Gearing up for game day: Breaking down the Red River Rivalry
DALLAS – After a down-to-the wire win against TCU last week, the Sooners are gearing up for one of the biggest games of the season.
During Saturday’s 20-17 win, OU quarterback Blake Bell completed 20 of 31 passes for 152 yards.
He didn’t throw an interception but also didn’t throw a touchdown pass, relying on the run game to score OU’s two touchdowns.
After struggling against the Horned Frogs, the University of Oklahoma is setting its sights to win the Golden Hat Trophy in the 108th Red River Rivalry on Saturday.
So far this season, OU has recorded 118 first downs compared to 69 first downs by all other opponents.
The running game, led by Brennan Clay and Damien Williams, has recorded 1,230 rushing yards against other defenses.
Analysts expect Trey Millard to play a key role in the Sooners’ running game, even if he is not the one to get the ball.
Throughout the season, Millard has played a pivotal role in blocking for runners and being a dominating presence at the line.
During last Saturday’s matchup with TCU, Millard scored one touchdown, giving the Sooners an early lead in the half.
OU has held other runners to just 566 yards in the first five games.
The Sooners’ defense has been dominant, led by Frank Shannon, Aaron Colvin, Zack Sanchez and Corey Nelson.
Nelson partially tore his pectoral muscle in Saturday’s win and will miss the rest of the season.
However, head coach Bob Stoops says the senior captain may postpone surgery to cheer on his teammates from the sidelines this Saturday.
While losing a top defensive player is likely to make an impact, the Sooners’ defense has a lot of young talent that has proven to disrupt offenses of all different calibers.
Julian Wilson and Gabe Lynn lead the team with two interceptions each.
On the offensive side of the ball, Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard are Bell’s favorite targets, each recording three touchdowns this season.
While the team has proven to be very effective this season, it is now facing an ever-tough opponent in the Texas Longhorns.
The Longhorns, who are 3-2 this season, barely defeated Iowa State last week in the last 51 seconds of the game.
The offense will likely pay attention to where Texas defensive end Cedric Reed is on the field.
Reed ranks first on the team for pass breakups and is tied for the top spot in tackles for a loss.
Defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat has posted one sack in 11 of his last 17 games and is tied with Reed for the most tackles for a loss.
Sooner fans will be seeing two very familiar names on the backs of a few jerseys on the field.
Quarterback Case McCoy will start in place of David Ash against the Sooners.
In the last game, McCoy went 26 of 45 for 244 passing yards and one touchdown.
The Longhorns’ offense is fueled by receivers Jaxon Shipley, Mike Davis and running back John Harris.
So far this season, Shipley has recorded 288 yards but has yet to reach the end zone.
The Sooners’ secondary will be on the lookout for Mike Davis, who has recorded 287 yards this season and four touchdowns.
Davis ranks third in the Big 12 in receptions and is tied for 15th in the nation for most touchdown receptions.
The Sooners have defeated Texas the past three years and is expected to win Saturday’s game by two touchdowns.
OU will take on the Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday.
Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.
The game will be shown live on ABC.
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