OU claws back, nips Texas
DALLAS As expected, those pesky Longhorns just wouldn't go away.
Oklahoma answered with its back against the wall in the waning moments and held on for dear life in an exhilarating 29-24 win over Texas at the Cotton Bowl Saturday afternoon marking the sixth time in the last eight meetings OU has defeated the Longhorns.
"That's why they call it the Red River Rivalry," Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said. "The atmosphere was electric. I loved our guys' fight even when we didn't play our best ball and had things go against us."
After No. 12 Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) built a commanding 20-0 first half lead, the Sooners fell asleep for a second straight week and watched Texas (3-3, 2-1 Big 12) chip away until the Longhorns leapt in front with a 24-23 lead midway through the fourth.
Luckily for the Sooners, this time the offense was there to save the day.
Trailing 24-23, OU quarterback Baker Mayfield didn't fold under pressure as he found his valuable tight end Mark Andrews wide-open down the sideline off a play action pass.
No one was home in the Texas secondary and Andrews who led the Sooners in receiving with four receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown waltzed into the end zone on a 59-yard touchdown catch, giving OU a 29-24 lead with 6:53 remaining after a failed two-point conversion.
"We got great protection and Mark ran a great route," said Mayfield who tossed two touchdowns and 302 yards on 17-of-27 passing. "It makes my job easy because he got wide open.
"Towards the end it started settling it was my last one (Red River Rivalry). When you play Texas, it always takes it all out of you."
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who had an impressive day as well, rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown to go along with 278 yards passing and another touchdown, took notice.
"Baker is obviously an incredible player. He wouldn't be on the Heisman watch if he wasn't," Ehlinger said. "He does incredible things with the football and the way he gets his team to get up and go is incredible."
When needed most, OU's oft-maligned defense repaid the offense with two critical stops in the final minutes.
With Texas once again in scoring position, defensive end DJ Ward, who started his prep career at Lawton High, came up with a huge sack with 2:40 left. The sack gave OU a boost before eventually forcing a turnover on downs with 1:52 left in the game.