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OU vs. Texas: By The Numbers
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A closer look at some of stats and facts inside the Red River Rivalry
A college football rivalry as epic as Oklahoma-Texas is built on iconic coaches, fought for by heroic players and anguished over by proud, passionate fan bases.
But it’s also a rivalry often defined by numbers. Whether it’s jersey numbers, yardage totals, final scores, wild plays or mind-blowing records — some numbers remain indelibly burned into our memories.
Ahead of this year’s annual Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl, here is a look at the historic rivalry by some of those numbers:
Points scored by Texas in the 2004 game, a 12-0 OU victory. It was the first shutout in the series since OU’s 27-0 victory in 1972. In the history of the series, there have been 20 shutouts.
Somebody has been ranked No. 1 in this battle 12 times. The Sooners are 6-2 against Texas as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team, and the Longhorns are 3-0-1 vs. Oklahoma.
The number of yards James Allen ran to end the only overtime match between Oklahoma and Texas, a 30-27 Sooner victory in 1996. It was the first year of the Big 12 Conference and the first year of overtime in college football. Two is also the number of points quarterback Justin Fuente — now head coach at Virginia Tech — got the Sooners when he threw to Stephen Alexander after Jarrail Jackson’s 51-yard punt return and before Jeremy Alexander’s OT-forcing field goal.
The Sooners scored three defensive touchdowns in a 55-17 blowout in 2011. Demontre Hurst, David King and Jamell Fleming each scored off turnovers, and OU collected eight quarterback sacks.
Oklahoma and Texas have walked off the field feeling empty — that is, they’ve finished tied — four times. Well, Barry Switzer wasn’t exactly feeling empty after the 1984 tie. He was actually quite full — of rage, over a blown call (see 1984 below).
OU beat the Longhorns five straight times between 1971-75 under Chuck Fairbanks and Barry Switzer. Bob Stoops’ Sooners beat Texas five years in a row between 2000-2004.
Quentin Griffin scored a school-record six touchdowns in the 2000 game, a 63-14 Sooner blowout. Also, OU’s longest win streak in the series is six games from 1952-57.
That’s how many Heisman Trophy winners have played in the Red River Rivalry: OU’s Billy Vessels (1952), Steve Owens (1969), Billy Sims (1978), Jason White (2003) and Sam Bradford (2008) and Texas’ Earl Campbell (1977) and Ricky Williams (1998). You want excellence? The running backs averaged 127 yards and combined for seven TDs in their Red River Rivalry games during their Heisman seasons, and OU’s quarterbacks completed 75 percent of their passes, averaged 339 passing yards and threw nine touchdowns.
During Jason White’s big game in 2003, Mark Clayton wore No. 9 as he caught eight passes for 190 yards and a touchdown and launched himself into an All-American season.
Billy Sims and Earl Campbell both wore No. 20, and wore it well. In successive seasons (1977 and 1978), Campbell rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown, and Sims rushed for 131 yards and two scores.
Marcus Dupree famously wore No. 22 and famously scored his first college touchdown against the Longhorns in 1982. He took a pitchout from Kelly Phelps, faked a reverse to Steve Sewell, cut through two Texas defenders and went 64 yards for a score. OU won 28-22. But the ‘Horns got more than revenge in Dupree’s sophomore season, winning 28-16, sending Dupree to the sideline with a severe concussion and essentially ending his OU career. Dupree went home to Mississippi the next day and never returned.
Adrian Peterson wore No. 28 when he went 44 yards on his first carry against the Longhorns in 2004 (a 12-0 victory). Despite that burst and a freshman total of 225 yards, Peterson’s other efforts against Texas were fairly forgettable. Nursing a severely sprained ankle in 2005, he managed only three carries for 10 yards in a 45-10 loss. In a 28-10 loss in 2006, Peterson contributed 25 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown, but at a crucial time in the fourth quarter, he didn’t chase down a lateral pass from Paul Thompson that was recovered and returned by Aaron Ross for a clinching Texas TD.
In the comics, Superman came down from Krypton. In Sooner lore, Superman came down over Brett Robin, the Texas fullback who tried to cut block Roy Williams, No. 38, on the goal line late in OU’s 14-3 thriller in 2001. Williams landed on UT quarterback Chris Simms, the ball popped up in the air and Teddy Lehman caught it and strolled into the end zone to turn a tenuous 7-3 lead into an unforgettable victory.
No player before or since quite represented Sooner Nation’s disgust for all things Texas than did the Sooners’ brash linebacker from Dallas, Brian Bosworth. He hit Longhorns so hard he knocked off his own helmet, and he infamously once said burnt orange made him puke. In the 1985 game, The Boz intercepted Todd Dodge in a 7-7 game, setting up the Sooners for the go-ahead touchdown, an option pitch from Troy Aikman to Patrick Collins in a 14-7 OU triumph. Bosworth helped hold Texas to minus-24 yards in the second half his sophomore year, and when The Boz was a junior, the ‘Horns finished with just 29 rushing yards on 29 attempts.
OU’s point total in the 2000 game, the most scored by either team — at least until the Sooners scored 65 three years later — in a 63-14 victory. The Red River Blowout set the stage for a difficult few years for Texas coach Mack Brown.
Earl Campbell was the best player on the field in 1977, but it was Texas kicker Russell Erxleben who delivered a record 64-yard field goal (and a 58-yarder in the fourth quarter) that made the difference in a 13-7 Texas victory — Barry Switzer’s first Red River Rivalry loss.
Times at least one of the teams came into the game ranked since the AP Poll started in 1936. Of those, both teams were ranked 38 times. From 1971-81, both teams were ranked 11 years in a row.
In 1946, the first full football season following World War II, Joe Golding intercepted a pass from Bobby Layne and took it 99 yards for a touchdown. A crowd of 50,000 — then the largest ever to see a sporting event in Texas — filled the Cotton Bowl.
This year’s meeting is the 111th in the series. Texas leads 61-44-5 all-time. Since 1947, however, when Bud Wilkinson took over in Norman, the series is knotted at 33-33-3.
The year the teams met for the first time, a 28-2 victory by the Texas side, described in the Austin American as “Varsity.” They met twice in 1901 (both Texas victories) and twice in 1903 (a tie and a Texas win), then didn’t play in 1918, 1920 or 1921. After meetings in 1922 and 1923 (both Texas victories), the series was on hiatus until resuming in 1929.
That’s when the annual OU-Texas grudge match moved permanently to the Cotton Bowl under the auspices of a 10-year contract. The State Fair of Texas hasn’t been the same since. Texas led the series 14-8-1 before moving to Dallas. Since then, the Longhorns lead 46-36-4.
Oklahoma’s 49-20 victory — at the time the Sooners’ largest margin of victory — was televised in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas and San Antonio. It was the first Red River Rivalry game to be carried on television.
It’s the only time in series history that the Red River Rivals came in ranked No. 1 (OU) and 2 (Texas). The Longhorns scored a 28-7 upset, UT’s sixth win in a row during a streak that reached eight — the longest in the series. Halfback Joe Don Looney, a first-team All-American in 1962, had a falling out with Coach Wilkinson and was dismissed from the team two days later.
With President Gerald Ford awkwardly standing with them at midfield for the coin toss, Barry Switzer fumed and Darryl Royal seethed. Royal had long suspected Switzer of planting spies at Texas practice. Switzer denied the accusations, and Royal’s “sorry bastards” quote made it into print. They did not speak during the pregame ceremonies. The game? An ugly 6-6 tie (a PAT snap sailed over holder Bud Hebert’s head) that fittingly represented the tenor of the rivalry.
This was the one game that really gets Switzer’s goat. Texas was ranked No. 1, so he really wanted to win. It rained all day, causing Switzer to put on a “Beat Texas” hat given to him by one of the equipment managers. The game should have been over when Tony Casillas recovered a fumble late in the fourth quarter, but officials awarded the ball to Texas. And it should have really been over when Keith Stanberry intercepted a pass in the end zone and slid toward the boundary on the soggy turf, but officials incorrectly ruled he was out of bounds. Texas kicked a field goal on the final play to tie it up at 15-15.
In the highest-scoring Red River Rivalry game ever and inarguably one of the most compelling games in the entire series, Texas prevailed 45-35. OU’s new no-huddle offense was having its way, but then UT’s Jordan Shipley returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown (a major problem for OU that season). Later, an injury to linebacker Ryan Reynolds sapped the Sooner defense, Sam Bradford’s two interceptions cost him in a shootout with Colt McCoy and the Longhorns prevailed.
That’s how many people showed up for last year’s game, but it wasn’t an all-time high. That record was set in 2009, when a reconfigured Cotton Bowl welcomed 96,009, a mark that was tied in 2010 and 2011 and should stand for a while. Seating capacity was reconfigured again in 2012 to 92,500.
(Editor's Note: This story appears in the OU-Texas Preview Issue of Sooner Spectator. To read more or subscribe - call 405-364-4515)