklahoma’s 34-yard line, the Longhorns faced a fourth-and-13. Ehlinger took the snap and scrambled out of the pocket after pressure.
The freshman couldn’t work his magic this time around, throwing the ball and Texas’ chance at the upset away in the turnover on downs.
The underdog Longhorn team had a chance to ruin a Sooner season where Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy and Oklahoma would go on to win the Big 12 Championship and end as the No. 3 team in the nation. Instead, they dropped to 3–3 on the season.
“Oh, we’re so close,” then-junior linebacker Malik Jefferson said to the Texan. “Everybody sees it, and they know it.”
HISTORY IN THE MAKING:
Oct. 12, 2019: UT vs. OU, Cotton Bowl Stadium, 27-34
Dec. 1, 2018: UT vs. OU, AT&T Stadium, 27-39
Oct. 6, 2018: UT vs. OU, Cotton Bowl Stadium, 48-45
Oct. 14, 2017: UT vs. OU, Cotton Bowl Stadium, 24-29
Oct. 8, 2016: UT vs. OU, Cotton Bowl Stadium, 40-45