Red River Rivalry Review

Red River Rivalry Review

The 115th renewal of Oklahoma vs Texas was the typical battle in the Cotton Bowl.  Many questions were answered and a few remain.  After the dust cleared, there wasn’t much doubt which was the better team.  What questions were answered and what questions remain?  With that in mind, here is the Red River Rivalry review.

Red River Rivalry Review


Clearly, the Sooners were the better team.  Oklahoma outplayed Texas on both sides of the ball.

A big factor in the outcome was Oklahoma’s dominance on offense, especially in the first half.  If not for some questionable play calling and red zone turn overs, the Sooners would have had a 21-28 point lead at halftime.  With that in mind, in most instances missed opportunities such as those will cost a victory.  Oklahoma was just good enough to overcome the miscues.

The Oklahoma defense was unrecognizable from recent years.  Clearly defensive coordinator, Alex Grinch has the Sooners defense playing at a level not seen in Norman in many years.  Oklahoma now has a defense to match their prolific offense.

With respect to the Longhorns, they never quit despite playing catch up all afternoon.  The Texas defense just couldn’t get enough stops against Oklahoma’s offense.

Not The Same Oklahoma

Oklahoma, in a short time has developed a defense to match the offense.  This was the biggest test to date for Oklahoma’s new defense under Grinch.  With that being said, Texas has a top 5 offense nationally.  The Sooners defense shut that offense down for most of the game.  Oklahoma dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

With the defense playing at such a high level, Oklahoma can legitimately contend for a national championship.  In previous years the Sooners had to play a near perfect game on offense and simply outscore everyone.  With this being said, this takes so much pressure off of the offense to be perfect.

Too Much Trash Talk

Texas talked trash through social media all week leading up to the game.  Typically, the team that does all the trash talk is compensating for a lack of actual confidence.  The Sooners didn’t have much to say through social media.  Oklahoma did their talking on the Cotton Bowl floor.  Seldom does the team talking trash win these big games.  Why would you ever want to give your hated rival extra motivation and bulletin board material!

Positives vs Negatives for Oklahoma

To anyone watching the game, Oklahoma was clearly the better coached and more talented unit.  The positives far outweighed the negatives for the Sooners.  With that being said, Oklahoma played a far from perfect game.  A major factor that allowed Texas to remain close at halftime was Oklahoma’s mistakes in the red zone, such as questionable play calling, poor decisions with the ball and turnovers by quarterback Jalen Hurts. Oklahoma still needs to cut down on crucial penalties.

In Hurts defense, he played a near perfect game in the second half.

The Final Word

Oklahoma was dominant, the Sooners clearly controlled the line of scrimmage.  The Sooner defense sacked Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger nine times Saturday.  Ehlinger had been sacked only 5 times through the Longhorns first five games.  Those games included a contest with SEC power LSU.

On the other side of the ball every time the Longhorns pulled close in the second half, the Texas defense had no answer for Oklahoma’s rushing attack and the receiving of CeeDee Lamb.  Lamb finished the game with 10 receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns.

In all likelihood this was just the first of two battles between Oklahoma and Texas in 2019.  These are clearly the best two football teams in the Big XII.  Everyone should just get ready for a second Red River Showdown in December.