Red River Recap: OU 34, Texas 27

Flags flew before the opening kickoff. Thirty minutes before the 115th iteration of what is now called the AT&T Red River Showdown began, OU and Texas met at midfield, presumably not to discuss their favorite fried foods from the State Fair of Texas. Referee Mike Defee tossed his flag, seemingly out of habit. But a few seconds later, he clarified that “every player from both teams have been issued an unsportsmanlike conduct foul,” and that any further infractions once the game began would result in an immediate ejection. OK.

It didn’t get much better for the Longhorns, as OU transfer QB and Heisman candidate Jalen Hurts ran all over the Texas defense on the opening drive, capping it off with a strike to WR CeeDee Lamb, his first of three receiving touchdowns on the day.

The Texas defense forced a fumble and an interception in the first half, both deep in their own territory, but it wasn’t enough with an offense that, despite getting Collin Johnson back, couldn’t seem to find a rhythm until late in the game. The Texas offensive line surrendered nine sacks and 15 tackles for loss to an OU defense that Texas players were quick to denigrate last week. Combined with an uncharacteristic amount of drops by wide receivers and another injury to Johnson that forced an early exit, Texas never led in a game that felt like a blowout at times, even though OU never led by more than two scores, and with a final score of 34-27.

RB Roschon Johnson, the converted QB, was a bright spot for the Longhorns. He only rushed eight times—Texas had trouble moving the ball on the ground and played catch-up the entire game—but had a magnificent 57-yard run in the third quarter that set up his four-yard TD, briefly tying the game.

Alas, it wasn’t enough. Every time Texas scored, it seemed like Oklahoma had an answer of their own. Texas’ defense didn’t get to Hurts all day, and the OU QB ran for 131 yards and a score to match his three touchdown passes to Lamb. In the third quarter, when Texas was pulling closer to OU, starting defensive end Malcolm Roach, a senior and team captain, was ejected for targeting. In the fourth quarter, Collin Johnson, back from a three game absence due to a hamstring injury, took a helmet-to-helmet hit and left the game. It was all OU from there on out.

At coin toss, a defiant Defee forced the Texas and Oklahoma captains to shake hands, telling the players to respect each other in “the greatest rivalry in college football.” For one moment, fans of the two teams had something to agree on.

Photo courtesy of Texas Athletics


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