Each week Sooners Illustrated will set the stage for every game of Oklahoma’s 2016 season. This time around it’s the Red River Showdown.
OU (2-2, 1-0) vs. Texas (2-2, 0-1) (in Dallas, Cotton Bowl)
When: 11 a.m. CST
Przybylo’s final thought
It’s déjà vu all over again as Yogi Berra would say. Fourth straight year where the Sooners are double-digit favorites. Of course that hasn’t worked out so well so far for OU, going 1-2 in the previous three encounters.
Just like last year, Texas coach Charlie Strong seems to be holding on by a thread. OU can push him over that cliff with a big-time performance, but you simply never know.
There are a lot of reasons for OU fans to be excited and optimistic heading into this week, namely the fact Baker Mayfield and Lincoln Riley have been through this drama already and should be much better prepared for Saturday.
The Sooners have been bit in a major way by the concussion bug, but if OU believes it should be in the national picture conversation, this is when you start needing depth to show exactly that.
Charles Walker is out. OK, time for Neville Gallimore and Amani Bledsoe. Will Johnson still unable to play. OK, time for Kapri Doucet and Caleb Kelly to make their mark. No excuses, just production.
It’s rare you get a chance for a do-over in a rivalry game. This is OU’s opportunity to get things right at the Cotton Bowl.
Player to watch
Going basic and saying running back Samaje Perine. Rivalry games sometimes bring out unsung heroes, but it sure helps when your stars play just like they’re supposed to play. Perine seems to finally be healthy and is coming off his best performance of the season last week. There’s no reason why Perine and Joe Mixon shouldn’t both get at least 15-20 touches in this one.
It’s just hard to envision OU putting all the pieces together and putting the whooping on the Longhorns that everybody believes should be coming. Too many injuries, too many question marks, but if Lincoln Riley trusts his plan of attack, the Sooners should come out on top. With Perine and Mixon opening up holes early, Baker Mayfield gets on track in second half in a too close for comfort win by oh, let’s say 48-41.