Sooners, Longhorns To Battle In Another Ranked Red River Rivalry: A Look Back At The Past 5 Games

Perfect starts by Texas and Oklahoma have set up the 43rd meeting between the Red River Rivals where both teams will be ranked.

Monday, October 2nd 2023, 10:45 am

By: Associated Press, Drake Johnson


Perfect starts by Texas and Oklahoma have set up the 43rd meeting between the Red River Rivals where both teams will be ranked.

The Longhorns were No. 3 in Sunday’s AP Top 25 and the Sooners moved up a couple of spots to a season-high No. 12.

The top of the rankings were mostly unchanged, with Georgia No. 1 and Michigan No. 2, though the Bulldogs received a season-low 35 first-place votes out of a possible 62.

The Texas-Oklahoma rivalry has the second-most ranked matchups of any series in major college football. Michigan-Ohio State is No. 1. The Wolverines and Buckeyes have played 48 times when both teams were ranked, including last year.

The combined ranking of 15 for Oklahoma and Texas is the best for a Red River Game since 2011, when they were a combined 14, with the Sooners at No. 3 and Longhorns 11th.

In 2018, the only time Texas and Oklahoma have met in the Big 12 Conference championship, the combined ranking also was 14 (Oklahoma at No. 5 and Texas at No. 9).

This will be the last Red River Rivalry played in the Big 12, with Texas and Oklahoma headed to the Southeastern Conference next year. And as with 2018, it could very well be the first of two meetings.

There is a long way to go, but Texas and Oklahoma were the only two ranked teams in the Big 12 this week. The last time the Big 12 had only two ranked teams was September 2021.

The last time Texas and Oklahoma played in the regular season with both in the top 10 was 2008, when No. 5 Texas beat No. 1 Oklahoma.

Longhorns fans recall that one especially well because the Sooners ended up being ranked higher at the end of the regular season and went on to play for both the Big 12 and BCS championships.

2022: Without Gabriel, Texas Shuts Out Oklahoma In Venables First Red River Rivalry

The largest margin of victory for the Longhorns in an OU-Texas game came in 2022.

Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel was injured the week before in a matchup with TCU, where the Sooners were demolished 55-24.

Coming into the 2022 Red River Rivalry, it was unclear if Gabriel would get the start. In typical pregame antics, Gabriel actually went through warmups with the starters but it was Davis Beville who started.

Davis Beville - Oklahoma - October 2022Image Provided By: Associated Press

The Sooners were only down 7-0 after the first quarter following a Bijan Robinson touchdown run. By halftime, Texas led 28-0 and it was clear the Gabriel-less Sooners were no match for the Longhorns.

Beville finished 6/13 for 38 yards and an interception. Kicker Michael Turk, running back Eric Gray, backup quarterback Nick Evers and running back Marcus Major all attempted a pass in the game as well.

Gray's pass was infamously intercepted when it looked like the Sooners were about to put some points on the board.

FINAL: Texas - 49 Oklahoma - 0

2021: The Legend Of Caleb Williams Is Born

Arguably the most entertaining Red River Rivalry matchup of all time came in 2021.

Entering the game, Oklahoma limped into the Texas State Fair at 5-0 but with victories of only five, seven, three and six points (excluding a 76-0 win over Western Carolina).

A poor quarter of play from the Sooners and quarterback Spencer Rattler resulted in a 28-7 deficit before former coach Lincoln Riley made the switch to electric freshman Caleb Williams. The rest is history.

Caleb Williams - Oklahoma - October 2021Image Provided By: Associated Press

Williams' 66-yard touchdown run to start the second quarter shocked the Texas defense as much as it sparked the Oklahoma offense.

Oklahoma would go on to outscore the Longhorns 48-20 en route to a last-second touchdown run by Kennedy Brooks to cap off the stellar comeback.

FINAL: Oklahoma - 55 Texas - 48

2020: The 4 Overtime, Half-Empty Stadium Game

The 2020 COVID-19 Red River Rivalry seems to be the best-forgotten game in this series in the past decade.

The Longhorns (2-1) and Sooners (1-2) started off the weird season with a few losses, lowering the hype around the high-profile matchup.

Texas dropped a close game to TCU while the Sooners blew leads to Iowa State and Kansas State the prior weeks.

Oklahoma jumped out to a 10-0 lead after a Gabe Brkic kick and Marvin Mims 30-yard reception touchdown.

Texas woke up in the second, scoring 17 points as OU's Marcus Major capped off a five-play drive with a touchdown to enter halftime tied.

The Sooners were up 31-17 in the fourth when Sam Ehlinger led two touchdown drives in the last five minutes to tie the game and force overtime.

The teams exchanged touchdowns in the first two overtimes, were held scoreless in the third and Drake Stoops caught the game-winning 25-yard touchdown from Spencer Rattler in the fourth.

FINAL: Oklahoma - 53 Texas - 45

2019: CeeDee Lamb Can Do No Wrong

Before he was wearing the iconic #88 for the Dallas Cowboys, Cedarian DeLeon "CeeDee" Lamb was a wrecking force for the Sooners under quarterbacks Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts.

The three-year starter put on a show against the Longhorns on Oct. 12, 2019.

CeeDee Lamb - Oklahoma Texas - 2019Image Provided By: Associated Press

Lamb had 10 receptions, 171 yards and 3 touchdowns on the day, including an incredible catch and run while avoiding several Longhorn defenders.

A Jalen Hurts rushing touchdown sealed the game with four minutes left, but Ehlingher scored to make the final score a one-possession game.

Also, Hurts went behind his back with the ball to avoid a sack this game.

FINAL: Oklahoma - 34 Texas - 27

2018: Trading The Golden Hat For A Big 12 Championship

An undefeated Heisman season for quarterback Kyler Murray was spoiled by the Longhorns in the traditional matchup at the Cotton Bowl.

Cameron Dicker kicked a field goal to secure the 48-45 win after a furious OU comeback in the fourth quarter. Luckily for the Sooners, they got a chance at revenge later that year in December.

A win in Arlington would give the Sooners a Big 12 Championship, a trip to the CFP Playoffs and a shoo-in Heisman for Kyler Murray. Oklahoma delivered.

Kyler Murray vs Texas - 2018Image Provided By: Associated Press

Murray completed 25/34 passes for 379 yards and 3 passing touchdowns while CeeDee Lamb caught 6 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown.

The Sooners were up three points midway through the fourth quarter, with Texas backed up on their own goal line with the game on the line, when speedy cornerback Tre Brown blitzed Sam Ehlinger, slamming him to the ground for a safety.

Murray would then hit tight end Grant Calcaterra in the corner of the endzone for a one-handed grab to seal a fourth-consecutive Big 12 Championship for Oklahoma.

FINAL: Oklahoma - 39 Texas - 27

The 119th Red River Rivalry kicks off at 11 a.m. in Dallas, Texas, on ABC on Oct. 7, 2023.

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