#15 Texas Vs. #13 Oklahoma
Saturday, Noon EDT, ABC
It’s a pretty good rivalry when both sides are in the Top 15 and it’s an “off year” for each team. This year’s Red River Rivalry, between Texas and Oklahoma, will not feature a Top 10 team for the first time since 1999. Texas hopes to avenge an embarrassing 55-17 loss during last year’s Oklahoma game, and to secure the Longhorns’ first win against the Sooners since 2009.
The Oklahoma Sooners are three weeks removed from their loss to Kansas State on Sept. 22. Ranked as high as #4 going into this season, Oklahoma has been seen as a disappointment, even with just the one loss. Letting UTEP hang in there during their first game made voters think twice about placing Oklahoma above Oregon, and then the dominoes started to fall. Meanwhile, Texas started the season at #15, climbed as high as #9, and went back down after a 48-45 loss to West Virginia last week.
Oklahoma’s Landry Jones will surpass Steve Davis as OU’s winningest quarterback with his next win, although two of those wins secured national titles for Davis in the mid 1970’s. Jones has thrown for seven touchdowns and two interception in four games, and with wide receiver Jalen Saunders cleared to play this week, another threat has been added to the Sooners passing game. Saunders, a junior, led Fresno State in receiving yards and touchdowns in 2011 before transferring to Oklahoma.
Sophomore quarterback David Ash will be under center for Texas, hoping to do better than he did in relief for Case McCoy in last year’s game, where he threw one touchdown, was sacked four times, was intercepted twice (once for a touchdown) and fumbled twice more. Tailback Joe Bergeron leads the Big 12 with nine rushing touchdowns off of 300 yards in five games.
The lack of a Big 12 Championship game has made this year’s Red River Rivalry even more of a must-win for Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Texas coach Mack Brown. Stoops and Brown have each won a national title, but it’s been twelve and seven seasons, respectively, since Oklahoma and Texas finished at #1. If either team wants to catch up to West Virginia and Kansas State, this is their best chance to do so.