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OU football: Predictions for No. 6 Sooners at No. 21 Texas in 2021 Red River Showdown

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Spencer Rattler

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Spencer Rattler during the game against Kansas State in Manhattan on Oct. 2.

No. 6 Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) is set for a resurgent Red River Showdown matchup with No. 21 Texas (4-1, 2-0) on Saturday in Dallas.

The Sooners are in a much better place than this time last year, when they had fallen out of national rankings after consecutive losses to Kansas State and Iowa State. OU is finding its stride after snapping a two-season losing streak against KSU last week, and now faces the Longhorns, who have also gained steam since their early loss to Arkansas.

Here are predictions from The Daily’s sports desk for what projects to be another rivalry classic:

Mason Young, sports editor: Sooners 31, Longhorns 24

Grab your Fletcher's Corny Dog and buckle up ‘cause with the Texas State Fair back in swing, this one could be a roller coaster.

Typically, the team that’s most effective in running the ball takes home the Golden Hat in this one, so I anticipate OU will be rockin’ with redshirt junior Kennedy Brooks early and often. After watching him rush for over 90 yards against K-State last week, I’ll take Brooks for 125 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday.

I also think Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler will be more composed in round two against the Horns than he was a year ago when coach Lincoln Riley benched him in the second quarter. Saturday’s matchup won’t be a reenactment of the 2000 Texas Massacre, but I expect OU to lead early and hold on late as it has become accustomed to this season.

Chandler Engelbrecht, assistant sports editor: Sooners 35, Longhorns 28

I’ll go ahead and state my honest thoughts: I have no idea how this game is going to go.

Though OU’s coming off its best performance against a Power Five team this season, there’s still too many questions surrounding the Sooners to confidently pick them to handily win their fourth consecutive Red River Showdown. However, seeing as you can’t write a prediction post without making a prediction, here’s what I think will happen.

Oklahoma’s offense looked more like itself in its 37-31 win over Kansas State last Saturday, which was needed in light of the Sooners’ defense surrendering 320 passing yards and three touchdowns to quarterback Skylar Thompson. With OU now facing an opposing offense that’s the best it’s seen all season, I think the Sooners rise to the occasion offensively in a back-and-forth affair. I’d look for receivers Marvin Mims and Jadon Haselwood to deliver big performances as Oklahoma’s passing attack keeps its undefeated season intact.

Austin Curtright, assistant sports editor: Sooners 37, Longhorns 27

For the first time since 2019, a crowded Texas State Fair surrounds the Cotton Bowl. There really is nothing quite like OU-Texas week. Rattler will play in his first full-capacity Red River Showdown environment in Dallas this weekend, and College GameDay returns for the first time since 2018.

However, the Longhorns clearly represent the Sooners’ toughest matchup this season, if not perhaps all season. OU’s defense will have its hands full with Texas running back Bijan Robinson, who ranks No. 2 nationally in rushing yards and tallied 37 touches last week.

Oklahoma’s offense seems to really have found its groove against Kansas State last week, and I think that continues this weekend. If Alex Grinch’s Speed D can limit Robinson and long opposing drives, I think Rattler and crew continue to prove the offense is not great, but good enough. 

Sports Editor

Mason Young is the OU Daily's sports editor and covers OU football. He was previously assistant sports editor and has covered women's gym, wrestling and former Sooners in the NFL. Email Mason at and follow him on Twitter @Mason_Young_0

Chandler Engelbrecht is a journalism senior and the Daily's assistant sports editor. He currently covers OU football and has previously covered OU men's basketball, volleyball and men's gymnastics.

Austin Curtright is a journalism junior and one of The Daily's assistant sports editors. He covers OU football and has previously covered OU men's basketball, softball and soccer.

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