No. 3 Texas and No. 12 Oklahoma made sure the final edition of the “Red River Rivalry” as members of the Big 12 conference was one to remember.
With Texas and Oklahoma headed to the SEC starting in 2024, the longtime rivals gave fans at the Cotton Bowl a show Saturday afternoon with major College Football Playoff implications on the line.
Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel drove the Sooners down the field in the final minute down three, throwing a four-yard touchdown pass to Nic Anderson with 15 seconds left, defeating Texas 34-30.
“This is what OU football is all about. This is why I came here,” Gabriel said on the field after game. “This game. Lot of respect for Texas. They played their butt off.”
Gabriel finished the day 23 of 38 for 285 yards and a touchdown, adding 113 yards and a score on the ground.
It was Oklahoma’s defense that did the damage for the Sooners, creating three turnovers on the day, all by quarterback Quinn Ewers.
The game appeared to turn late in the third quarter when Texas stopped Oklahoma on fourth-and-1 from right around midfield with the Sooners up 27-20.
After driving down to the OU one-yard line, the Sooners defense stuffed the Longhorns on three straight run plays. On fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line, the Oklahoma defense stood strong, stopping wide receiver Xavier Worthy at the one-yard line.
But OU was unable to cash in, with Texas tying the score at 27-27 with 6:10 left in the fourth quarter.
Ewers got the Longhorns into field goal range for a Bert Auburn 47-yard field goal with 1:17 left on the clock to take a 30-27 lead.
Gabriel then completed passes of 16 and 28 yards before a penalty brought the Sooners to the Texas three-yard line.
“I love my teammates. I love my team,” Gabriel said. “That’s always what I’ve been about, man. God is good. God is good.”
The win is the fifth in the last six matchups for Oklahoma after Texas destroyed the Sooners 49-0 in last year’s game.