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

Keys to the Game: OU

Alex Luevano
Texas Football head coach Steve Sarkisian runs into McLane Stadium with the Longhorns on September 23, 2023.

The 119th game between Texas and Oklahoma will mark the first time since 2011 where both teams are undefeated. By the end of Saturday, only one Big 12 team will remain in the position.

The last Red River Showdown in the Big 12 is expected to resemble the teams’ legendary matchups from the early 2000s. There is a lot at stake, especially with the Allstate Playoff Predictor suggesting that the winner of this year’s game has a 70% chance of reaching the College Football Playoff, while the loser only has around a 30% chance. 

The last time both teams headed into the Cotton Bowl undefeated, the Sooners got the last laugh, but when they met last year, Texas didn’t let Oklahoma score a single point. How this game will turn out for the Longhorns comes down to these three factors.

OU hasn’t had a big challenge yet, pressure it

Texas will be OU’s first challenge this season, but OU won’t be Texas’. Oklahoma has scored 20 or more points in every game this season, going as high as a 73-0 in their season opener. However, the Sooners have yet to play a ranked opponent, while Texas heads into its third ranked matchup. Texas can take advantage of their season inexperience with top teams by putting on a high class performance OU hasn’t faced yet. 

Defend, defend, defend!

OU quarterback Dillon Gabriel has been putting on stellar performances this season, leading OU’s running game to an average of 157.6 yards per game. Texas’ offense currently averages 191.8 yards per game, and historically, the team with more yards rushed ends up winning the game.

The Sooner defense won’t have an easy time scoring this time, as Texas’ defense has been crucial for the team’s performances. During the last matchup against Kansas, the Jayhawk offense went 0–8 in third downs, after leading the country at a 62.5% conversion rate prior to the game. When it came to fourth downs, the rival offense wasn’t successful either, going 0–2. 

Texas defensive back Jahdae Barron was credited with some of the game’s biggest plays, including a fourth down defensive stop, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery, and can be a key to stopping Gabriel’s attacks.

Let Jonathon Brooks run

The running back has been a breakout name for Texas this season. He leads the league in rushing yards with 597 recorded and already has five touchdowns to his name. 

Coach Steve Sarkisian highlighted Brooks’ abilities to find opportunities in the open field and make safeties miss, giving room for explosive runs. 

Though Brooks wasn’t the starting running back this season, there is very little doubt that he will be the first pick in Saturday’s game. 


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About the Contributor
Alex Luevano, Associate Photo Editor
Alex is a four year RTF major from San Antonio, TX. He is currently an Associate Photo Editor at the Texan.