For every Sooner and Longhorn alike, the second Saturday in October brings forth a twinkle in their eye. This isn’t just a game, it’s not a rivalry, simply put this is a way of life. You see, for this annual event 150,000 plus Oklahoman’s and Texans appear in Dallas to witness the Red River Rivalry. Whether you are in the stands, with your buddies at a nearby TV or choking down a corn dog it’s impossible not to get invested in this game. 365 days a year Sooners and Longhorns won’t agree on much, but what they can agree on is this is one of the best rivalries in all of college football. As we await this years tilt on October 14th, we will have a four part series on the top 20 most memorable games in this storied series.
#20 Longhorn Defense Rules the Day
In 1983, both Texas and Oklahoma came into this contest ranked in the top ten with Oklahoma at eight and Texas at two. The game would be tied at seven going into the half in which Texas head coach Fred Akers dubbed the performance as “crummy.” The game changed quickly for Texas in the third quarter trailing 10-7. Texas scored 21 consecutive points to blow the game wide open. The Sooners would get a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but that would be as close as they would get in the Longhorn 28-16 win.
#19 Flash From the Past
The 90’s were a decade Sooner fans would rather forget. However, one of the bright spots was the 38-17 victory for the Sooners in 1993. With Cale Gundy under center, Oklahoma moved to more of a pro-style passing attack. But, in this game the Sooners would do their damage on the ground. Collectively, Oklahoma would run for 275 yards and five touchdowns in the decisive victory.
#18 The Major and Ricky Show
Ricky Williams lead the charge on the ground and Major Applewhite did so through the air to the tune of a 34-3 drubbing of the Sooners. Williams ran for 153 yards and a pair of scores while Applewhite threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns of his own. This game proved to be very monumental for both programs. For Oklahoma, this performance proved to be a turning point in the program. This came with the dismissal of head coach John Blake along with the hiring of Bob Stoops in 1999. Comparatively, this game on a national scene helped pave the way for a record setting and Heisman winning campaign for Williams.
#17 Billy Sims Makes His Mark
The magnitude of this game allows players to have a national platform. In 1978, that platform was used by Billy Sims. Injured and not able to play the previous two seasons for this game, Sims made his mark early. Sims scored the first two touchdowns of the game and paced the Sooners in a 31-10 victory. As Ricky Williams did, Sims utilized this game as a springboard into winning the 1978 Heisman trophy.
#16 “Tyler Rose” Pushes Longhorns
Continuing with our theme of great players in great games. Earl Campbell steals the show here. In another top five match-up, the fifth ranked Longhorns took on the second ranked Sooners in this instant classic. Campbell was the difference here in 1977 as Texas defeated Oklahoma 13-6. He had 126 yards and a touchdown in the victory. The bruiser won the Heisman to culminate the 1977 campaign for Texas.