What we learned from the Sooners after Red River Rivalry win

The No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) defeated the No. 3 Texas Longhorns (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) 34-30 in a Red River Rivalry instant classic. Oklahoma has since moved to No. 5 in the AP Poll, and Texas dropped to No. 9.

Defense continues to force turnovers

Oklahoma’s defense got after Quinn Ewers early. Gentry Williams intercepted Ewers on just the second play of the game, and Kendel Dolby hauled in a huge interception when the Longhorns were on the verge of scoring a touchdown.

On top of that, true freshman Peyton Bowen forced a fumble from Ewers early in the third quarter, and the Oklahoma defense had a goal-line stand when the Longhorns had first-and-goal at the one-yard line.

If you only look at passing yards and attempts, it looks like Ewers had a good game. But the Sooners stayed after him all game, and forced four total turnovers (three that Ewers was directly responsible for).

Dillon Gabriel playing like a Heisman contender

Gabriel had a true Heisman-type moment. When Oklahoma had 1:15 left on the clock to go down the field and score with no timeouts left, I will admit that I was not feeling very confident about their chances.

Gabriel was absolutely perfect on that drive, going 4-for-4 for 58 yards, and ultimately throwing the game-winning touchdown to Nic Anderson to give the Sooners a four-point lead with 15 seconds to go.

Head coach Brent Venables talked about that drive and his confidence in Gabriel. “He’s the calmest guy I’ve ever been around at the quarterback position,” Venables said. “He was fearless. I don’t put any limits on what Dillon can do. He’s playing as confident as anybody on our team right now.”

Sooners control their own destiny

With the win, Oklahoma takes firm control of the top spot in the Big 12. There is a chance that OU and Texas could meet again in Arlington for the Big 12 Championship, maybe even likely.

We are only at the halfway point of the regular season, so there is a lot of football to be played. However, Oklahoma does control their own destiny, and Sooner fans should feel very good about that.

Up Next

Oklahoma has a bye week this week that comes at a much-needed time after suffering some injuries in the Red River Rivalry. The Sooners will be back home on Saturday, Oct. 21 to face the University of Central Florida Knights at 11:00 a.m. (CT).

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