Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Hutch’s Huddle: Week 6

Lorianne Willett
Sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks during the Longhorns’ game against the Jayhawks on Sept. 30, 2023.

Going into this historical rivalry game, there’s a lot to unpack on both sides of the situation. This year, both Texas and Oklahoma will be meeting as ranked teams, with the Longhorns sticking to the No. 3 spot and the Sooners inching up from No. 14 to No. 12 after their win over Iowa State. This is also the first time since 2009 that Texas is ranked higher in the AP polls than Oklahoma entering the matchup.    

Thus far, Oklahoma has yet to go against a ranked team, but has been defeating its opponents by whopping margins, for the most part. The Sooners are racking in nearly 50 points per game, while the Longhorns are sitting at 36 points per game. However, then-No. 11 Texas took down then-No. 3 Alabama by 10 points and then-No. 24 Kansas by 36 points, which should have been more if not for errors from special teams. Fans can seemingly rest assured knowing that Texas has experience against ranked opponents, which could outweigh Oklahoma’s higher scoring against weaker teams. 

“This will be our third top 25 matchup now in six games, and every team we’ve played has got a winning record and is doing good things,” Sarkisian said. “I think that we’ve been exposed to some high level football now through five weeks.” 

Sarkisian also mentioned the importance of preparation this upcoming week, highlighting that mental preparedness will be a key focus due to the high level of emotions expected in Dallas. In the team’s win over Kansas, mental fog mixed with the overbearing Texas heat may have been a contending factor in some of the slip-ups faced on both sides of the ball.     

One of Texas’ main problem areas against Kansas was its inability to get touchdowns off of third and fourth downs, especially in the red zone. The Longhorns failed to gain points on four separate occasions during the first half, with quarterback Quinn Ewers throwing his first interception of the season toward the end. Special teams also struggled, as junior kicker Bert Auburn missed two field goals after failed touchdown attempts.  

If these errors continue, Texas could be in deep water, as Oklahoma boasts a solid defensive and offensive structure. In its game against Iowa State, Oklahoma’s Billy Bowman Jr. caught an interception and ran it 44 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and the Sooner defense left the Cyclones pointless for the remainder of the game. With Oklahoma acquiring nine transfers that now stand on the front defensive line, Ewers might look to use his feet if he finds himself in trouble.  

The highlight of Oklahoma football and the main threat to Texas coming into this game will be its star quarterback, redshirt senior Dillon Gabriel. Joining the Sooners for his last season as a transfer from UCF, Gabriel has gained an average of 295 yards per game across his college career. Gabriel has assisted the Sooners in accumulating a success rate of nearly 55% for third down conversions and nearly an 80% success rate for fourth downs this season — Texas sits at 42% and 70%, respectively. 

“Gabriel’s playing at a very high level,” Sarkisian said. “They’ve got an explosive unit, he distributes the ball beautifully, whether it’s (run pass options), advantage throws, shot plays, things of that nature.”

There’s no debate that both of these teams are qualified to join a tough SEC conference, which raises the stakes more than they already have been. While Sarkisian has mentioned his main focus for Saturday is staying mentally and physically tough, Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables said he’s expecting this to be another step of the process as he enters his second year with the team.  

“This is about improving and being relentless to improve,” Venables said during a post-game press conference. “We’re not a championship team right now, but this was another step in trying to get there.”  

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About the Contributors
Emma Hutchinson, Senior Sports Reporter
Emma is a journalism sophomore from Prosper, Texas and is probably watching Dallas Mavericks highlights as you read this. She currently works on the women’s basketball beat as a senior reporter, but has previously reported on men’s swim and dive and softball. In addition to watching the Mavericks, she enjoys spending her free time with the people she loves most, usually by grabbing some coffee or boba with them.
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.