This year’s edition of the Red River Rivalry has the familiar hype and stakes that Longhorn and Sooners fans have seen besides a dominant Horns win in last year’s game. Starting Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel was out for that game, and Quinn Ewers and Texas took advantage, smashing the Sooners 49-0.
A four-year starter, Gabriel has thrown for over 3,000 yards in all but one season where he was injured. He started as a star for UCF, in his first year leading the Knights to a 10-3 record including a dominating bowl win over Marshall. Gabriel had similar statistical success in his first season with OU, but the team stumbled to just a 6-7 record.
On the other hand, Ohio State transfer Quinn Ewers got his career started with the Horns, throwing 2,177 and 15 touchdowns in an injury riddled season. Ewers has Texas riding high after a huge win on the road at Alabama, along with a 5-0 start that has people wondering if maybe Texas really is back.
I think this game comes down to who makes the big play, and in a matchup of battle tested QBs, I think Ewer’s experience in the moment wins out. Despite the hot start to the season, the Sooners have had incredibly favorable matchups, and the Horns will be the end of that. The playmaking ability of UGA transfer Adonai Mitchell and Xavier Worthy will allow Ewers to thrive on the big stage, where he has proven to be at his best time and time again.
With the line being set at Texas -5.5 and an O/U of 60.5, I will take Texas to win the Red River Rivalry 45-35. Ewers will thrive in a game with this level of anticipation, and Gabriel will most likely struggle in the first game that he has ever played on this large of a stage. The Sooners make it close, but the result remains the same as the Horns take the Golden Hat.