Depart it to the Purple River Showdown to create probably the most wonderful second since cameras started being inserted into orange foam blocks.
Only a few blades of grass between Oklahoma vast receiver Marvin Mims’ foot and the sideline, captured in beautiful element by the pylon cam, have been the distinction between glory and despondence on Saturday on the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Mims’ 52-yard acrobatic landing seize, on third-and-19 with 7:25 left within the recreation, thrown by a backup quarterback who had beforehand been used largely as a runner, is the right encapsulation of the unpredictability when Texas and Oklahoma meet.
It was additionally the best play in maybe the best recreation between the 2 bitter rivals in 117 conferences, as No. 6 Oklahoma mounted a livid rally to beat No. 21 Texas 55-48.
All of the clichés are true with regards to Texas enjoying Oklahoma. Nothing that you may count on to matter often issues. Perhaps that should not be stunning. It is the one recreation performed in a 91-year-old stadium in the course of hundreds of individuals consuming corn canines and balls of fried seafood gumbo.
However that did not matter in 2020, when it was in the course of an empty fairgrounds after the truthful itself was canceled, with simply 24,000 followers within the 92,000 seats. Within the eerie setting, the 2 groups performed for practically 5 hours, a four-overtime slugfest that includes what was till Saturday’s 103-point affair probably the most factors within the historical past of the rivalry because the Sooners pulled out a 53-45 win.
This 12 months, within the first assembly since each faculties introduced an as-yet-to-be-determined departure for the SEC, a real Huge 12 brouhaha erupted, with Oklahoma beautiful Texas by getting back from a 28-7 first-quarter deficit. It was the primary time within the historical past of soccer on the College of Texas it misplaced a recreation that the Longhorns led by 21 factors.
“I am making an attempt to consider the moments in my profession that I have been prouder of a workforce,” OU coach Lincoln Riley stated. “If there’s any, there’s not many.”
This 12 months’s version of the rivalry wasn’t simply notable for the comeback itself. It was notable for the way it all occurred.
Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams airs it out to Marvin Mims, who makes a leaping catch for a landing to tie the rating.
A 12 months after most followers have been shut out from having the ability to attend the sport, they did not miss their alternative to be vocal. As chants of “Texas Combat” roared from the north finish of the stadium, “Boomer Sooner” offset them from the south facet. Whereas the rides saved spinning exterior the stadium partitions, the drama saved constructing on the sector.
There was Texas junior Casey Thompson, whose father, Charles, performed for Barry Switzer at Oklahoma. The quarterback spurned the Sooners’ crimson and cream for UT’s burnt orange and at last bought his flip to begin after ready behind four-year starter Sam Ehlinger for his likelihood on this stage.
However on Saturday, Thompson was outshined not by Spencer Rattler, the preseason Heisman Trophy favourite, however by Caleb Williams, a real freshman from all the best way up in Washington, D.C., who got here off the bench after two early Rattler turnovers.
All Williams did was throw for 211 yards and rush for 88 extra to run up probably the most complete offense by an Oklahoma true freshman towards Texas. And on that key third down, with the pocket breaking down, he rolled to his proper and lofted a go to Mims to tie the rating for the primary time since kickoff.
“Gosh darn, what a play,” Riley stated of Mims. “They threw a few them right this moment. My man went and bought ’em. He was very particular right this moment.”
Like Williams, Texas had its personal freshman breakout star, Xavier Worthy, who had the second-best receiving efficiency at school historical past in simply his sixth recreation, catching 9 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns, together with a 75-yarder on the Longhorns’ first play of the sport.
But Worthy will likely be remembered as a lot on this recreation for a fumble throughout an ill-fated try to take a kickoff out of his personal finish zone with 7:17 left, resulting in an Oklahoma landing in a single play for its first lead of the sport.
Texas working again Bijan Robinson got here into Saturday’s contest gaining some Heisman steam on the heels of a 216-yard, two-touchdown efficiency towards TCU. But it surely was Oklahoma’s Kennedy Brooks who stole the present after beforehand splitting time with Eric Grey, working for 217 yards and two touchdowns towards the Horns.
Even the special-teamers placed on a present. Texas blocked a punt within the first quarter and recovered it on the 2-yard line, resulting in a landing run by Robinson. Oklahoma’s Michael Turk later had an 85-yard punt; Texas’ Cameron Dicker launched one 78.
“These of us which were on this recreation know the way arduous it’s to win it — for either side,” Riley stated. “That is why it is one of the best rivalry in school soccer, one of the best setting.”
Steve Sarkisian, you is likely to be new round right here, however none of all this is. Even the seemingly predictable video games are all the time unpredictable on this rivalry.
Like in 1996, when the 0-4 Sooners underneath first-year coach John Blake pulled off a 30-27 upset and shocked a Texas workforce that featured Ricky Williams and Priest Holmes and got here into the season ranked No. 6.
Or in 2018, when Oklahoma, with eventual Heisman winner Kyler Murray throwing for 304 yards and 4 touchdowns and working for 92 yards, misplaced 48-45 when Dicker, then a freshman, kicked the profitable subject aim with 9 seconds left.
This was the eighth straight matchup — tops within the nation between any two groups — determined by one rating. It is the fourth time since 2016 that Texas and OU have mixed for a minimum of 85 factors, probably the most between any two FBS faculties over that span.
And there is all the time an opportunity the 2 groups might battle once more within the Huge 12 championship recreation.
“I might like to get one other crack at these guys, hopefully in December,” Sarkisian stated after the sport.
The one factor that is sure is that if he does, there isn’t any telling what’s going to occur.