You are the owner of this article.

OU football 3 keys for Sooners against Texas

  • Updated
  • 0
  • 2 min to read
Jalen Hurts

Senior quarterback Jalen Hurts during the game against Kansas in Lawrence Oct. 5.

In what will be the biggest game of its season, No. 6 Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) is heading south to Dallas for a matchup with No. 11 Texas (4-1, 2-0).

Both teams are looking for season-defining wins for their potential College Football Playoff resumes. With one loss on the season already, the Longhorns don't have much more room for error if they want to keep their College Football Playoff aspirations alive.

Here are three keys to a Sooner victory:

Contain Sam Ehlinger

The Longhorns' junior quarterback has shown the ability to shred Oklahoma's defense in recent years, most notably in 2018 when he scored nine touchdowns over the course of two games against the Sooners.

Ehlinger is in the midst of the best season of his career, having already accounted for 1,684 yards and 20 touchdowns, and he is a potential Heisman Trophy candidate if he keeps this play up. He causes trouble for Oklahoma particularly in the running game, as Ehlinger's 228-pound frame is difficult to bring down.

Ehlinger is also capable as a passer, as can be seen from his performance against No. 5 LSU, when he threw for 401 yards and four touchdowns. 

Everything that Texas does offensively goes through Ehlinger. If the Sooners want to continue their impressive defensive campaign through the first five games of the season, then they need to stop him.

Avoid turnovers

A crucial factor in Texas' 48-45 win at the Cotton Bowl in 2018 was the Sooners' three turnovers. 

Two of those turnovers — a fumble and an interception from quarterback Kyler Murray — helped Texas extend its lead in the second half. 

The Texas secondary has been ravaged by injuries, but they are still performing well. Last week with three starters hurt, the secondary intercepted three passes from West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall.

Senior quarterback Jalen Hurts has done a good job keeping the ball with the offense, as he has only two interceptions through the first five games. But not allowing the ball to get back in the hands of the Longhorn offense will be necessary for a Sooner win.

Win the trenches

Perhaps the most concerning unit for the Sooners going into Saturday is the offensive line. With the starting tackles — redshirt sophomore Adrian Ealy and redshirt junior Erik Swenson — being "highly questionable" for the game, the offensive line may be a problem.

Against Kansas, Hurts was forced to run around a lot due to poor protection from the line. Texas' front-seven is much more imposing than Kansas' was, so the line will need to make significant improvements from last week.

It's not just about protecting Hurts, either. Oklahoma will need to succeed in the trenches to allow its running backs to gain yards as well. The running game struggled in the first half against Kansas, but picked up in the second and finished with 268 yards.

In 2018, Texas won largely due to being much more physical than Oklahoma. For the Sooners to reclaim the Golden Hat, they'll need to play physical and not allow the Texas defense to dominate.

Sign up for our newsletters

Load comments