Game of the Week — Week 7
The Red River Rivalry is back and is shaping up as the most important game in the Big 12 this year. With the playoff hopes of the entire Big 12 on the line, a highly anticipated quarterback pairing, and the normal, atrocious Big 12 defenses, this game is sure to be high scoring and fun to watch.
Coming off of two straight seasons where Oklahoma’s quarterbacks have taken home the Heisman, that streak was projected to come to an end. Nevertheless, Jalen Hurts has balled out these past five weeks, showing the nation that he wasn’t going to fade away after transferring from Alabama. He has accrued 1523 passing yards with 14 touchdowns through the air, while also leading the ground attack with seven touchdowns and 499 yards rushing. He has also led the Sooners to an average of 643.8 yards per game; this is the most in the NCAA but over 70 yards. If Jalen Hurts isn’t contained, Texas is simply going to have a tough time staying in the game.
Despite the Heisman hopeful under center for Oklahoma, Texas junior QB Sam Ehlinger has had a great start of his own. Ehlinger has thrown for 17 touchdowns and 1448 yards with only two interceptions. The Longhorns’ offense has scored at least 36 points in every game so far, including against an elite LSU squad, where they scored 38 points on 530 offensive yards. However, their defense has been their biggest weakness. In two weeks of conference play, the Longhorns’ defense has given up 61 points on 957 offensive yards against subpar teams West Virginia and Oklahoma State. They have, however, forced six turnovers in those same two weeks. The Longhorns will have to find a way to mend their pass coverage if they wish to compete this week.
Per usual, these Big 12 teams both have explosive offenses that can do serious damage. Quarterbacks Sam Ehlinger and Jalen Hurts will both shine on Saturday, but the one that shines the brightest will be the one bringing home the bacon. The true X factor for this game is how well the defenses work to stop the passing attack; whichever defense can accomplish this task will win. The game will take place at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX on Saturday at noon and will be broadcast on FOX.