TEXAS LONGHORNS (4-1)
vs. OKLAHOMA SOONERS (3-1)
Cotton Bowl - Dallas, TX
Kickoff: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Oklahoma -3Ĺ, Total: 61
The Red River Rivalry resumes on Saturday afternoon when No. 13 Oklahoma and No. 15 Texas hold their annual showdown at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Oklahoma is 8-4 SU (7-4-1 ATS) in the past 12 meetings, including a 55-17 blowout last year. Landry Jones has thrown for 603 yards, 5 TD and 0 INT during OUís two-game win streak in the series, but has gone seven straight games overall without reaching 300 passing yards. Texas has scored 50.7 PPG in its past three contests, but the defense has allowed an average of 38.3 PPG and 478 total YPG during this stretch. Longhorns QB David Ash is third in FBS passing efficiency with 1,276 yards, 11 TD and 1 INT.
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Ash is having a huge season, but he was dreadful in last year's game, completing just 11-of-20 passes for 107 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT, and finishing with minus-38 yards rushing. The Longhorns have missed top RB Malcolm Brown (ankle) for the majority of the past two games, as the team has rushed for just 271 yards on 81 carries (3.3 YPC). Brown is questionable for Saturday's game, which means sophomore Joe Bergeron will likely get the bulk of carries again. He has been held to fewer than 50 rushing yards in each of the past four games despite getting 11+ carries in each contest, totaling 195 yards on 54 carries (3.6 YPC). The Longhorns committed five turnovers in last year's Red River loss, but have just three giveaways over five games this season. The Texas defense has been giving up a boatload of yards recently, but it has also forced an average of two turnovers per game. In the past six meetings, Oklahoma has one total turnover in its three wins, but 12 miscues in its three losses, showing how important ball protection is for this series.
Jones needs to show some confidence in more than just his favorite receiver Kenny Stills, who has nearly twice the production of any of his teammates, catching 29 passes for 344 yards and 3 TD. Stills has been great in this series though, catching 10 passes for 129 yards and 3 TD in two meetings. Oklahoma's ground game has tailed off in the past two weeks with just 209 yards on 56 carries (3.7 YPC). Damien Williams has 82 rushing yards (3.4 YPC) and zero touchdowns in the past two weeks after starting the year with 259 rushing yards (13.0 YPC) and 5 TD. Williams did catch six passes for 82 yards in the 41-20 win over Texas Tech last week though. Senior RB Dominique Whaley has just 11 carries over the past two weeks, but he should be used more on Saturday based on his big performance against Texas last year, when he totaled 117 yards and a touchdown on just 17 touches. Defensively, Oklahoma was able to force three Red Raiders turnovers last week after tallying just one takeaway over its first three games. The pass defense has been outstanding all year, allowing just 160.5 passing YPG (9th in FBS), and the run defense was tough last week in holding TTU to just 89 yards on 32 carries (2.8 YPC).