DALLAS (KXAN) — It was all Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday.
Texas claimed the Golden Hat in emphatic fashion with a 49-0 throttling of the Oklahoma Sooners in the 118th Red River Showdown.
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It’s Texas’ largest margin of victory ever in the rivalry and the first time Texas shut out Oklahoma since 1965. That year, Texas was No. 1 in the country and beat the Sooners 19-0. It was also the largest shutout loss in program history for the Sooners since 1945.
“We felt like we let one get away last year,” Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “In all three phases, we executed at a high level, and the result was the result.”
Quinn Ewers returned to the field after a collarbone injury kept him out for about a month, and it looked like he didn’t miss a beat. He threw for 289 yards on 21 of 31 passing with four touchdowns and an interception. Bijan Robinson rushed for 130 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns and Jordan Whittington had five catches for 97 yards.
“To finally play in this game was exciting for me,” Ewers said. “Growing up a fan, I always wanted to play in this one, so it’s pretty special.”
Tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders caught two touchdowns in another great game with five catches for 71 yards.
Sarkisian said while people outside the program see growth simply as wins or losses, he’s seen this team progress on a daily basis and this is a bit of a culmination of all the work the players put in.
“Good things will continue to happen if we keep doing this the right way,” he said. “I credit the players for trusting us, and trust takes time plus consistency. We have a great deal of trust in our program, and moments like today only enhance that.”
The Longhorns played a complete game on both sides of the ball. The defense allowed just 195 total yards and held the Sooners to 39 passing yards. Oklahoma’s first-string quarterback Dillon Gabriel was out due to a concussion he suffered against TCU last week, and the Sooners’ offense couldn’t do anything without him. Texas sacked the Sooners three times and Oklahoma only ran 51 plays.
Texas outgained the Sooners 585-195 and was 10-for-18 on third down. A focal point for Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian has been red zone efficiency, and his team did a marvelous job converting good field position into points. Texas was 6-for-7 in the red area and Texas averaged 7.2 yards per play.
Jahdae Barron and D’Shawn Jamison had interceptions for the Longhorns. Barron’s came on a jump pass by Oklahoma running back Eric Gray in a wildcat formation, the first time the Sooners tried to pass out of that formation. Jamison picked off backup quarterback Davis Beville on a heave down the field near the end of the first half.
“We haven’t given up explosive plays,” Sarkisian said. “When you make people earn it and drive the football, and ultimately today creating a couple of turnovers, that was huge for us.”
Ewers was tremendous even after not being involved in game scenarios for about a month. Sarkisian said he told both Ewers and Hudson Card on Thursday afternoon that Ewers was going to start after Card filled in admirably the past 3 1/2 games.
“As the week went on, Quinn was dialed in,” Sarkisian said. “Both Quinn and Hudson were there for each other and pushing each other. In the end, Quinn was ready.”
Before Saturday’s beatdown, Texas last held the game’s trophy — the fabled Golden Hat — in 2018 when Cameron Dicker nailed a 40-yard field goal with nine seconds to lift the Longhorns to a 48-45 win. Earlier in the week during media availability, Sarkisian said he wanted to bring the shiny headwear back to Austin.
“It’s been a minute since we’ve got that Golden Hat,” Sarkisian said, “so for our senior and veterans players to enjoy today the way they were able to, I was super excited for that. They had a really cool moment today.”
The Longhorns (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) are back at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium next week at 11 a.m. against Iowa State. Oklahoma (3-3, 0-3 Big 12) heads back to Norman to take on Kanasa at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Final: Longhorns 49, Sooners 0. It’s the largest margin of victory by Texas ever in the rivalry, and the first time the Longhorns have shut out the Sooners since 1965.
4:15 4Q: Sooners third-string QB Nick Evers can’t get anything going and they punt, Texas takes over on their own 32-yard line.
5:38 4Q: Longhorns kicker Bert Auburn leaves a 42-yard field goal attempt wide right. OU takes over on its own 24-yard line.
12:11 4Q: UT’s Jonathan Brooks gets in on the fun and runs in an 18-yard TD. PAT good. 5 plays, 54 yards, 2:37. Longhorns 49, Sooners 0
End 3Q: Longhorns 42, Sooners 0. Byron Murphy sacks Davis Beville on the last play of the quarter. It’ll be 4th-and-19 for the Sooners to start the fourth quarter.
1:57 3Q: Ewers, again, finds Sanders in the end zone. This one is for 18 yards and the Horns are piling on. PAT good. 6 plays, 47 yards, 2:07. Longhorns 42, Sooners 0
5:01 3Q: Robinson goes untouched into the end zone from 11 yards out. PAT good. 7 plays, 76 yards. 3:07. Longhorns 35, Sooners 0.
8:09 3Q: The interception doesn’t hurt the Longhorns and they get it back after the Sooners punt. Texas takes over on its own 24-yard line.
10:08 3Q: Ewers tries to throw it away but it doesn’t go far enough. It’s an easy interception for OU’s CJ Coldon and he returns it to the OU 31-yard line.
12:59 3Q: Texas stops OU on a 4th down. Beville had nowhere to throw it or run it. Terrific defense there. Horns take over on the OU 43-yard line.
15:00 3Q: Oklahoma receives the second-half kick and it goes into the end zone. Sooners start the second half on the Texas 25-yard line.
Halftime: Longhorns 28, Sooners 0. It’s all Texas at the Cotton Bowl right now. The Longhorns are outgaining the Sooners 354-171 and they have two takeaways on interceptions.
0:02 2Q: D’Shawn Jamison picks off Beville’s heave down the middle intended for Jalil Farooq. Texas will have one more play from their own 25-yard line
0:18 2Q: Ewers to Sanders for 24 yards and a touchdown. PAT good. 9 plays, 79 yards, 2:48. Longhorns 28, Sooners 0
3:06 2Q: Texas finally gets a turnover, something Sarkisian has been saying he’s been a little frustrated with the past few games not being able to do. Jahdae Barron picks off the jump pass and the Longhorns take over on their own 21-yard line.
5:42 2Q: Oklahoma’s defense does a nice job in coverage and forces Ewers into three incompletions and a Texas punt. OU takes over on its own 30.
7:31 2Q: Keilan Robinson catches a swing pass and turns it into a 15-yard touchdown with a great block from Whittington on the outside. PAT good. 9 plays, 80 yards, 3:10. Longhorns 21, Sooners 0
9:55 2Q: Robinson makes a tremendous catch for 12 yards to convert a 3rd-and-6. Wow!
10:34 2Q: Whittington with another grab for 22 yards and he’s off to a fantastic start. 4 catches for 65 yards already.
10:50 2Q: OU now 1 for 6 on 3rd down after Beville rifled that pass by his receiver on the screen attempt. They don’t try to convert a 4th down in plus territory and punt it into the end zone. Texas takes over on their own 20
12:40 2Q: Ewers hits Xavier Worthy for a 10-yard touchdown. Ewers put it right on the money to his favorite target. PAT good. 8 plays, 92 yards, 3:03. Longhorns 14, Sooners 0
13:30 2Q: Ewers finds Roschon Johnson for a 38-yard gain down to the Sooners 25-yard line
End 1Q: Longhorns 7, Sooners 0. This one is fun already.
0:43 1Q: Third time’s a charm for the Texas defense. On 4th-and-1, the Longhorns defensive front stuffs the Sooners for a turnover on downs on OU’s third try on 4th down. Texas takes over on its own 8
2:48 1Q: It’s a fake! Sooners fake a field goal out of a timeout and barely convert another 4th down on the drive. Barely, but it still counts. Holy moley.
6:48 1Q: Bijan Robinson powers it in the end zone from 2 yards out. PAT good. 12 plays, 90 yards, 4:31. Longhorns 7, Sooners 0
8:56 1Q: Ewers hits Jordan Whittington for a gain of 22 yards down to the Sooners’ 29-yard line
10:09 1Q: Ewers with a short pass to Ja’Tavion Sanders who turns it into a gain of 16 yards, reduced from 29 yards after a review. Longhorns have it on their own 37-yard line.
11:19 1Q: Sooners get a first down on the drive, but it stalls and both teams have to punt on their first possessions. Longhorns take over on their own 10-yard line.
13:22 1Q: Gabriel is on the sideline to start the game for the Sooners and Davis Beville is taking the snaps. Longhorns went 3-and-out on their first drive.
15:00 1Q: Texas receives the opening kick and it sails through the end zone. Ewers and the Longhorns will start the game on their own 25-yard line.
11 a.m.: Quinn is back. Ewers will start the game against Oklahoma, and Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel was warming up with the first team, so perhaps he’s also back after being in concussion protocol all week.