Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#125 Oklahoma -10.5 vs.
#126 Texas 74.5
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 12:00pm EDT
Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#125 University of Oklahoma
#126 University of Texas
5-0
4-1
3-2
3-2
2-3
4-1
53
41
18
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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: October 12, 2019, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX, 12:00 PM ET

The Texas Longhorns will try to shut down the Jalen Hurts Show when hosting the visiting Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday. In the first five games of the season, the Sooners quarterback has thrown for 1,523 yards, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions, along with leading the team with 499 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Texas’ Sam Ehlinger is up to the challenge of going head-to-head with Hurts after amassing 1,448 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and two interceptions so far this season. Oklahoma took a 39-27 victory when these two rivals met at the Big 12 Championship at AT&T Stadium a year ago. Can Hurts follow in the footsteps of former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray in Saturday’s head-to-head meeting?

Oklahoma on upset watch

It was literally only a year ago when the Sooners were rolling through their schedule until they ran into a massive brick wall in the form of the Longhorns. That game ended with then Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray getting out-gunned by Ehlinger, who heaped 314 passing yards and two touchdowns on the Sooner defense in a 48-45 victory.

It was the Sooners’ first and only loss of the 2018 regular season.

Of course, they were able to seek redemption by knocking off the Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship game. Given the limitations on the Sooners defense, their No. 1 priority on Saturday will be protecting Hurts and giving him an opportunity to be the transcendental playmaker he’s shown himself to be. Texas got absolutely torched by Joe Burrow and the LSU offense in Week 2, which means they can be had against the right offense.

Hurts has played as well as anyone behind center, and his dual ability to run and pass will be a huge problem for the Longhorns defense.

Running back Kennedy Brooks sat out last week with a knee injury, and he remains questionable for Saturday’s game. However, the fearsome combination of Trey Sermon and Rhamondre Stevenson coming out of the backfield should be more than enough help for Hurts to boost the Sooners’ ground game.

Can Ehlinger pull off another upset?

Ehlinger has been the boogeyman for the Sooners defense.

Not only did he light them up in the regular season, but even in the Big 12 Championship loss, he still managed to throw for 349 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The only difference in that game was the ability of the Sooners defense to keep the Longhorns out of the end zone.

"He’s done a good job," said Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley about Ehlinger. "You know, he’s a competitive kid. From the outside, not having coached him, from the outside, looks like he’s a smart player. And he’s obviously benefitted from a ton of game experience and all within one system there, and so I think he’s taken advantage of the opportunities that he got there at a young age. You would guess that he’s a kid that’s probably worked pretty hard just by seeing the improvements that he has made. So he’s a heck of a player. I’ve got a lot of respect for him, the way he plays the game, the way he competes, and he’s certainly the catalyst of that entire team. He’s certainly what makes that group go.”

Oklahoma’s defense remains as suspect as ever, and Ehlinger is going to have plenty of opportunities to chew up chunks of yard with his arm. However, it would also be good to see him lean more on his rushing attack with Keaontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson coming out of the backfield. Ingram went down with an injury in last Saturday’s win over Kansas, but he is expected to suit up and play this week.

On the defensive side of the ball, the team could be without defensive back Chris Brown, who is dealing with a thigh injury. The defense will need all the help they can get to slow down Hurts and the high-powered Sooners offense that has scorched them for 39-plus points in back-to-back games. Will Joseph Ossai, Juwan Mitchell and the rest of the defensive front be able to consistently get home against Hurts? Their ability to do so will ultimately decide the game.

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You have to love the trash talk emanating from both teams heading into Saturday’s game. Of course, Hurts is playing down the notion of facing Texas since he’s a transfer from Alabama. So the entire Big 12 rivalry between the two teams is a bit lost on him. He simply sees a tough match-up ahead against a good football team and nothing else.

The Longhorns defense, on the other hand, will be looking to implement pain if Hurts even thinks of running out of the pocket.

That’s about their best shot of doing anything to slow down an Oklahoma offense averaging 643.8 total yards per game. The second-best offense in the entire nation is LSU averaging 571 yards. It’s a wide gap that serves as proof of how dominant the Sooners have been with Hurts behind center.

Texas doesn’t have the defense to slow him down, and he should be able to gash them any way he wants. For all of the talk surrounding Oklahoma’s defense, Texas has the second-worst defense in the Big 12 Conference. Meanwhile, the Sooners have shown the ability to get stops when it matters. The only thing influencing my pick is the double-digit betting line. Texas doesn’t have enough on defense to win, but Ehlinger has the arm talent to at least keep it close.

Give me the Longhorns and the points.

Prediction: Texas Longhorns (+11.5)

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These two haven’t shied away from running up the scoreboard in the past, and I wouldn’t bank on that changing on Saturday. Both teams are averaging a combined 95.2 points per game. While the Sooners defense has played well in some moments, they haven’t faced anywhere near an offense like Texas this season. I’m taking the whopping over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (76)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.