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This is a renewal of a rivalry that has very few that can match it. They play in the ancient Cotton Bowl in Dallas, which is actually a pretty, cool venue. The Texas State Fair surrounds the stadium and everyone who is there either has a Texas or an Oklahoma shirt on and are walking side-by-side each other. And the strange thing is, no one says a word to anyone from the other side. You just walk by each other as if the other one doesn’t exist. The game is unpredictable and the old cliche, throw the records out the window, 100% applies to this one. Let’s break it down.
Quarterback: Oklahoma has a more seasoned guy in charge with Spencer Rattler. He has a win under his belt in this game and is coming off his best outing of the year. His stats are excellent, (122 out of 160 for 1260 yards and 10 touchdowns). The negative is 4 costly interceptions and some poor decisions. Texas will counter with Casey Thompson, who took over the starting role after the thrashing at the hands of Arkansas. The offense has taken off since then, but the competition might have something to do with it. Nevertheless, he is 54 out of 76 for 707 yards and 9 touchdowns. How well he plays might be one of the keys of the game. Advantage: Oklahoma
Running Backs: For the first time in quite awhile, Texas enters the game with a stud running back. Bijan Robinson, has amassed 652 yards on 105 carries and 7 touchdowns. He is also dangerous on passes coming out of the backfield. Oklahoma has to be able to control him. The Sooners have Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray who have combined for 588 yards and last week OU ran the ball better. Advantage: Texas
Receivers: The Longhorns have two threats in Jordan Whittington (21 catches for 324 yards) and Xavier Worthy (15 for 253) with 7 touchdowns. Oklahoma has a host of guys with Marvin Mims being the best threat with 14 catches for 264 yards. They are waiting for someone else to break out with a big game, Advantage: Texas
Defense: Neither one of these teams are going to be compared to the Georgia defense. Texas is giving up 406 total yards per game and the Sooners 324 with a FCS school skewing those stats. The Longhorns have two linebackers, DeMarvion Overshown and Luke Brockermeyer, who have combined 77 tackles. Teams are averaging 172 yards per game on the ground and that is a huge concern. Oklahoma will counter with defensive lineman, Isaiah Thomas (13 tackles, 4 sacks), and linebacker Nik Bonitto (11 tackles, 3 sacks). In recent years, the games have been high-scoring and this might be another one. Advantage: Oklahoma
This is a game that is very difficult to bet. There is so much emotion that changes the momentum in a heartbeat. The stadium is cut in half with burnt orange on one side of the 50 and crimson on the other. 45,000 people are cheering on every play while 45,000 others are booing. It is quite an event to be a part of. As usual, this will be decided by whoever runs the ball the best, and who makes the fewest mistakes. Oklahoma is a 3.5-point favorite.
AARON’S PICK: Texas +3.5
PAPA DUDES PICK: Oklahoma -3.5
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