When Oklahoma and Texas face each other at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday morning it’ll be the 115th meeting between the two rivals. With the winner sure to have an inside track to the Big 12 championship game, here are ten things you’ll want to know about the 2019 Red River Showdown.
1. The Real Flagship Program Of The Big 12
This marks the second straight season both OU and Texas enter their October matchup ranked in the AP Top 25 (prior to 2018 it had not been done since 2012). The Sooners have been ranked in the AP poll at the time of the October game each of the last 14 years and in 19 of the last 20 seasons. Texas was unranked when playing the Sooners from 2013 to 2017.
2. Yeah, But Oklahoma Is Trending In The Right Direction
Texas is the only Big 12 program with a winning record against the Sooners. Oklahoma trails 62-47-5 in the series, but owns a 26-20-3 advantage since 1971. In the Big 12 era, OU is 14-10 against the Longhorns. The Sooners have won seven of the last 10 meetings and 13 of the last 20.
3. Lighting Up The Scoreboard
The Sooners have scored at least 34 points in 15 straight games (longest streak in school history) and in 26 of the last 27. The 15-game streak is tied for the third longest nationally since at least 1980.
4. Piling Up The Yards
The Sooners have run only six more plays than their opponents this season (324-318) but have out-gained them by a staggering 1,487 yards (3,219- 1,732). OU leads the nation in total offense (643.8 ypg) despite ranking 111th in plays per game (just 64.8).
5. The Offenses
Oklahoma ranks second nationally with its 53.4 points per game while Texas is 13th at 41.8. Similarly, OU leads the nation with its 643.8 yards per contest while UT ranks 19th at 483.6 per game. Defensively, the Sooners are tied for second in the league and 25th nationally by allowing 19.0 points per game while the Longhorns rank seventh and 67th (26.6).
6. The Jalen Hurts Factor
The Sooners lead the nation with their 217.4 pass efficiency rating and are fifth with their 355.4 passing yards per game. Texas is last in the Big 12 in pass efficiency defense (145.0) and passing yards allowed (325.0).
7. Below .500
The Horns are 6-7 against top-25 foes during the Tom Herman era.
8. We Haven’t Seen This In A While
For the first time since 2006, Oklahoma has held four consecutive opponents (in the same season) to 20 points or less. OU has allowed only seven first-quarter points this year and has permitted just 34 first-half points (average of 6.8).
9. Marked Improvement
After ranking 118th nationally last year in defensive third-down conversion percentage (46.4%), OU ranks fifth nationally this season (24.6%; 16 for 65).
10. A Nightmare For The Defense
CeeDee Lamb ranks sixth nationally in yards per catch (24.4), seventh in touchdown receptions (seven) and 26th in receiving yards per game (87.8). Charleston Rambo ranks fourth in the nation with his 27.4 yards per grab and 45th by averaging 76.6 yards per contest (has four TD catches). The duo has combined for eight catches of at least 45 yards this season (Lamb has receptions of 45, 48, 65 and 71 yards while Rambo has grabs of 48 [two], 56 and 74 yards).
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