COLUMN: The Top Five OU-Texas games of all time
The Sooners and Longhorns have met 106 times in their storied rivalry, with many of those meetings being classic games. Here are five of the best OU-Texas games according to The Oklahoma Daily's sports writers.
1985: OU 14, Texas 7
Defense wins championships. Coaches say it all the time, and it’s true.
For this reason, my favorite OU-Texas game came in the 14-7 Sooner victory in 1985 that is considered one of the best defensive performances in the program’s history.
Texas had only 70 yards of total offense and only 17 rushing yards. The Longhorns passed the 50-yard line only three times the entire game, and one of them followed an OU fumble.
Coach Barry Switzer called it the best defensive performance he had seen in his 20 years in Norman.
The game’s hero was sophomore linebacker Brian Bosworth, who recorded 14 tackles, 11 unassisted.
A message was sent that day. It was clear, plain and simple: Defensively, we will dominate you, and we’ll win a national championship because of it. And the Sooners did.
Ross Stracke, Sports Reporter
2000: OU 63, Texas 14
Coming off a decade characterized by squandered talent and disappointment, OU entered the new millennium with a renewed confidence because of its new coach, Bob Stoops, in 1999.
The following year, the Sooners entered the Cotton Bowl undefeated for the first time since 1993. They were fresh off four convincing victories and had earned a No. 10 ranking, but they had yet to face a true test.
That test would come from the No. 11 Texas Longhorns, who had won eight of the last 11 rivalry games.
But on that wet and chilly autumn afternoon, the Sooners passed with flying colors, blowing out Texas, 63-14, and picking up their first win against the Longhorns since 1996.
The win was Stoops’ first against Texas after falling to the ’Horns, 38-28, the year before and sparked three consecutive wins against ranked teams (No. 3 Kansas State and No. 1 Nebraska). That month would come to be known as “Red October.”
It also marked the emergence of running back Quentin Griffin — a key player on the Sooners’ national championship team — who ran for 87 yards from 23 carries and an OU-record six touchdowns.
OU jumped out to a 42-0 lead with four-and-a-half minutes left in the second quarter, effectively ending the game before it reached the half. OU posted 534 total yards to Texas’ 154.
Dillon Phillips, Assistant Sports Editor
2001: OU 14, Texas 3
In the history of the Red River Rivalry there have been multiple games that stick out in the minds of fans. But the game that always stands out in my mind is the “Superman Play” in 2001.
The game was a defensive standoff with both teams holding their opponents to under 100 yards rushing and both kickers squandering opportunities to give their teams points.
Running back Quentin Griffin scored the only offensive touchdown of the day for the Sooners, and the Longhorns answered with a field goal at the end of the half.
Late in the fourth quarter the Sooners drove the ball to the Texas 21-yard line and appeared to be ready to go up by a score or more. However, three plays later, the Sooners faced a 4th-and-16 at the Texas 27-yard line but were bailed out by their special teams, which pinned the Longhorns at the Texas 3-yard line.
On first down, OU safety Roy Williams leaped over blocker and hit Texas quarterback Chris Simms as he was throwing, causing the ball to float into OU lineman Teddy Lehman’s hands as he walked into the endzone for the score.
Chris Tyndall, Sports Reporter
2004: OU 12, Texas 0
You have to understand the atmosphere of the 2004 OU-Texas game to appreciate the low-scoring 12-0 Sooner victory.
OU ended its 2003 campaign with losses to Kansas State in the Big 12 title game and LSU in the national title game. If there was one way to get confidence back into the program, it would be a win against the Longhorns.
The offense returned several playmakers, including quarterback Jason White and wide receiver Mark Clayton, and introduced the world to freshman running back Adrian Peterson. But the Sooners lost three All-Americans on defense.
Texas would come into the same game with a chip on its shoulder. The Longhorns had been outscored, 177-54, in the previous four meetings, but with dual-threat quarterback Vince Young under center and the best running game in the country featuring Cedric Benson, the team was out for revenge.
The Sooners stacked the box and limited Texas’ powerful running game, led by Cedric Benson, and dual-threat quarterback, Vince Young, to keep the Longhorns out of the end zone and snap Texas’ 281-game shutout streak.
No team had done what the 2004 Sooners did to Texas in more than 20 seasons, making that defensive slugfest one for the ages.
Tobi Neidy, Sports Reporter
2011: OU 55, Texas 17
The Sooners had one more in a line of seasons below expectations in 2011, but the Red River Rivalry wasn’t part of the disappointment.
OU and Texas traded small blows in the first quarter, with the Sooners leading, 6-3, at the beginning of the second quarter. It looked like it could be another shootout south of the Red River... and then the levees broke.
The Sooners scored four thouchdowns in the second quarter. Junior wide receiver Kenny Stills caught two touchdown passes; former Sooner Ryan Broyles caught another; and, not to be outdone by the offense, senior cornerback Demontre Hurst struck for the Sooner defense, returning an interception for a touchdown.
The Longhorns finished the game with a 100-yard kickoff return for a score and a garbage-time touchdown, and Texas went home to Austin with its tails between its legs.
Despite what became of the rest of the season for OU, it was one of the more gratifying victories in recent memory for the Sooners.
Kedric Kitchens, Sports Editor