A Lot on the Line for Rivals Oklahoma and Texas in Dallas
No. 12 Oklahoma (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) vs. Texas (3-2, 2-0) in Dallas, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: Oklahoma by 8.
Series record: Texas leads 61-45-5.
WHAT’S AT STAKE:
A whole bunch. Oklahoma’s hopes of making the College Football Playoff. Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield’s Heisman contender status. Texas’s surprise early lead in the Big 12 standings. And bragging rights for both head coaches, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and Texas’ Tom Herman, who are meeting in this storied rivalry for the first time.
Texas freshman QB Sam Ehlinger vs. Sooners MLB Kenneth Murray. Herman won’t commit to starting Ehlinger, but his start and win over Kansas State point to Ehlinger taking over the offense. The Sooners will need a spy on him to limit Ehlinger as a rusher. That likely falls to Murray to defend against quarterback draws and power runs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oklahoma: Mayfield. After the loss to Iowa State, the Sooners will be looking to their senior quarterback to provide the leadership and touchdown passes to get their season back on track. Mayfield admitted he sees the game as a chance to create a legacy in the storied rivalry. But he’s also excitable and will need to keep his emotions in check against a defense that will blitz him often.
Texas: WR Reggie Hemphill-Mapps. The freshman is on the verge of a breakout season and turning into a favorite target for Ehlinger. He had 12 catches for 121 yards last week. He also had a punt return for a touchdown in the first game. Several Texas-Oklahoma games have been swung by big touchdowns on special teams.
FACTS & FIGURES: This is the first time both teams have first-year head coaches since Texas had Blair Cherry and Oklahoma had Bud Wilkinson back in 1947 … Texas hasn’t started 3-0 in the Big 12 since winning the title in 2009 and hasn’t won three games in a row since 2014 … Mayfield has thrown for at least two touchdowns in 18 consecutive games, a Big 12 record.
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