The Texas vs. Oklahoma football rivalry is one that never fails to captivate audiences. No matter the stakes, records, or conference affiliations, these two teams consistently meet in Dallas and deliver chaos and classic games during the first weekend in October. And this year was no different. The clash between the No. 3 Longhorns and the No. 12 Sooners on Saturday was filled with breathtaking moments and unimaginable twists and turns. It was a game that will undoubtedly be remembered for years to come.
In this thrilling matchup, it was the quarterback for Oklahoma, Dillon Gabriel, and his star receiver, Nic Anderson, who took on the roles of heroes. Gabriel, in his first appearance in the Texas vs. Oklahoma rivalry, orchestrated a remarkable drive, propelling the Sooners 75 yards down the field in just over a minute. With only 15 seconds remaining, Gabriel found Anderson in the back left corner of the south end zone, connecting for the winning touchdown pass. The crowd erupted, and the upset was sealed – the Sooners triumphed 34-30 over the Longhorns.
For the Oklahoma team, this victory held special significance. It served as a cathartic release after the embarrassment of a historic 49-0 loss to the Longhorns in the previous year. In Coach Brent Venables’ first season, such a defeat was undoubtedly a low point, marking the worst shutout loss in the history of the school and the largest victory margin by Texas over Oklahoma. The tangible elation seen on the faces of the Oklahoma players as they poured onto the field showcased the magnitude of this redemption.
The driving force behind Oklahoma’s success in this game was the calm and fearlessness of quarterback Dillon Gabriel. Although he did not play in the previous year’s matchup due to a concussion, Gabriel made up for lost time. Keeping Texas off-balance throughout the game, Gabriel threw for 285 yards and a touchdown, completing 23 of his 38 passes. His agility was also on display as he rushed for 113 yards and an additional touchdown on 14 carries. Coach Venables praised Gabriel as the calmest quarterback he has ever been around, highlighting his fearlessness in the face of pressure.
The Longhorns and Sooners delivered yet another classic installment of their rivalry, reminiscent of the battles of seasons past. In fact, before 2022, each of the last eight meetings between these two teams had been decided by eight points or less. This close encounter solidified the enduring legacy of the Texas vs. Oklahoma rivalry, showcasing once again why it is one of the most highly anticipated games in college football.
For the Longhorns, there were moments of both brilliance and disappointment. Quarterback Quinn Ewers, the star of the previous year’s game, struggled early on. Two of his first six passes were intercepted by the Sooners, putting his team on the back foot. Nevertheless, Ewers demonstrated remarkable resilience. He bounced back and completed a school-record 19 consecutive passes, ultimately accumulating 346 yards and a touchdown. However, it was not enough to secure the victory.
Late in the third quarter, the Oklahoma defense made a stand that turned the tide of the game. The Longhorns found themselves at the 1-yard line, poised to score. However, the Sooners’ defense stuffed them on four consecutive plays, denying them a touchdown. This critical stop proved to be a pivotal moment, shifting the momentum in favor of Oklahoma.
With only 1:17 left on the clock, the Longhorns kicked a field goal to take a 30-27 lead. But Dillon Gabriel and the Sooners were not ready to concede defeat. Gabriel summoned his inner magic once again and orchestrated the game-winning drive, culminating in the touchdown pass to Nic Anderson. And just like that, Oklahoma secured their first victory against a top-five-ranked Texas team since 2004.
The excitement and intensity of this game were palpable, not only for the players but also for the coaches and spectators. Coach Venables, who has been involved in numerous high-stakes matchups, including national championship games, declared this game as exciting as any he had ever coached. The belief in this Oklahoma team is unwavering, and its potential knows no limits. This victory serves as a testament to the team’s resilience and untapped potential.
The Texas vs. Oklahoma rivalry delivered yet another remarkable chapter in its long history. From the heroes emerging on the field to the redemption sought by the Sooners, this game will surely be etched into the annals of this storied rivalry. The chaos and classics that come with this matchup are what make it a must-watch event year after year.