In a game where more than the Big 12 championship was on the line, Oklahoma was challenged. However, Oklahoma showed its championship mettle as the Sooner rally to win their fourth consecutive conference championship. The Sooners were on the ropes early in the second quarter trailing by eight points and needing to rely on a struggling defense. After the 39-27 win, the Sooners await their fate for a possible playoff berth.
Through a majority of the season, the Sooners have struggled to play complementary football. However, Oklahoma got exactly that in the first half. Lincoln Riley’s offense struggled for the first quarter and a half. Oklahoma found itself trailing 14-6 with Texas in possession of the football. But, Oklahoma was able to force a Longhorn punt on consecutive drives. That gave the offense a spark for the Sooners to score in back to back drives to end the half to secure a 20-14 advantage at the break.
Much like the matchup in October, Oklahoma scored 21 consecutive points to take control of the game to open a 27-14 lead early in the third quarter. However, the Longhorns roared back to tie the score at 27 in the fourth quarter. Austin Seibert nailed his third field goal of the game to give the Sooners a 30-27 lead with 12:37 left in the game.
The fireworks just got started. Murray connected with CeeDee Lamb for a 56 yard gain and an apparent first and goal situation. But, Longhorn defender Gary Johnson enticed a fumble giving Texas the ball back. The Sooner defense responded immediately. On the second play after the fumble, Tre Brown sacked Ehlinger in the end zone for a safety to give Oklahoma a 32-27 lead. Finally, the Sooners put the game out of reach with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Grant Calcaterra, his second receiving score of the game.
Kyler Murray and Sam Ehlinger go toe to toe
In round two of this heavyweight bout, the two gunslingers put their differences aside and dominated the big screen on the biggest stage of the season. Self admittedly, Ehlinger had the best game of his career in the first rendition of the Red River Rivalry. In Arlington, he played just as well. In a losing effort, he threw for 348 yards with two touchdowns and one interception as well 42 yards on the ground and another two touchdowns.
Murray has been battling Tua Tagovailoa in the Heisman rankings through the majority of the season. But, the dual-sport star has been making strides as of late. After the offense got off to a slow start, Murray heated up. In his final game before the bowl season, he threw for 379 yards and three scores. However, he was bottled up for the most part on the ground but still managed to run for 39 yards in the game. All eyes will be on Atlanta to see if Tagovailoa will be able to hold serve.
The debate has been strong as to if Oklahoma is worthy of a playoff berth. The primary debate has centered around Oklahoma and Ohio State. Of course, that discussion is taking a few things for granted. Georgia could place a different spin on that discussion with a victory against Alabama in the SEC championship game. But, the Buckeyes will get the last opportunity to impress the playoff committee. In a what have you done for me lately world, will that last impression be enough to get Ohio State in the playoff with a dominating win? Either way, the drama will be thick for the race for the all-important fourth playoff spot.