The Oklahoma Sooners slipped up only one time this season, as they made what was almost a miraculous a comeback against the Texas Longhorns in the Red River Rivalry. Now these teams are ready to engage in the rematch, which has the Big 12 title at stake and is taking place on Saturday at Noon ET at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Remember that if you are a VietBet customer, you can place wagers on this game, even after the opening kickoff, as you take advantage of what is available through Live Betting Ultra.
The Sooners (11-1 SU, 4-7-1 ATS) have last year’s Heisman Trophy winner in Baker Mayfield, and they possess a prime contender this season any electric quarterback Kyler Murray, who has accounted for 48 touchdowns this season – 37 through the air and eleven more on the ground. Murray is also a top major-league baseball prospect, and that looks like the way he is going to go ultimately. But after a slow start against Texas on October 6, he sprung into action in a big way in the fourth quarter, coming up with three touchdowns to allow Oklahoma to come back all the way from the 45-24 deficit. However, that wasn’t enough, as Texas ended the thriller with a 40 yard field goal from Cameron Decker, in the process dealing the Sooners their only defeat of the season.
But Oklahoma has been involved in a few other hairy situations. They were taken to overtime by Army before finally prevailing 28-21; they beat Texas Tech 51-46 in a real slugfest, and they barely eked out a 48-47 victory over Oklahoma State. Last time out, they had all they can handle with the West Virginia Mountaineers, and in a seesaw battle that had a lot of lead changes, they were able to advance to this conference championship game with a 59-56 victory.
You notice a common thread through these games? If you guessed that it is an apparent lack of defense, you are correct. Oklahoma ranks just 111th in that category this season, and there is no question they have a lot of difficulty stopping quality offensive attacks. Even a change at the coordinator position, as Lincoln Riley fired Mike Stoops and hired Ruffin McNeill, did not make any kind of game-changing difference.
In Oklahoma’s favor, they do have the most productive offense in the nation, averaging just shy of 584 yards per game. And they have averaged 50.3 points per contest as well. It’s a real challenge for anybody to stop them from moving the chains, as they are 50.4% successful on third down. So is the Texas defense equal to the task? Well, interestingly enough, they surrendered 43.2% on third down, and they have been really tough in the red zone, preventing opponents from scoring any points at all almost 29% of the time. So even though they are basically middle of the pack in the NCAA statistical categories, they can get the job done in some respects.
One of the things that might be a pleasant surprise about Texas is that they can throw the ball with some effectiveness. Everyone was aware that Sam Ehlinger, the highly-sought-after recruit who took over the job as a freshman, was a great dual threat, but he made some strides with his arm as a sophomore, leading the Longhorns to 257 passing yards a game, which puts them in the top 40 in the nation. And he had 314 yards through the air in the earlier meeting against Oklahoma.
So while the stats might not be as gaudy on the Longhorns’ side, they might have enough to keep up, considering the pliability of Oklahoma’s defense. Also remember that Tom Herman is one of the nation’s great coaches when getting points, covering twelve of his last 13 games as an underdog.
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