Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel engineered a late drive to a touchdown that gave the Sooners the lead and an eventual 34-30 win over Texas at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday.
Taking possession with just 1:17 to play, Gabriel moved the Sooners 75 yards in just five plays and threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Nic Anderson with just 15 seconds left to give Oklahoma the go-ahead and game-winning score.
Gabriel missed last year’s game with an injury and this was his first start in the OU-Texas series.
Gabriel was 23-for-38 for 285 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 113 yards and a touchdown.
First time starting quarterbacks for Oklahoma had not fared well for the most part in the series against Texas, with the win making their record 21-36-3 since 1922.
OU was plus-3 in turnover margin, but had to rely on late heroics to pull out the win.
The game started with a wild first quarter, then settled into both teams moving the ball well offensively in the second quarter.
Texas got the ball to start the game and on the second snap, Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers was intercepted by OU’s Gentry Williams at the UT 22-yard line.
It took five plays for the Sooners to convert, with Dillon Gabriel keeping for a 9-yard touchdown to put OU up 7-0 with 13:11 to play in the first quarter.
Oklahoma’s defense had apparently forced a punt after three downs on the ensuing possession, but Texas faked the punt and Jordan Whittington gained 20 yards to the OU 48 to keep the drive alive.
On 4th and 1 at the OU 39, Texas went for it again, with Savion Red passing to Gunnar Helm for a gain of 25 to the OU 14.
On the play, the ball came out and Gentry Williams recovered for OU, but on replay review, it was overturned, with officials saying Helm’s knee was down.
Two plays later, OU got the ball back, as Ewers pass to Ja’Tavion Sanders was broken up on a big hit by Billy Bowman, and Kendel Dolby intercepted the loose ball at the Sooner 10-yard line.
Oklahoma couldn’t convert a first down and was forced to punt from their own end zone.
Josh Plaster’s punt was blocked by Kitan Crawford and Malik Muhammad recovered in the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game at 7 with 9:02 to play in the first quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jalil Farooq lateraled to Jaquaize Pettaway, who returned it 30 yards to the OU 45, but the Sooners were called for an illegal forward pass on the pitch to Pettaway and had to start at their own 15.
Both teams exchanged punts, then OU moved deep into Texas territory late in the first quarter, with Gabriel passing to Jalil Farooq for a gain of 43.
Oklahoma couldn’t punch it in after reaching the Longhorn 9 and settled for a 27-yard field goal by Zach Schmit to take a 10-7 lead with 14:14 to play in the second quarter.
Texas responded with their first offensive points, going 85 yards in nine plays to a touchdown.
On 4th and 1 from the OU 22, Ewers passed to a wide open Gunnar Helm for the score to put the Longhorns up 14-10 with 9:27 to play in the first half.
Ewers was 31-for-37 for 346 yards and a touchdown, but also had two interceptions.
Oklahoma answered with a touchdown drive, going 75 yards in 10 plays.
On third down, Gabriel passed to Farooq for 19, then Gabriel ran for 15 yards, with Texas called for a late hit penalty, moving the ball to the Longhorns’ 11-yard line
Farooq had 130 yards receiving on five catches.
It took OU four plays from there to score with Tawee Walker running it in from a yard out to put the Sooners back on top 17-14 with 5:23 to play in the first half.
Texas got a big play to start the ensuing possession, with Ewers passing to Xavier Worthy for 39 yards.
Oklahoma’s defense stiffened after that, and UT settled for a 25-yard field goal by Bert Auburn to tie the game 17-17 with 1:53 to play in the second quarter.
Oklahoma had time left in the first half to get more points and they did, marching to the Texas 8-yard line.
On 3rd and 2 from the 8, Gabriel’s pass to Tawee Walker was incomplete with two seconds left, and Zach Schmit kicked a 26-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to put OU on top 20-17.
Oklahoma got the ball to start the second half, and put together an impressive 13-play, 75-yard drive, gaining six first downs on the drive, and finishing it with a 1-yard touchdown run by Walker to put the Sooners up 27-17 with 10:21 to play in the third quarter.
Texas’ ensuing possession ended in a turnover.
Ewers scrambled on third down and had the ball knocked out by Peyton Bowen, and Gentry Williams recovered the fumble at the 50-yard line for the Sooners.
OU couldn’t capitalize on the turnover and punted, with Texas taking over at their own 5-yard line.
The Longhorns moved into Sooner territory but had to settle for a 45-yard field goal by Auburn to cut OU’s lead to 27-20 with 1:53 left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing possession, OU faced a fourth and 1 from the UT 48, but Gabriel’s pass to Drake Stoops was incomplete and the Longhorns took over on downs.
Ewers passed to Jordan Whittington for a gain of 28 yards to the OU 1-yard line.
On four plays from there, Texas couldn’t score.
On fourth and goal from the 2, Ewers passed to Xavier Worthy, who was tacked by Billy Bowman at the 1-yard line to give OU the ball back on downs.
Oklahoma’s offense was backed up on their own 1-yard line, but got a 13-yard run by Tawee Walker to get some room.
Gabriel then ran for 12 yards on 3rd and 11, and picked up 44 yards on a run to the Texas 32.
The OU drive bogged down after that and Schmit missed a 45-yard field goal attempt wide right with 7:55 to play to keep the score 27-20.
Texas responded with a drive to tie it, going 73 yards in five plays, with Jonathon Brooks scoring on a 29-yard touchdown run to make it 27-27 with 6:10 to play.
Brooks had 129 yards rushing on 22 carries.
Oklahoma could not get a first down on the ensuing possession and had to punt.
Texas then marched to the go-ahead score, with Auburn kicking a 47-yard field to put the Longhorns up 30-27 with 1:17 to play.
It was plenty of time for the Sooner offense, who went 75 yards in 5 plays, with Gabriel passing to Drake Stoops for a gain of 28 yards to the Texas 20.
Helped by a Texas pass interference penalty, OU got inside the Longhorns 5, and Gabriel found a wide open Nic Anderson in the back left corner of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown to put Oklahoma up 34-30 with 15 seconds left.
Texas had one final chance, but a hail mary attempt by Ewers was knocked incomplete as time expired.
This was the 43rd meeting between the two teams with both ranked, tying Ohio State-Michigan for the most of any rivalry.
It was the first matchup of 5-0 teams in the series since 2008 and just the third ever.
It’s the first time OU has beaten a favored Texas team since 2002.
Oklahoma improves to 6-0 on the season, 3-0 in Big 12 play, while Texas falls to 5-1, 2-1 in conference.
The Sooners are off next weekend, then host UCF on October 21.