Oklahoma produced an impressive performance from a freshman quarterback and rallied from an early deficit to beat Texas 54-48 on Saturday in the latest wild and unpredictable meeting at the Red River Showdown.
With starting quarterback Spencer Rattler missing out on easy throws and troubled by the Longhorns’ defense, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley turned to new Caleb Williams, a five-star recruit who soon played an unbeaten run and played college football. made a furious return to put in front of. Playoff race.
With a score of 48 with just over a minute to go, Williams and Ou covered 75 yards in six plays for the win, capped by a second behind Kennedy Brooks’ 33-yard touchdown run.
The true freshman threw for 212 yards and two scores and was part of two of the game’s biggest highlight-reel moments: His 66-yard touchdown struck early in the second quarter and cut Longhorn’s lead to 28-14 and 52-yard scoring. Gave. Pass to wide receiver Denzel Mims who scored 41 midway through the fourth quarter.
Texas scored on a 75-yard touchdown in the opening game of the game. and led 28-7 after the first quarter. Freshman wide receiver Xavier Worth finished with 261 receiving yards, the second most in program history, and trailing Bijan Robinson had 137 rushing yards.
At a time when the defense has gained a foothold in the Big 12 and as OU struggles to score points with consistency, this year’s return to normal behavior in a rivalry known for humiliating offenses to Red River Felt like The 102 combined points set a new Red River record.
The Sooners finished with 662 yards of the total offense split evenly between runs and passes: 339 on the ground and 323 through the air. Texas took a lead of 516 yards, the most OUs have allowed in regular season games since November 23, 2018.
The inability to capitalize on a quick start and pull away amid Sooners’ struggle on offense shows how far Texas has come and Longhorn still has to go under coach Steve Sarkeesian.
The win creates a potential quarterback dilemma for Riley, who has struck a magic touch with high-profile passersby—including a pair of Heisman Trophy winners in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray—but will need it for the first time in his tenure. To decide which option gives his team the best chance of reaching the national semi-finals.
After a solid but unexpected 2020 season, Rattler was expected to blossom into a Heisman contender and challenge for one of the top spots in the upcoming NFL Draft. Williams was the nation’s top recruiting quarterback.
Rivals could meet again in the Big 12 championship game, which will see the top two finishers in the conference clash in early December.
Follow college reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg