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Red River Revenge: Sooners Beat Longhorns 45-40

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Both Bob Stoops and quarterback Baker Mayfield said earlier in the week that receiver Dede Westbrook was playing better as of late because he was finally 100 percent healthy after a minor pull, but not even they could’ve predicted a performance like Westbrook had on Saturday.

Westbrook set a school record in receiving yards with 232 to go with 10 catches as his No. 20 Sooners prevailed for a 45-40 win over Rival Texas inside of the Cotton Bowl. With the win, OU improves to 3-2 on the season and 2-0 in conference play. The 85 combined points marked the highest-scoring game in the history of the Red River Rivalry. 

While the final score was great for the Sooners, it wasn’t smooth sailing for OU throughout the entire game.

Trailing 20-14 early in the second half, the Sooners desperately needed a scoring drive from their offense seeing the Longhorns opened the third quarter with a 63-yard touchdown.

Fortunately for the OU offense, a group responsible for three first-half turnovers, the Sooners were locked and loaded with a response.

Mayfield got the drive rolling with a 28-yard run, but the money play of the drive came on a 42-yard touchdown pass to Westbrook that gave OU a 21-20 lead.

It looked to be the momentum shifting play of the game, but the Longhorns weren’t backing down without a fight. Texas quarterback Shane Buechele was able to quickly connect with Dorian Leonard for a 45-yard touchdown to give the Longhorns the lead back. Not only was it a crucial score for Texas, but it was the second straight drive that Buechele was able to connect for a deep touchdown over stud OU cornerback Jordan Thomas.

It could’ve been a deflating turn of events for the Sooners, but Mayfield made sure that wasn’t the case.

OU’s quarterback hit Dahu Green in stride for his first career catch for 51 yards, then three plays later it was Mayfield who rumbled into the endzone for a four-yard touchdown to regain the OU lead.

After the OU defense forced Texas offense into a three-and-out, the Sooners were ready to extend their lead.

Mayfield connected with Westbrook for a beautiful 22-yard catch up the right sideline for a first down, where he was able to get a foot down despite the contact from the UT defensive back. After a quick Mixon run, Mayfield went Westbrook’s way again on a slant, where Westbrook caught the ball and immediately showed off his incredible speed as he scampered past the Texas secondary for a 45-yard touchdown.

The score gave the Sooners a 35-27 lead, but the catch gave Westbrook a Red River Rivalry record for most catches in a game.

While the offense was making plays, the OU defense was stepping up as well.

Sophomore safety Will Sunderland came up with a huge diving interception as UT was driving into the redzone, which eventually led to another OU score as Samaje Perine capped off his spectacular day with a two-yard touchdown run to put OU up 42-27 after a 13-play drive.

Oklahoma was able to hold off the Longhorns in the fourth quarter and kicker Austin Seibert added a 39-yard field goal that clanked off the post and went in as OU has now won five of the last seven meetings with UT.

Along with Westbrook’s big day through the air, Perine was a force to be reckoned with on the ground. The junior rushed for 214 tough yards and two touchdowns, while Mixon added 48 rushing yards on 16 carries.

Mayfield finished with 390 yards and three passing touchdowns, while adding 20 yards and a score on the ground. Mafyield's 390 yards through the air were the most by an OU quarterback in the OU-Texas series. One of the reason’s Mayfield was so efficient can be credited to the play of the offensive line, a group that didn’t allow Mayfield to be sacked once the entire game.

On the defensive side of the ball, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo had a big game for the Sooners with a team-high 11 tackles to go with a forced fumble. Despite getting beat for two touchdowns in the third quarter, Thomas had a solid day at the cornerback spot with four pass breakups in the first half. Jordan Evans added 10 tackles while Emmanuel beal added nine of his own. Both Okoronkwo and Beal added sacks. 

Oklahoma will be back in action next week when the Sooners host Kansas State at 11 a.m. 

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