By Terrance Turner
Oct. 8, 2022
Today the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns met in one of college football’s biggest rivalries. The Red River Showdown brought both teams to the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, TX this morning. They played before a crowd of 92,000, with Texas and Oklahoma fans split at the 50-yard line. The game took place during the Texas State Fair.
Both teams had injured quarterbacks. Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers returned from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for a month; Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel remains in concussion protocol after a scary head injury last week. (The Sooners brought in 6’6″ backup Davis Beville as replacement.) The game quickly turned into a blowout: Texas’ juggernaut offense rolled right over the Sooners. The Longhorns scored their most points to date in the series, shutting out Oklahoma for the first time since 1965.
Both teams punted on their opening possessions. But Texas’ offense got going on its second possession — the first of two straight 90-yard drives. Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson had five carries, including the score. Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy ran seven yards to the two-yard line for 1st and goal; then Robinson rushed two yards for the touchdown.
Oklahoma’s drive was impressive on several levels. With four different players in at quarterback (inclung Beville), the Sooners ran four straight running plays. Wide receiver Jalil Farooq ran 23 yards on one play and 12 more on the next. Tight end Brayden Willis lined up at quarterback and rushed eight yards on two plays. Then RB Eric Gray picked up a first down. The Sooners kept their drive with two fourth-down conversions (!) They advanced to the red zone and got up to the 10-yard line. But the Longhorns defense smothered them. Oklahoma turned the ball over on downs.
Texas took over. The Longhorns went 92 yards in eight plays; the drive took them to the end of the first quarter. It was highlighted by a 38-yard catch from RB Roschon Johnson. And wide receiver Xavier Worthy caught a 10-yard touchdown. Texas went up 14-0, with 12:40 remaining in the second quarter.
After another Sooners punt, the Longhorns got back possession. Bijan Robinson again picked up major yardage for Texas. On 3rd and 6, he made a dazzling 12-yard catch. Later he rushed 14 yards on 3rd and 1. But it was running back Keilan Robinson who scored this time. After catching a swing pass from Ewers, he went 15 yards to the end zone. Texas went up 21-0.
After punts by each team, Oklahoma finally got something going on offense. Once again, they relied on their run game, with five consecutive rushing plays. Willis, Farooq, and Gray once again alternated snaps at quarterback. Gray ran all the way to the 20-yard line. But then he got intercepted by Longhorns defensive back Jahdae Barron.
Texas regained possession. Quinn Ewers converted a third down with a 16-yard run. And when his attempted pass to Worthy got broken up, a pass interference call on Sooners DB Kendall Dennis gave the Longhorns a first down. Starting from the 24-yard line, Ewers hurled a pass to tight end Ja’Tavion Daniels for the touchdown.
The Sooners brought Davis Beville back in at quarterback. But he got picked off by Texas DB D’Shawn Jamison, with just two seconds left before halftime. Texas led 28-0 at the half.
Both teams struggled in their opening drives. The Sooners again turned it over on downs. The Longhorns’ promising drive was foiled when Ewers was intercepted by C.J. Coldon. But after that misstep, the Longhorns were near-flawless on offense. Following another punt by Oklahoma, they scored touchdowns on their next three drives. Bijan Robinson practically walked into the end zone for his second TD of the day:
Ja’Tavion Daniels caught a high-flying pass in the end zone for his second touchdown:
By the time RB Jonathon Brooks scored a rush TD early in the fourth quarter, it was all but over for Oklahoma. The Sooners suffered their first shutout loss since 1998 as Texas beat them 49-0. It was the first time the Longhorns have shut out the Sooners since 1965, according to ABC. And after a 3-0 start with new coach Brent Venables, Oklahoma has its first three-game losing streak since 1998. (Texas, meanwhile, improves to 4-2 for the season.)
Quinn Ewers threw for 289 yards and four touchdowns, with just one interception. “It was a lot of fun,” he said after the game. “It’s just a dream come true for me.” He added that the location made this extra special: “I grew up near Dallas, you know. To finally get to experience this game experience was just a dream come true.”