Depart it to the Purple River Showdown to create essentially the most superb second since cameras started being inserted into orange foam blocks.
Just some blades of grass between Oklahoma receiver Marvin Mims‘ foot and the sideline, captured in beautiful element by the pylon cam, had 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 sport, 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 sport 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 cliches are true with regards to Texas enjoying Oklahoma. Nothing which you could count on to matter normally issues. Possibly that should not be stunning. It is the one sport performed in a 91-year-old stadium in the midst of 1000’s of individuals consuming corn canines and balls of fried seafood gumbo.
However that did not matter in 2020, when it was in the midst of an empty fairgrounds after the truthful 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 essentially the most factors ever (98) within the historical past of the rivalry because the Sooners pulled out a 53-45 win.
This yr, within the first assembly since each faculties introduced an as-yet-to-be-determined departure for the SEC, a real Massive 12 brouhaha erupted, with Oklahoma gorgeous 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 that it misplaced a sport that the Horns led by 21 factors.
“I am making an attempt to think about the moments in my profession that I have been prouder of a group,” OU coach Lincoln Riley mentioned. “If there’s any, there’s not many.”
This yr’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 sport.
A yr after most followers had been shut out from having the ability to attend the sport, they did not miss their alternative to be vocal. As chants of “Texas Struggle” roared from the north finish of the stadium, “Boomer Sooner” offset them from the south aspect. Whereas the rides saved spinning outdoors the stadium partitions, the drama saved constructing on the sector.
There was Casey Thompson, whose father, Charles, performed for Barry Switzer at Oklahoma, a junior who spurned the Sooners’ crimson and cream for UT’s burnt orange and at last acquired his flip to start out after ready behind four-year starter Sam Ehlinger for his likelihood on this stage.
However on Saturday, he was outshined not by Spencer Rattler, the preseason Heisman favourite, however by Caleb Williams, a real freshman from all the best way up in Washington, D.C., that 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 essentially 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 sport up for the primary time since kickoff.
“Gosh darn, what a play,” Riley mentioned. “They threw a few them immediately. My man went and acquired ’em. He was very particular immediately.”
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 sport, catching 9 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns, together with a 75-yarder on the Longhorns’ first play of the sport.
But he shall be remembered as a lot on this sport for a fumble in an ill-fated try to take a kickoff out of his personal endzone with 7:17 left, resulting in an Oklahoma landing in a single play for its first lead of the sport.
Bijan Robinson got here into the sport gaining some Heisman steam on the heels of a 216-yard, two-touchdown efficiency towards TCU. Nevertheless it was Oklahoma’s Kennedy Brooks, who had been splitting time with Eric Gray, who stole the present on Saturday, working for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
Even the particular 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 sport know the way exhausting it’s to win it — for each side,” Riley mentioned. “That is why it is one of the best rivalry in faculty soccer, one of the best setting.”
Steve Sarkisian. You is perhaps 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-Four Sooners beneath first-year head coach John Blake pulled off a 30-27 upset and shocked a Texas group that featured Ricky Williams and Priest Holmes and got here into the season ranked No. 6.
Or in 2018, when Heisman winner Kyler Murray threw for 304 yards and 4 touchdowns and ran for 92 yards however misplaced, 48-45, when Dicker, then a freshman, kicked a game-winning area 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 no less than 85 factors, essentially the most between any two FBS faculties over that span.
And there is all the time an opportunity the 2 groups may battle once more within the Massive 12 championship sport.
“I’d like to get one other crack at these guys, hopefully in December,” Sarkisian mentioned after the sport.
The one factor that is sure is that if he does, there is no telling what is going to occur.