The biggest game of the regular season for Oklahoma and Texas finally has significant meaning once again. The #12th-ranked Sooners are heading to the Cotton Bowl to face the 3rd-ranked Longhorns in a game that will establish which team actually gets to claim “Kings of the Conference.” Well…at least until the first weekend in December. As Saturday approaches, here are some notes that might be of interest.
- This will be a matchup of the Big 12’s only ranked teams.
- Texas and Oklahoma rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in all-time wins. OU is 939-338-53 (.726) while UT is 941-390-33 (.702).
- This marks the first season since 2011 (both teams were 4-0) in which Oklahoma and Texas are undefeated at the time of their October meeting.
- OU has won six of its last seven games against Texas and 12 of its last 16 when both teams are ranked in the AP poll.
- Texas’ No. 3 AP ranking is its highest when playing Oklahoma since 2009.
- OU has posted a 10-8 (.556) regular season record against AP top-5 teams since the start of the 2000 season.
- The last time OU held each of its first five opponents to 20 points or fewer was in the 2000 season.
- Oklahoma has won 14 Big 12 championships in the league’s first 27 years. Texas, Baylor and Kansas State are tied for second with three each.
- The Sooners are a league-best 171-58 (.747) in regular season Big 12 play since the conference began in 1996. The current Big 12 program with the next best winning percentage is Texas (151-78; .659).
- The Sooners’ 54 points allowed are their fewest over the first five games of a season since 2009 (gave up 42).
- OU ranks in the top five nationally in both scoring offense (No. 3 at 47.4 ppg) and scoring defense (No. 4 at 10.8 ppg).
- The only time the Sooners trailed this season was for a 7:05 stretch in the first quarter at Cincinnati (3-0). They have led for 276:24 out of 300 minutes on the year.
Quotes From Oklahoma Head Coach Brent Venables
“A really talented, hot Texas team. On paper, and on film, they play their best when they’re playing really good people. Texas has already risen to the occasion and done so. Coming off a really good, strong game last week against Kansas where they had almost 700 yards of offense and really were unstoppable.” – On The Longhorns
“They’re really good in all the spots, so it’s hard if you’re like, ‘Alright, let’s take these guys away and make them count on this. Let’s cut the head off the snake. They got all kinds of them, everywhere. They’re really good and talented and there’s not an area that we don’t have to play well. We need to play well everywhere. You’re not gonna just luck up and win a game like this. These guys will punish you for the smallest mistakes.” – On The Talent Of The Longhorns
“If that’s offensively, how efficient they have been. They’ve got incredible weapons at the skill position. They lost some backs from last year and they’ve obviously shown they’ve really recruited well. (Jonathon) Brooks is one of a number of their backs that is running really, really well. (Xaiver) Worthy, (Adonai) Mitchell, (Ja’Tavion) Sanders amongst others are just some really incredibly talented players. (Quinn) Ewers was a freshman last year, played pretty dang good and is playing at a really high level. Obviously against Alabama in Tuscaloosa threw for just south of 350 yards and was the national player of the week.” – On The Texas Offense
“Don’t try to force the issue, let the game come to you, but all successful quarterbacks will be the first to tell you they’re successful because they’re surrounded by pretty good parts. Whether that’s a good line, a good running game, quality receivers that can get open and they can block in the run game; a defense that’ll compliment them and not put them in tough positions. But poise is incredibly important at that position, without question. Everybody looks to that person from a leadership standpoint and a focus standpoint and sometimes emotionally as well. That goes with that position from a leadership standpoint a lot. It is on that guy and he has to have special qualities.” – On The Keys To Success For The Quarterbacks
“Well, stay healthy and another year — you know we had several freshmen, just young guys that haven’t — they were just freshmen, whether it’s (Gavin) Freeman, or (Jayden) Gibson or (Nic) Anderson, those guys in particular. Certainly we’ve got (Jaquaize) Pettaway that’s a freshman now. Again, we’ve had a couple of transfers. You know, J.J. (Hester) hasn’t played, he just got cleared and Andrel (Anthony) just got here in the summertime. There’s a lot that you just didn’t know. I’m probably leaving out somebody — LV (Bunkley-Shelton) was a second-year here and then you had two guys in Drake (Stoops) and Jalil (Farooq) that had proven, but we didn’t have a proven starting group and we certainly didn’t have proven depth.” – On The Rise Of Oklahoma’s Receivers
“I think that goes without saying, Texas has recruited well for a long time. They’ve done a great job from a development standpoint on both lines of scrimmage. I like where our guys are at. Our guys have recruited well as well. I feel like our guys have made the improvement that we like and we still want more, just like I’m sure they do. But again, it should be a good matchup on both sides of the football. Again, if you want to win this game I think you got to win the lines of scrimmage. You certainly can’t lose the line of scrimmage. If it’s a push then some other part of the game that you’re better in, but I think that’s going to be a critical part of this game, no doubt about it.” – On The Battle Up Front
Quotes From Texas Head Coach Steve Sarkisian
“Great deal of respect for OU. Coach Venables has done a tremendous job going into year two. The quarterback, [Dillon] Gabriel, is playing at a very high level. They’ve got an explosive unit. He distributes the ball beautifully, whether it’s RPOs, advantage throws, shot plays, things of that nature.” – On Brent Venables & Dillon Gabriel
“I’m sure they’re talking about last year’s game, too. We’re going to get an emotional team coming into the Cotton Bowl that we’re going to have to compete against.” – On Oklahoma’s Motivation Following Last Year’s Blowout Loss
“I think they’re playing really well together. A lot of guys on the same accord. The front tied together with the backers tied together with the secondary.” – On Oklahoma’s Defense
“The multiplicity of what they do is very challenging. They’ve got a lot of pressure packages so it’s definitely challenging on that front, especially when they’re all on the same accord and working well together.” – On The Sooner Defense Getting Pressure In The Backfield
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