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T H E D A I LY T E X A N P R E S E N T s : t h e r e d r iv e r r iva l ry e d i t i o n | o ct. 11 , 2 01 9

golden opportunity Texas heads to the State Fair to battle for the Golden Hat and Big 12 dominance.

in collaboration with


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EDITOR’S NOTE There are very few rivalries in all of college

sports that can compete with the pageantry

of the Red River Rivalry. There also aren t too many college newspapers who can compete

with The Daily Texan and The OU Daily. That is why we are excited to share this special isssue. Inside, you will find player profiles,

previews and a look into the history of this

storied rivalry. Enjoy this collaboration, and

we ll see you in Dallas. This issue of The Daily Texan is valued at $1.25

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The Daily Texan, a student newspaper at The University of Texas at Austin, is published by Texas Student Media, 2500 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX 78712. The Daily Texan is published daily, Monday through Friday, during the regular academic year and is published once weekly during the summer semester. The Daily Texan does not publish during academic breaks, most Federal Holidays and exam periods. News contributions will be accepted by telephone 2.120). Entire contents copyright 2019 Texas Student Media.

Alex Briseño, Associate Managing Editor It s a great week to be a college football fan.

Texas and Oklahoma will roll into Dallas for the 115th edition of the Red River Rivalry for as

high-stakes a matchup as we ve seen in recent years. There s nothing quite like the rivalry between the burnt orange and the crimson and cream. We hope this special issue prepares

you. Get ready for it, Longhorn

faithful. We ll see you at the Cotton Bowl.

Marcus Krum, Double Coverage Editor Double Coverage Editor Design Editor Photo Editor Copy Editor Cover Photo

Marcus Krum Christiana Peek Joshua Guenther Megan Shankle Anthony Mireles

Designers Reneé Koite Kendall Wynn Nila Selvaraj Sierra Wiggers Maria Perez

Clark Dalton Donnavan Smoot Wills Layton Myah Taylor Cameron Parker Stephen Wagner

Illustrators Rocky Higine

Copy Editors Lawson Freeman Jason Lihuang Brittany Miller Irissa Omandam Jimena Pinzon

Writers Alex Briseño Daniela Perez

CONTACT US

MAIN TELEPHONE (512) 471-4591 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Spencer Buckner (512) 232-2212 editor@dailytexanonline.com MANAGING EDITOR Catherine Marfin

(512) 232-2217 managingeditor@ dailytexanonline.com NEWS OFFICE (512) 232-2207 news@dailytexanonline.com

The Texan strives to present all information fairly, accurately and completely. If we have made an error, let us know about it. Call (512) 232-2217 or e-mail managingeditor@ dailytexanonline.com.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

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rest of the college football landscape. These elements add even more intensity to an always fierce matchup. The rivalry has been played 114 times. During that time, Oklahoma and Texas have established themselves as two powerhouses. So, it is fitting to see how both teams stack up heading into this year’s game and how each compares in by the numbers.

nfl draft picks:

unior quarterback Sam Ehlingher is bringing the Longhorns back, and Oklahoma has dominated with yet another transfer quarterback on a Heisman trail. This sets up the 2019 Red River Rivalry to be another classic. This year both teams are ranked highly in the AP Poll, giving the matchup major implications that could set the tone for the Big 12 and the

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Cameron Dicker, whose name is already cemented into the history of the Red River Rivalry, has been defined by a wink and the game-winning kick that sent the burnt orange half of the Cotton Bowl into a frenzy. By Alex Briseño

T

¦

@alex_briseno

he only thing separating the Longhorns from 2018 Red River glory was a successful 40-yard field goal. The weight of Texas all lied on the shoulders and foot of Cameron Dicker, the freshman kicker from Hong Kong. “Cameron Dicker, from 40 yards away, for University of Texas Red River immortality,”

Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson said on the call. This moment was only magnified after Kyler Murray led a vicious comeback, overcoming a 45-24 fourth-quarter deficit to tie the ballgame 45-45 with two minutes left. Dicker’s parents, Rachel and Kelly, nervously scanned the field. “We were enjoying the game,” Kelly said. “It was an incredible atmosphere … (With) probably about 10 mintues left is when we

started noticing that this might come down to a kick.” Rachel focused on the game, but Kelly was fixated on his son, Cameron, who patiently waited until he was asked to line up for the biggest kick of his career. This was all relatively new for the Dicker family — not just the pageantry of the Red River Rivalry or the scent of corn dogs and deepfried everything sweeping across the Texas State Fair, but college football in general.

Cameron didn’t grow up like the majority of the players at the Cotton Bowl who anxiously watched his kick with the Red River Rivalry on the line. Home for him was over 7,300 miles away from the Texas State Fair. The Dickers lived in Shanghai while Rachel was pregnant with Cameron, though she flew out to Hong Kong a few weeks before he was due for the delivery. “Expats didn’t really have babies in Shanghai at that time because the facilities


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Friday, October 11, 2019

were not that great,” Rachel said. Rachel returned to Shanghai when Cameron was a week old. This is the place he would call home for the first decade of his life. It’s also where he was introduced to sports. While success in soccer dominated Cameron’s early childhood, Kelly decided to introduce him to American football by building a program with a group of fathers who were also expats living in China. In theory, the plan sounded fine. Then, Cameron got stuck playing on the offensive line and middle linebacker. “He definitely did not enjoy that position at all,” Kelly said. “He did really well at middle linebacker. They made him the center just because of his size.” Cameron wasn’t exposed to kicking in China mainly because it wasn’t a part of the version of the game they played. That all changed when Cameron got his hands on a tee after a practice. “One night in a practice, someone threw out the 1980s orange tee that we all grew up with as kids, something that somebody threw

out of a bag,” Kelly said. “We were messing around. He and a couple of other kids were kicking the ball. It was a very natural swing for him.” Neither Cameron nor Kelly knew it at the time, but 92,000-plus fans inside the Cotton Bowl would eventually watch his every move, awaiting that same swing for “Red River immortality.” According to Cameron, none of this pressure fazed him. He still managed to ooze the confidence the Longhorn fan base has come to associate with the kicker — even with the crimson half of the Cotton Bowl erupting as the Sooners completed the 21-point comeback. “When they started coming back, I was like, ‘OK, I’ll kick the game winner,’” Cameron said after the game. “I knew I was going to, I felt that, and I was ready to go.” Before Cameron got his shot, he watched as Sam Ehlinger led a nearly perfect two-minute drill, converting on a third down to advance the ball to the Oklahoma 32. “Once they got the first down, I knew it

was in the 40 range,” Kelly said. “I became more calm because I know Cameron can make that kick.” Kelly continued to read his son’s body language from the stands, but what he didn’t see were Cameron’s facial expressions, which went viral in the middle of the game. Right before Cameron ran out for the field goal, a Fox camera found the freshman with a wide grin and a confident head nod, a moment that quickly turned into one of the most popular GIFs among UT students. “It’s a perfect reflection,” Ehlinger said. “He’s just enjoying the moment and having fun. That’s how he is all the time.” He recently claimed he was unaware the camera was locked in on him, but said the gesture was toward linebacker Joseph Ossai. “That was our thing,” Ossai said. “There’s a lot of pressure on those guys. They have such a little job, but it means a lot and everybody is watching. Before and after every kick I would hug him and say, ‘No matter what, I love you, bruh.’ After a made kick he would just wink at me, and I would wink back.”

Ossai says they still do the wink, but it also has evolved into a handshake as well. While Cameron was busy going viral on national television, Kelly’s nerves were a bit relieved. Rachel was still trying to get a handle on her own nerves as Cameron ran onto the field for a 40-yard attempt with 14 ticks on the clock. “I kind of just like to have my mind blank,” Cameron said. “I go up there and just tell myself to stay calm and take breaths.” Cameron stared down the goal post against the crimson backdrop of Oklahoma fans, did his double heel tap routine and took a deep breath. “Earthquake! He hit it. Dicker the kicker, 48-45, Texas,” Gus Johnson announced in the specific octave he saves for monumental moments. Cameron said he didn’t even watch the kick — the shot that sent the burnt orange half of the Cotton Bowl into a frenzy — go through the uprights. “I remember after he kicked the field goal and he made it through — I felt weak in the knees,” Rachel said. “Literally weak in the knees. I was thrilled for him.” Cameron’s game-winner not only came with the Golden Hat, but also a rare appointment with the media after the game. “I just remember it took him a really long time to come out to where we were waiting,” Rachel said. “We were anxious to see him but he was apparently doing all these interviews. He was quite happy. I wouldn’t say overwhelmed but it was a lot for him, all the attention he was getting.” That attention isn’t going anywhere. The same kicker — the one who picked up the sport by playing on the offensive line in Shanghai — will arrive to the Cotton Bowl on Saturday with his name, loved by one half of the stadium and deeply hated by the other, already cemented into the history of the Red River Rivalry.

katie bauer

/ the daily texan file

angela wang

/ the daily texan file

LEFT: Then-freshman kicker Cameron Dicker boots his 40-yard game-winner, allowing then-No. 19 Texas to pull off a 48-45 upset over then-No. 7 Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl on Oct. 6, 2018.

RIGHT: Cameron Dicker leads the Longhorns out of the tunnel at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium ahead of Texas 24-10 victory over the Iowa State Cyclones on Nov. 17, 2018.


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Friday, October 11, 2019

opponents to watch By Myah Taylor

Oklahoma lost key players to the NFL and beyond following the Sooners’ 2018 campaign. Most notable was

Heisman-winning quarterback Kyler Murray and All-American wide receiver Marquise Brown. Yet, in 2019, Oklahoma has filled these offensive holes, strengthened its defense and remained

the favorite to win the Big 12. When Texas matches up against the Sooners at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, the Longhorns will be challenged with containing strong defensive starters, an emerging

wide receiver and a talented transfer quarterback from that school down in Tuscaloosa. Here are four Oklahoma players to watch Saturday:

copyright joshua gateley/ou athletics, and reproduced with permission

copyright ty russell/ou athletics, and reproduced with permission

copyright joshua gateley/ou athletics, and reproduced with permission

copyright ty russell/ou athletics, and reproduced with permission

@t_myah

NO. 1

NO. 7

NO. 2

Quarterback

Defensive Lineman

Wide Reveiver

Jalen Hurts Oklahoma has another Heisman contender on its hands in its new QB1. In 2018, Hurts was permanately replaced as the starter at Alabama by sophomore Tua Tagovailoa. Coming in for an injured Tagovailoa in a game where the Georgia Bulldogs led 28-21 in the fourth quarter, Hurts led the Tide to victory in the SEC Championship game. However, following the season, Hurts entered the transfer portal and landed at Oklahoma. Through four games, Hurts has stunned, garnering a stellar 250.2 rating, completing 80.2% of his passes, throwing for nine touchdowns with no interceptions and scoring on the ground prior to week six. The Texas defense will be on its heels as it is young and ravaged by injuries. On Saturday, Hurts and his abilities as a dual-threat quarterback might be the Longhorns’ toughest test this season.

ronnie perkins It’s popular opinion that the Big 12 doesn’t play defense. Oklahoma’s defensive play last season reinforced this idea as the Sooners allowed 33.3 points per game. As a freshman last season, Ronnie Perkins stood out, earning All-American honors. The defensive lineman led the Sooners last season with five sacks. In 2019, the St. Louis native has continued to do damage, recording a sack and six solo tackles through four games. He has helped lead Oklahoma to a defensive resurgence of sorts this season. The Texas offensive line will have to key in on Perkins to give Ehlinger enough time to throw the ball and avoid a sack Saturday.

NO. 90

CeeDee lamb

neville gallimore

As a sophomore last season, CeeDee Lamb recorded 1,158 yards with a team-high 11 touchdowns. The second-team All-Big 12 selection registered five 100-yard receiving games, one of which was against Texas in the Big 12 Championship game. Lamb is on pace to have an even better 2019. Through the first four games, the star receiver recorded 100 yards twice and has caught six touchdown passes on 14 receptions. He is always a deep ball threat, and the Texas secondary has given up huge plays in games against LSU and Oklahoma State. All eyes must be on Lamb this weekend to stop senior transfer Jalen Hurts and Oklahoma’s potent scoring attack.

Oklahoma’s defense is much improved this season, ranking 35th in the nation, in points allowed. Redshirt senior Neville Gallimore, who made five tackles in the Sooners’ Big 12 Championship win over Texas last December, has been a key piece of Oklahoma’s defensive effort. Last season, the Canada native recorded three sacks and two forced fumbles. This year, Gallimore continues to be a force on defense with four solo tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in the Sooners’ first four games. In recent weeks, Texas has had issues with ball control. Maintaining control of the ball throughout the entirety of each play should be a point of emphasis for Texas’ offense Saturday, especially with Gallimore on the field.

Defensive Lineman


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Friday, October 11, 2019

texan

staff predictions

marcus krum

wills layton

donnavan smoot

myah taylor

stephen wagner

alex briseÑo

clark dalton

daniela perez

cameron parker

winner

Oklahoma

Texas

Oklahoma

Oklahoma

Oklahoma

Oklahoma

Texas

Texas

Oklahoma

score

42-38

35-31

45-39

45-38

42-38

45-38

42-37

45-43

34-30

leading passer

Jalen Hurts

Sam Ehlinger

Sam Ehlinger

Sam Ehlinger

Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts

Sam Ehlinger

Sam Ehlinger

Jalen Hurts

x-factor (player)

Kenneth Murray

Devin Duvernay

Keaontay Ingram

CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb

Devin Duvernay

Roschon Johnson

Jalen Hurts

player with longest play

Charleston Rambo

Roschon Johnson

CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb

Devin Duvernay

CeeDee Lamb

Brennan Eagles

CeeDee Lamb

mvp

Jalen Hurts

Sam Ehlinger

Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts

Cameron Dicker

Sam Ehlinger

Jalen Hurts

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Friday, October 11, 2019

best

texas

wins

The Daily Texan staff takes a look at the best Longhorn wins in rivalry history.

lauren gerson

1958 In 1956, a 32-year-old Oklahoma football alumus named Darrell K Royal began his legendary tenure at Texas as the coach of a dwindling Longhorn team. Royal’s first season in Austin saw the coach turn Texas around, leading the team to a No. 11 national ranking and a Sugar Bowl appearance. From there, Royal went on to become the winningest coach in program history. In the hall of fame coach’s 20 seasons with the Longhorns, he won three national championships and never had a losing record. One of the most memorable moments from Royal’s career was his

1994 The 1994 Red River Rivalry game was a back-and-forth battle for the ages. But with one play, one player sealed the 17-10 Texas win in a miraculous fashion. Here’s the setup: Oklahoma has the ball, down a score with 43 seconds remaining. It’s fourth down and goal for the Sooners at the Texas 4-yard line. Oklahoma had run for 240 yards on the day behind a strong offensive line, but had turned the ball over twice. The ball was snapped, and sophomore tailback James Allen faked a block and looped behind

first win inside the Cotton Bowl against his alma mater and Texas’ storied rival — Oklahoma. In 1948, Royal was quarterbacking for the Sooners. Ten years later, the legend captured his first win against Oklahoma as the Texas head coach in 1958. The Longhorns won 15-14, putting an end to the series dominance the Sooners had maintained throughout the ‘50s. This would be the first time Royal defeated his former coach and mentor Bud Wilkinson in the rivalry game. For the next five years before retiring in 1963, Wilkinson would lose to his former player-turned rival Darrell K Royal. / Myah Taylor

the quarterback from the right side to take a handoff. Allen got outside of the defensive line, then made a cut toward the end zone. For a split second, it looked like he had hit pay dirt. Then in came Stonie Clark. The junior Texas defensive lineman came charging down the goal line, and as Allen crossed the 1-yard line, Clark threw all of his 6-foot-1-inch, 343-pound frame into him. He stopped him dead in his tracks, and the rest was history. The Longhorns would win their fourth of seven over the Sooners in the 1990s. / Marcus Krum

/ the daily texan file

Former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy celebrates with the Golden Hat after the then-No. 3 Longhorns edged thenNo. 20 Oklahoma, 16-13, at the Cotton Bowl in 2009.

2005 In 2005, the Longhorns went into the Cotton Bowl with revenge on their minds. The Sooners had been the sole blemish on Texas’ record the year before, leaving Texas out of the National Championship game and the Rose Bowl. Quarterback Vince Young famously declared after the one-point win over Michigan that Texas would be back the following year. To his credit, Young and the Longhorns delivered on the promise. Oklahoma came into the 2005

2008 It is October 2008 in Dallas, Texas, and the 103rd annual Red River Rivalry game is in full swing. Both teams are 5–0 going into their Week 6 matchup, Oklahoma ranked No. 1 while Texas sat at No. 5. Oklahoma, led by quarterback and future Heisman winner Sam Bradford, took an early lead over the Longhorns with a score of 14-3 in the second quarter. Oklahoma was coming off a scoring drive, where their touchdown was almost fumbled by tight end Jermaine Gresham but caught inches from the end zone by wide receiver Ryan Broyles.

matchup unranked after losses to TCU and UCLA, both of whom were unranked at the time. The Sooners fell out of the top 25 after beginning the season ranked No. 7. Texas’ win was just another dominant victory on its road to a National Championship. Once Texas running back Jamaal Charles ran through the entire Oklahoma defense for an 80-yard touchdown run, there was nothing left for the Sooners to do except finish with a loss. Oklahoma never led and was outgained by Vince Young alone. / Donnavan Smoot

Freshman punter Matthew Moreland lined up for the kick, while OU fans cheered “Boomer Sooner.” Cue the cannons— the ball was in the air, and it soared into the arms of wide receiver Jordan Shipley at the 5-yard line. From there, Shipley took off into the scrum of players but found a hole big enough for him to rush through. He left behind a pile of Oklahoma players and kept running, seeing nothing but green grass until he found himself in end zone. Touchdown Texas— A 96-yard punt return that would go down in Red River Rivalry history and would help secure Texas’ 45-35 win over OU.

2018 After a season-opening loss to Maryland, it seemed like the 2018 season was going to be another average one for Texas. Heading into the 113th edition of the Red River Rivalry, the team and fans alike were hopeful the Longhorns could begin to turn it around. That turnaround would end up hinging on one kick. The score was tied at 45 with 14 seconds left in the final quarter of the game. After an explosive day of offense, it all came down to whether then-freshman Cameron Dicker would be able to make a 40-yard field goal. Was he ready for the moment? Would the weight of the kick impact the young player? Longhorn nation watched, breath held, as he set up for the kick. The kick split the uprights as Texas fans cheered and Sooner fans went silent. Dicker earned Red River immortality with one kick and the moniker “Dicker the Kicker” among Texas fans. It was arguably the highlight of the entire season for the Longhorns and served as the springboard en route to the Sugar Bowl victory. / Wills Layton


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Friday, October 11, 2019

RELAX, Y’ALL STILL GO TO OU

charlie pearce

/ the daily texan file

Former Longhorn linebacker Kendall Thompson flashes the “Hook ‘em” sign after Texas’ 36-20 Cotton Bowl win on Oct. 12, 2013. Texas proved once again that Oklahoma is inferior on and off the field on and off the field. By The Daily Texan Staff @TheDailyTexan Editor’s Note: In the spirit of the University of Texas’ friendly rivalry with the University of Oklahoma, the staffs at The Daily Texan and The OU Daily have exchanged columns. Dear Oklahoma, Since you, your alumni and fans can’t seem to get our names out of your mouths, here is the attention you so desperately crave. Seriously, we live rent-free in the mind of every Oklahoman. If y’all paid attention in class half as much as y’all do to the University of Texas, maybe y’all could be more than a community college with boosters. But honestly, we’re glad we could do this joint paper with y’all. It’s been fun. We just

wish that OU didn’t accept more than 70% of whoever applies. We’re sorry y’all didn’t get into Texas, but we know the application to get into OU was tough for you guys. We know how hard it is to spell your own name. It’s a shame the Oklahoma defense is almost as soft as the admissions office. Speaking of defense, if we’ve learned anything from Baker Mayfield, it’s that the best defense is just running away (cc: Fayetteville PD). We would forget about it, but something about that mug shot just stays in the back of our minds. Now to your on-the-field play. We can’t lie, y’all look pretty good. But then again, it’s easy to look good when UCLA is the hardest opponent on your schedule through six weeks. It’s nice to see Jalen working out after

games. He needs to be bulking up if he’s going to carry the defense all year. It makes sense that Jalen and everyone else are so bleak after wins — they realize they have to celebrate in Norman. At least you guys have a storied NBA franchise in OKC with future Hall of Famers Kevin Dur — wait, I mean Russell Westbr — I mean … Chris Paul? That team has left most of y’all crying like the little guy who played quarterback for y’all last season. Maybe y’all should try to learn how to keep somebody in y’all’s state before Lincoln Riley leaves too. We get that y’all were hurt after losing to Alabama, but picking up its sloppy seconds with Jalen is low, even for y’all. Y’all wouldn’t have to bring in a transfer quarterback every year if y’all could just recruit. But we get it, it’s not like

there’s any kind of high school talent pool from y’all’s state anyway. After Saturday, Jalen will probably transfer back just so that he can remember what being a true winner feels like. We know this may seem like it was thrown together. Sorry, we were too busy putting out a paper every day of the week to waste time on this. Not that y’all would know anything about that. We’re gonna be real with y’all — this was very exhausting. Trying to come up with talking points is hard because most of y’all’s issues stem from the simple fact that y’all aren’t THE University of Texas at Austin. Oh, and thanks for throwing the horns down. It’s not like the most recognizable brand in all of college sports needs free advertising, but it sure as hell doesn’t hurt. Thanks, little bro. See y’all in Dallas.


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Friday, October 11, 2019

top players

OF THE HERMAN/RILEY ERA

By Marcus Krum

|

@marcuskrum

copyright ty russell

/ ou athletics, and reproduced with permission / the daily texan file

anthony mireles, gabriel lopez, ashley ephraim, eddie gaspar

Kyler Murray

Baker Mayfield

Sam Ehlinger

Jalen Hurts

Marquise Brown

2017 - 18

2015-17

2017 - Present

2019 - Present

2017 - 18

Quarterback, Oklahoma

The second consecutive Oklahoma quarterback to win the Heisman, Murray had a special ability running the football and extending plays that few in college football history have ever possessed. He was almost underrated as a pocket passer, though, as he finished with 4,361 passing yards and 42 touchdowns on just seven interceptions in 2018.

Quarterback, Oklahoma

Quarterback, Texas

The forever-antagonist Mayfield was as exciting with the ball in his hands as he was after the play. His 4,938 total yards as a senior was the most by an Oklahoma quarterback, until Murray rolled around a year later. In head coach Lincoln Riley’s first year, Mayfield was the spark plug for the second playoff appearance in three years for the Sooners.

Ehlinger will get his fourth crack at the Sooners on Saturday, and it’ll be an important one for both his and head coach Tom Herman’s legacies. In three years at Texas, the junior quarterback has evolved from a frenetic gunslinger into everything the Longhorns need at quarterback. He’s become the face of the revival of the Texas program, and rightfully so.

Collin Johnson

Connor Williams

2016 - Present

2015 - 17

Wide Receiver, Texas

Johnson’s production this season has dipped, but it appears it’s not his own doing. As the perfect mold for a possession receiver, the senior has earned the respect — and double coverage — of opponents in his four years at Texas. But he’s still a go-to target in crunch time for Ehlinger, using his 6-foot-6 frame and outstanding ball skills to beat defenders.

Offensive Lineman, Texas I’ve got to give the big guys some love. Williams is the best offensive lineman Herman has had in his tenure, and he anchored that group in Herman’s first year in Austin. Williams helped protect a freshman Ehlinger at left tackle, and was a key piece in the turnaround as the Longhorns tried to reenter the national conversation.

Quarterback, Oklahoma

Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

You’ve probably heard by now — Hurts is pretty dang good. In fact, he may end up being the most prolific of the three Sooner quarterbacks. Through four games, Hurts had 400 more yards and four more touchdowns than either Mayfield or Murray had at this point. As long as college football is still being played, Riley will still be turning out Heisman-quality quarterbacks.

Hollywood seemed to live up to his name when playing at the Cotton Bowl, putting on a show with nine catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns last year. As an undersized receiver at 5-foot-9, he made up for his lack in stature with his explosiveness. Always a threat to break the big play, he averaged 18.3 yards per reception in his two seasons in the crimson and cream.

CeeDee Lamb

Lil’Jordan Humphrey

Kenneth Murray

2017 - Present

2016 - 18

2017 - Present

Wide Receiver, Oklahoma Lamb played the Robin to Brown’s Batman over the last two years, and similarly to Johnson, has had a relatively slow start in 2019. But his sheer talent is clear. In last year’s Big 12 Championship game, Lamb racked up 167 receiving yards and a score against the Longhorns. He’s just one more name in the pedigree of elite talent in that position at Oklahoma.

Wide Receiver, Texas

Aside from being on the all-time “all-name” team, Humphrey was as talented as they come in his three years in Austin. His ability to break tackles in the open field and high point passes over defenders made him a favorite target for Ehlinger in the two years prior to this one, and he’s turned that production into the start of an NFL career.

Linebacker, Oklahoma It’s often tough to point out defensive greatness in a Big 12 rivalry. Kenneth is one of the few players to buck that stereotype. The junior finished second in the country with 155 total tackles a year ago, and somehow looks even better to start this season. He’s anchored an Oklahoma defense that so far looks vastly improved from years past.


13

Friday, October 11, 2019

BIG 12

POWER RANKINGS

3. BAYLOR BEARS

4. OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS

5. IOWA STATE CYCLONES

Despite a promising start to the season, Oklahoma State already has two losses in conference play. The game plan was simple for the Cowboys: Get the ball to redshirt sophomore running back Chuba Hubbard and get out the way. Although talented, Oklahoma State is still figuring out how to put all the pieces together.

The up and down season continues for the Cyclones. Iowa State bounced back from the heartbreaking loss to Baylor with a dominant win over TCU. The two losses they’ve suffered have come by less than a field goal, showing that they can compete with anybody. The next step is getting wins against top teams.

7. WesT VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS

The Mountaineers clearly had the matchup against Texas circled, but the outcome didn’t go as planned for West Virginia. They were able to keep it close for a majority of the game, but they couldn’t stop the fourth quarter onslaught the Longhorns brought on. Still over .500, they will try and rebound against Iowa State this week.

By Donnavan Smoot

¦

@Dsmoot3D

For a quick moment in the first quarter, Kansas looked like it would give Oklahoma a game. The Jayhawks scored quickly and then proceeded to allow 42 points. Oklahoma once again reminded the conference how potent their offense is. With an easy day at the office, Oklahoma moves on to to the Cotton Bowl to try and get revenge for last year’s defeat at the foot of then-freshman kicker Cameron Dicker.

9. KANSAS STATE WILDCATS

8. TCU HORNED FROGS After a three-point loss to SMU three weeks ago, TCU was able to blow out Kansas. However, they couldn’t keep the momentum going against Iowa State. The Cyclones put up nearly 50 points against the Horned Frogs. TCU couldn’t find rhythm, but found another loss in their record. Luckily, they get to play Kansas State next week.

Still winless in conference play, the Wildcats were blown out at home by the explosive Baylor Bears. Moving the ball wasn’t an issue for Kansas State, it was just putting the ball in the end zone where the Wildcats struggled. They’ve now lost back-to-back weeks and are trying to regain control before their season spirals out.

2. TEXAS LONGHORNS Texas went back to work against West Virginia last week. After a slow start, the Longhorns exploded in the fourth quarter. Four interceptions along with freshman quarterback-turned-running back Roschon Johnson and sophomore offensive lineman Samuel Cosmi’s trick plays allowed Texas to get past the Mountaineers. Junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger and Co. travel to Dallas to face their true rival, Oklahoma.

6. TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS The Red Raiders got back on track after back-toback losses. Texas Tech’s offense looked more like themselves, putting up 45 points on the scoreboard. Junior quarterback Jett Duffey had a day with 424 passing yards and four touchdowns. With sophomore quarterback Alan Bowman out for several weeks, Duffey’s performance provides some hope moving forward.

10. KANSAS JAYHAWKS Kansas had Oklahoma in the first half ... of the first quarter. The Jayhawks looked competitive for the first few minutes, but were ultimately overpowered by the Sooners. They’re still searching for their first conference win, but the moral victory will have to do for now. Kansas remains in the cellar of the Big 12 until Les Miles and the Jayhawks can prove otherwise.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Shackelford learns American Sign Language to connect with family, deaf community. By Daniela Perez JOSHUA GUENTHER

¦

@danielap3rez

/ THE DAILY TEXAN FILE

Senior offensive lineman Zach Shackelford, a captain of the offensive line group, has started all but one game in the last two years. Off the field, Shackelford has studied American Sign Language, allowing him to bettter connect with the deaf community.

m

arysville, Ohio, is a place senior offensive lineman Zach Shackelford can call home. It’s a place where he spent Christmas at his grandparents’ house and ran around a family-owned dairy farm as a boy. He returned in June for a family memorial service where his mother, Shannon Shackelford, and her large family came from far and wide to pay their respects. For the family, it was a time of mourning, but also celebration. It had been years since their family, many of whom hadn’t seen Zach since he was a child, had been together. They met at Scottslawn Park for a remembrance dinner for Zach’s great aunt. Shannon remembers it being a beautiful evening, but what she

remembers most is seeing her son sitting under a tree at a picnic table talking to her cousins Jeff and Karen Hines. This memorable conversation was one of the first times Zach was able to talk with his cousins — now that he learned American Sign Language at the University of Texas. “It was just really cool to be able to talk to them for the first time because they have limited communication vocally,” Zach said. “But, to be able to sign with them was really cool and special because nobody else in my family knows sign.” In the greens of Scottslawn Park, their family bond strengthened as they caught up on their respective lives and Zach’s college career on and off

the field. “I was so excited to hear Zach was learning sign language and was eager to see him and talk with him,” Karen said via email. “I am hard of hearing, and since I’ve learned signs it’s opened a whole new world to me, and I feel like I am part of the group. When there is no signs, I feel left out at times. I was impressed that he was learning signs and that he was using ASL.” The family parted ways and returned to their various corners of the country. Before Texas took on Louisiana State, Shannon sent Karen and Jeff a video of Zach signing “Hook’em Horns, Karen and Jeff.” For Shackelford, playing college football was always a goal. He spent his youth living in different parts of


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Friday, October 11, 2019

amna ijaz

/ the daily texan file

Senior offensive lineman Zach Shackelford makes a call at the line during Texas 45-38 loss to LSU on Sept. 7.

amna ijaz

/ the daily texan file

Senior offensive lineman Zach Shackelford works with freshman Junior Angilau in pass potection during Texas 36-30 win over Oklahoma State on Sept. 21. the world because his father was in the military. The first time he played football was in elementary school, where he was moved up to the fifth grade team as a second grader because of his large frame, which was bigger than the rest of the kids in his age group. When he was in fifth grade, his family moved to Germany, where American football was nonexistent. He continued to participate in sports and became an avid skier

while also participating in a local softball team. “I remember one day he was so frustrated because he just played tackle football for three years and now he’s on this coed softball team,” Shannon said. “Nobody could catch, and he’d come home and say, ‘Mom, I’m never going to get to play in the NFL or college ball if I stay here.’” When he finally moved back to Texas in junior high, Shackelford resumed football and was

recruited to play at Texas. A football career wasn’t the full extent of Shackelford’s goals. Another aspiration was becoming a pedagogy, an assistant student mentor, for an ASL class. He first heard about the position through former Texas tight end and ASL pedagogy Andrew Beck. “I’m a corporate communications major, so you have to have a language,” Shackelford said. “So, a couple of guys were telling me about ASL and that it was kind of

easier to pick up on because it’s awarded to NCAA athletes who have accomplishments in the more visual. As a football player, community, the classroom, in I’m more visual. And so Andrew character and in competition. Beck took it, and he recommendOn the field, he is one of Texed it to me. Now, as an ASL mias’ five captains and leads the nor, he’s a pedagogy for senior offensive line. lecturer Deborah White’s ASL The senior is now entering the 601D class. halfway mark of his final season ASL has opened doors for the with the Longhorns. Although offensive lineman. But, for those the fate of his team has yet to be who know him, his work ethic in learning sign language is only a further testament to It was just really cool to be who he is as a perable to talk to (my family) for son. To his teammates, he’s a leader, the first time because they and off the field, his have limited communication family and teachers feel he is one, too. vocally.” “Zach has this ZACH SHACKELFORD amazing personalcenter ity,” White said via email. “He is very warm and outgoing. sealed, he knows once he leaves He shows that he really wants to the green of Darrell K Royal Texdo well in ASL. He is the perfect as-Memorial Stadium, he will role model for those students who continue his path in ASL. want to do well. I like to have variShackelford hopes to work in ous hands-on activities during the business management and conclass time. Zach is great at getting tinue using sign language. He will involved and making sure they are always be part of the Longhorn signing right.” football community, but learnOff the field, he has been ing American Sign Language will nominated for numerous acaallow him to be part of the deaf demic accolades, including the community, too. Senior CLASS Award, which is


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Friday, October 11, 2019

comparing herman and riley’s tenure head coach. The team ultimately finished 7–6 and won their first bowl game since 2012. 2018 was a completely different n paper, Tom Herman script. and Lincoln Riley share The Longhorns stumbled out of a myriad of similarities. the gate, (again), with another loss Both are offensive to unranked Maryland, but the gurus. Both are in their team rebounded with six straight third year of coaching wins, including a 48-45 thriller at a Power Five school, but, most over Oklahoma in one of the best notably, both have won the Red Red River Rivalry games ever. River Showdown once in their first Nearly three months later, two seasons. Texas knocked off No. 5 Georgia This season, the hype for Texas in the Sugar Bowl to win its first (4–1) and Oklahoma’s (5–0) annuNew Year’s Six bowl in a decade al meeting at the Cotton Bowl is the behind an MVP performance from largest it’s been since 2008, when Heisman hopeful Sam Ehlinger. No. 5 Texas upset No. 1 Oklahoma Across the pond, or the Red in a Red River classic. River, Lincoln Riley focuses on But this year, they’ve armaintaining excellence. rived at this point by two very Riley inherited a great program different paths. in 2017. The Sooners were fresh off In 2016, Tom Herman, fresh out their sixth 10-win season in seven of two spectacular seasons as the years and touted a Heisman-calihead coach of the Houston Couber quarterback poised for a Tim gars, appeared to be the perfect fit Tebow-esque season. for a Texas program desperate to Two years after assuming the reins return to success after three losing from legendary coach Bob Stoops, Riseasons under Charlie Strong. ley has transformed Oklahoma into a Since Herman took over the real-life Heisman House. Both of his program in 2017, it’s been a whirlquarterbacks in the last two semeswind. After the “Is Texas back?” ters won the Heisman before being question surrounded the 2017 and drafted No. 1 overall. In addition, the 2018 seasons, the Longhorn faithSooners appeared in the College Footful can rest easy. Texas is back, ball Playoff and won the Big 12 title in and Texas means business – Mcboth seasons. Combs School of Business pun Under Riley, Oklahoma has renot intended. mained a consistent presence in But it’s important to note that the national championship picture. Texas didn’t miraculously rise Although it slid into the playoff unfrom the grave overnight. der controversial committee voting Herman’s first season in 2017 and a dash of luck, Oklahoma has was filled with question marks, managed to claim the third-most doubt and a lack of results. In Herplayoff appearances, only trailing Alabama But it’s important to note and Clemson. Five weeks into the that Texas didn’t miracu- season, the Sooners are lously rise from the grave posised to do more of overnight.” the same. Oklahoma’s Sooner Schooner has been STEPHEN WAGNER less of a wagon and sports reporter more of a train. Jalen Hurts is the latest addition to Riley’s newfound man’s first game against Maryland, tradition of producing Heisman-levthe Longhorns allowed a whopping el quarterbacks, steamrolling his 51 points, the most points allowed way into Heisman contention with under Herman in his 58 games as By Stephen Wagner @stephenwag22

O

joshua guenther texan file

/ the daily

Texas head coach Tom Herman high-fives freshman receiver Jake Smith in Texas’ 36-30 win over Oklahoma State on Sept. 21.

copyright ty russell / ou athletics, and reproduced with permission

In the first two and a half years of his time as head coach at Oklahoma, Lincoln Riley has led the Sooners to two College Football Playoff appearances and two Big 12 Championships. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. To put it simply, Texas wants what Oklahoma has. And this year, the Longhorns have a legitimate shot of getting it. Despite the stark contrasts in the beginning of their tenures, both Herman and Riley have brought their programs to the same elite platform. For Herman, this year’s meeting is an opportunity to prove that Texas has made it. For Riley, it’s about affirming that Oklahoma isn’t going anywhere. These questions will be answered – and many more will arise – Saturday, Oct. 12 at 11 a.m.


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Friday, October 11, 2019

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Friday, October 11, 2019

joshua guenther

/ the daily texan file

Senior receiver Devin Duvernay tries to break free from a tackler in Texas 36-30 win over Oklahoma State on Sept. 21. Duvernay had 12 catches for 108 yards in the win.

Duvernay’s quiet leadership, competitive spirit will be on display in final return to Dallas. By Marcus Krum

@marcuskrum

t is Oct. 8, 2016. Receiver Devin Duvernay is standing in an end zone painted burnt orange with 92,000 fans filling the Cotton Bowl with sound. Then a freshman, Duvernay had

just scored his first career touchdown on a 63-yard bomb from quarterback Shane Buechele, and he hadn’t the slightest clue of what was supposed to happen next. “It was kind of a surreal moment,” Duvernay said. “I scored, and I didn’t even know what to do or what happened.” Duvernay appeared to take in the scene for just a split second, and as if remembering what he’s all about, turned around to celebrate with his teammates. As he returns to the Cotton Bowl for the final time in his Texas career, his confident humility and voracious competitive spirit can be traced back to the place where he first made a name for himself. Just 25 milkes northeast of Fair Park

lies Sachse, Texas, where Duvernay grew up with his twin brother, Donovan, now a defensive back for the Longhorns. From a young age, the Duvernay twins grew up competitive by nature. The two battled in video games, basketball, (where Devin claims he won most of the games), school and in whatever else they could challenge each other at. From the age of 4 when he first hit the football field, Duvernay could not stand to lose. Losses in peewee football would send him home crying. The fire that drove the 5 year old to tears continues to burn to this day. Senior wide receiver Collin Johnson said that after his team beat Duvernay’s in a friendly game of trash can basketball early in the season as a part of

Family Friday — a weekly tradition the team participates in — Duvernay didn’t say a word to him for the rest of the day. “He’s a competitor, he’s a fighter, he just cares about football and his teammates,” Johnson said. “Honestly, that is the most competitive guy I’ve ever been around in my life.” Duvernay’s almost business-like demeanor has guided him throughout his playing career. After his freshman year at Sachse High School, he was asked to change positions to receiver. He ended up as the No. 5 receiver in the 2016 recruiting class and committed to to Longhorns after flipping from Baylor. Yet his start at Texas wasn’t easy. Unsurprisingly, Duvernay didn’t take well


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Friday, October 11, 2019

to playing for a losing

ANTHONY MIRELES

/ THE DAILY TEXAN FILE

Senior receiver Devin Duvernay crosses the goal line for one of his two touchdowns in Texas 45-38 loss to LSU in Week Two.

team. He stuck through a coaching change and a limited role in his first two years, growing into a bigger role as an outside receiver in his junior year. Heading into his senior year in Austin, he was slat-

ed to start on the outside. A as the surest hands on the He’s added about 15 pounds day before fall camp started, team, his peers have taken and over 100 catches since wide receivers coach Drew notice. that day. He says he’s now a Mehringer called him in and “I haven’t even seen him smarter football player and asked if he could slide over drop a ball in practice,” has a better understanding to the slot. sophomore safety Caden of the game than ever beDuvernay’s answer was Sterns said. “The dude is fore. simple. very disciplined. He’s in The same Duvernay that “I said, ‘I’m all in.’” and out of his routes, he’s refuses to back down from What some may see as a fast, he’s got all the tools, challenges and changes, that setback or a slight by the coaching staff, Duvernay has taken in stride. Heading into the Longhorns’ matchup with West Virginia, Duvernay led the country with 9.8 receptions per game. While the routes and assignments have changed from the position he played in the past, so has Duvernay. But his approach hasn’t changed. He’s still the same competitor with the same spirit that drives him. “He’s taken it as a challenge,” junior quarJOSHUA GUENTHER / THE DAILY TEXAN FILE terback Sam Ehlinger Trying to keep his balance, senior receiver Devin Duvernay looks to break a tacksaid. “Understanding le in the Longhorns 36-30 victory over Oklahoma State in Week Four. that he wants to contribute as much as he can his senior year. That’s he’s strong, so when you said he hates to lose more the competitive nature tackle him, you’ve got to than he enjoys winning, about him.” bring some type of punch that is trying to win every Duvernay said he always to it.” game — trash can basketknew once he got his shot, Now four years reball or otherwise — will do wherever it may be, he would moved from that first score his best to add on to a legtake advantage. However, against Oklahoma, Duveracy that began in the end don’t mistake his self-asnay has gone through vast zone of the Cotton Bowl suredness with arrogance. changes. He’s no longer four years ago. This time, His confidence is quiet, catching vertical routes from with years of experience almost unassuming. He Buechele, but instead is under his belt, he’ll know doesn’t try to call attention hauling in option routes exactly what to do when he to himself, but now-known and slants from Ehlinger. gets there.


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Friday, October 11, 2019

Looking into the future By Myah Taylor @t_myah

O

ver the last decade, Oklahoma has padded its winning résumé. Each year, its offense seems to get more explosive, its quarterbacks are frequently in Heisman contention, and conference championships as well as playoff appearances have become common. In a college football landscape dominated by the SEC and Clemson, the Sooners have been the pride of the Big 12. But as it currently stands, Oklahoma is not the top destination in the conference for the class of 2020 recruits. That title would belong to its rival — Texas. Texas on the come up

One of the main storylines of the last two college football seasons is based on one question: Is Texas back? The Longhorns’ 0–1 start against Maryland the last two seasons said “no.” Texas’ upset of Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl and its 7–2 record against Big 12 competition last season said “maybe.” But then, the Longhorns’ loss to the Sooners in the Big 12 Championship Game last December said “not yet.” However, Texas’ win over SEC powerhouse Georgia in the 2019 Sugar Bowl indicated an upward trend. The future looked bright for the Longhorns, who seemingly needed only a couple more strong recruiting classes before they could make their ascent back to the top of college football. For now, Texas’ future is in great shape. Who’s coming to Texas in 2020?

Texas is winning the recruiting battle against Oklahoma, and it’s not all that close. So far, 20 players have chosen Austin as their home for next season. Of this group, 16 are four or five-star recruits, which is good enough for a No. 1 class ranking in the Big 12 and a No. 4 ranking in the country. Texas’ sole five-star commit so far is running back Bijan Robinson out of Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona. Robinson committed to Texas in August and had a monster game shortly after. The dominant back rushed for 496 yards and six touchdowns Sept. 6 in his team’s 68-34 victory over Cactus High School. Robinson, who only played three quarters, broke school records for rushing yards and touchdowns in a game. Three weeks later, he became Southern Arizona’s all-time leading rusher after four touchdowns of 47, 60, 50 and 92 yards in the first half. Texas’ current running back room is paper-thin due to injuries. But next year, Robinson should help the Longhorns dominate out of the backfield. Other notable Texas commits include four-star dual-threat quarterbacks Hudson Card out of Lake Travis and Ja’Quinden Jackson out of Duncanville, four-star wide receiver Quentin Johnston out of Temple, and Vernon Broughton, a 6-foot-5 defensive tackle out of Cy Ridge in Houston. Who’s going to Oklahoma?

So far, 18 players have committed to playing in Norman for the 2020 season. With the number of four and fivestar recruits tallying at 11, Oklahoma’s recruiting class

anthony mireles

/ the daily texan file

Texas head coach Tom Herman stands in the tunnel at the Cotton Bowl before Texas’ 48-45 win over Oklahoma on Oct. 8, 2019. ranks second in the Big 12 and 13th in the country. The Sooners’ top, and only, five-star recruit is also a running back — Jase McClellan out of Aledo, Texas. McClellan committed to Oklahoma in July 2017, establishing the star back as the team’s longest-tenured commit. However, McClellan expressed interest in Alabama and Texas as recent as July 2019. If he did switch over to Texas, the Longhorns would have the No. 5 running back in the nation in addition to the No. 3 back Robinson. But as it stands, both teams have strong prospects at running back, which could potentially create fierce ground battles in the future. At quarterback, Oklahoma has secured a dual-threat player of its own in Michael Henderson out of Carrollton, Texas. But Henderson, a four-star recruit, is a lower-rated prospect than the quarterbacks Texas has picked up for 2020.

9

What does this mean?

Oklahoma is still king in the Big 12 for now, but Texas is on the rise with an increasing number of talented players committing to the burnt orange and white. The Golden Hat may still be up for grabs this weekend, but in the recruiting battle so far, Texas is victorious heading into the future.

renee koite

/ the daily texan staff


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Friday, October 11, 2019

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Friday, October 11, 2019

TEXAS

WINS IF...

… the defense can shut down the rushing attack.

Oklahoma can score an obscene amount of points on any given opponent, largely because of how Hurts commands the offense. As a threat with both his legs and his arm, Hurts will give the Texas defense plenty of trouble Saturday. However, if the Longhorns can’t stop him through the air with a depleted secondary, the team has to force the Sooners to become one-dimensional and eliminate the run game. Against Oklahoma State and the country’s leading rusher in redshirt sophomore Chuba Hubbard, Texas was able to effectively shut down the run game, forcing the Cowboys to win through the air. If the Longhorns can do something similar with Oklahoma’s rushing offense, winning a shootout

By Wills Layton

|

@willsdebeast

The weight of a fan base, of a season, of years of trying to make the final jump to becoming elite comes down to one game for Texas. This year, when the orange and white meets the crimson and cream in the Cotton Bowl, the stakes are nothing short of regular season glory. Backed by one of the strongest offenses the team has boasted this decade, the opportunity is there for Texas to end up with one of its best seasons in years. But they will have to get past graduate transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts and the high-powered Sooner offense. While injuries have hurt the defense, the game should still be a close affair between rivals. Here’s how the 115th meeting between Oklahoma and Texas could go:

is possible.

… the offense continues to produce at a high level.

The offense for the Longhorns this season has been nothing short of prolific. The two-running back approach with sophomore Keaontay Ingram and freshman quarterback-turned-running back Roschon Johnson has been effective, and junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger has been deadly through the air. Senior receiver Devin Duvernay, a recent addition to the Biletnikoff watchlist, led the NCAA in receptions per game through four weeks, and fellow wide receivers sophomore Brennan Eagles and freshman Jake Smith continue to score on an almost-weekly basis. Against Oklahoma State, even the tight end got involved when junior Cade Brewer scored a touchdown on a trick play. If the offense can keep up with Oklahoma and go pointfor-point, the Longhorns can come out on the right side of a high-scoring affair.

joshua guenther

LOSES IF... … it gets behind early in the game.

In a situation where neither offense can be stopped, the game usually comes down to whichever team possesses the ball last. However, if the Longhorns find themselves down by several touchdowns early on, the game could be over in a hurry. Neither defense looks primed to control each other’s explosive offense. Against LSU, almost every touchdown the Longhorns scored in the second half was matched by the Tigers. Because the team was down by more than a touchdown at halftime, the deficit was too much for Texas to overcome. In order to avoid a similar fate, Texas will need to score early and never trail by more than a touchdown. ryan lam

/ the daily texan file

Then-freshman safety Caden Sterns attacks a ball carrier in Texas’ 24-10 win over Iowa State on Nov. 17, 2018.

/ the daily texan file

Sophomore running back Keaontay Ingram looks to move past the Oklahoma State defense in Texas’ 36-30 win over the Cowboys on Sept. 21.

… the depth of the secondary can’t step up.

Against Oklahoma State, several starters in the secondary suffered injuries that will

keep them off the field for considerable amounts of time. Sophomore starts, defensive backs Jalen Green and Caden Sterns are out with a dislocated shoulder and knee injury, respectively. Junior defensive back Josh Thompson suffered a foot injury that will keep him out for the foreseeable future. While sophomore safeties B.J.

Texas will need to score early and never trail by more than a touchdown. WILLS LAYTON sports reporter

Foster and DeMarvion Overshown hope to return in time for the game, they will have to step back into big roles. If the secondary team proves incapable of stepping up, the defense will struggle even more in the effort to contain the Sooner offense.


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Friday, October 11, 2019

heisman watch By Stephen Wagner

¦

@stephenwag22

Tua Tagovailoa Quarterback, Alabama

Alabama might have been idle this week, but Tagovailoa still tops our Heisman watch list. The junior is still one of the top in the nation in total passing yards and remains second in quarterback rating behind only Jalen Hurts at Oklahoma. But Tagovailoa and the Tide are yet to be tested in what’s been a cakewalk of a schedule thus far. Despite Alabama’s favorable schedule through five games, Tagovailoa’s numbers are still nothing short of incredible — 23 touchdowns, zero interceptions and over 1,700 yards passing. If Tagovailoa can maintain this pace — and he should against a sputtering Texas A&M team — he’ll be a lock to become Alabama’s first Heisman winner since running back Derrick Henry in 2015. Jalen Hurts Quarterback, Oklahoma

Oklahoma started slow but finished fast in its 45-20 victory over the last-place Kansas Jayhawks, although Jalen Hurts turned in his least impressive performance of the season. Hurts, much like the rest of the Sooner bunch, struggled in the first quarter. After a punt on Oklahoma’s first possession — something Oklahoma had not done in three out of their first four games — Hurts and the Sooners found their rhythm and rattled off 42 unanswered points. Hurts, however, struggled against the perennial bottom-feeders of the Big 12. The Alabama transfer produced season lows in passing yards, passing touchdowns and completion percentage to go along with his second interception of the season. But the Red River Showdown presents an opportunity for a fresh start. This year’s matchup is a golden opportunity for Hurts to add to his Heisman statement, as Texas is Oklahoma’s only currently ranked opponent remaining on its schedule. But on the opposing sideline is junior Sam Ehlinger, Texas’ best quarterback since Colt McCoy, hungry for a Heisman moment of his own. Get ready for a shootout in Dallas.

Joe Burrow Quarterback, LSU

LSU still hasn’t been tested since its Week Two trip to Austin, and it’s shown in its final scores. This season, behind the largest dark horse in the Heisman race, LSU and Burrow have transformed the Tiger offense into an unstoppable machine. Just ask Texas about third and 17. Burrow has racked up more than 1,800 total passing yards and has yet to finish a game with a completion percentage under 70%, all while becoming LSU’s first Heisman-hopeful quarterback since JaMarcus Russell more than a decade ago. But the Tigers welcome the Florida Gators to Death Valley this week for another top-10 matchup. Sam Ehlinger Quarterback, Texas

It wasn’t pretty, but Ehlinger managed to get the job done in Morgantown during his second trip. The Longhorns struggled early on against the Mountaineers, and regularly called on Ehlinger to bail them out in the first half. Ehlinger answered the call time and time again during the Longhorns’ 42-31 victory over West Virginia, despite turning in his least impressive performance of the season — like Hurts. Saturday was the first game this season Ehlinger hasn’t thrown for at least three touchdowns, and he completed just over 50% of his passes. The junior also threw his second interception of the season. But last week is behind Ehlinger. Oklahoma stands in front of him Last year’s showdown with the Sooners was Ehlinger’s debut party, proving to Longhorn fans that Texas was back, and this time was different. Last year’s win against Oklahoma spurred the Longhorns to their first 10-win season since 2009 and brought college football relevance back to Austin, something they hadn’t done since the last decade. But enough about last year. This year’s showdown is the biggest matchup between the two schools since 2008, with both schools ranked inside the top 15 and touting Heisman-caliber quarterbacks. If last year’s game set any precedent, the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry is wild, unpredictable and fun. This year should be no different.

roCKy higine

YOUTUBE.COM/THEDAILYTEXAN

/ the daily texan staff


HOOK ‘EM SOONER


BOOME OUDAILY

M HORNS


COLUMN

OU DAILY SATIRE: TEXAS TO EAT

BEVO FOR FIRST TIME SINCE

1919 AFTER TIGER ATTACK

BY OU DAILY EDITORIAL BOARD ILLUSTRATIONS BY CARLY OREWILER

Thes e are g horns oing

DOW N

22


This column is part of The Daily’s traditional column exchange with The Daily Texan ahead of OU-Texas. This year, instead of writing a column, we decided to write a satirical article. In other words, this isn’t real — this is for your enjoyment and laughter only. You can read The Daily Texan’s column in its section. D A L L A S, Te x a s — In honor of Texas being back and a malicious Tiger assault, the university is set to

bring back a special meal that hasn’t been served in a century. The BEVO Special. If you’re a real Longhorn, you know what we’re talking about. According to Austin’s NPR Station, following the death of the original BEVO in 1919, the Texas faithful ate their beloved cow. Now, on its 100-year anniversary, the University of Texas at Austin is bringing the delicious meal to the Red River Rivalry, as BEVO

XV sustained life-threatening injuries from a Tiger on Saturday, Sept. 7. Sources say the Austin Police Department is looking into a Tiger suspect named “Mike VII” from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “I’m not happy about it, but I understand,” BEVO was reported to say from the grave. The hunk of beef will be available for consumption to any and all Texas fans on a first-come, first-served basis

the Friday night before the OU-Texas game. The feast will take place underneath the intersection of the I-30 and I-45 bridge in Dallas at 10 p.m. Candles and torches will be provided. The meat will be butchered and served by none other than head coach Tom Herman. There will be three options on the BEVO menu: the BEVO Burger, the BEVO Brisket and the BEVO Beef Taco. Each will be served with a side of coleslaw and

Texas toast, and will cost $39.27. Fans can make it a combo with a drink for an additional $2.89. Prior to the barbecue, Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey will bless the meat at 9 p.m. The ceremony will officially begin after Trill Sammy takes the honorary first bite. Leftovers will be served at the Cotton Bowl the following Saturday at the game. Again, this is a parody. Eat BEVO at your own risk.

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Like the first part of his junior year at Cedar Hill, he had to wait his turn. But, this time, it would take much longer. “We were a loaded class around the area, but he was still that guy,” said Garret McGuire, who now plays quarterback at Baylor. “He’s watching his buddies Camron Buckley and (TCU’s) Jalen Reagor play so early, and where is he? He’s at OU sitting behind first-round draft picks. It was tough, but I know he worked really hard that year to get bigger and better.” Those at Cedar Hill knew that even though Rambo was immensely talented, he understood there was always something in his game that he could improve on and that he was redshirted for a reason. “As good as he is, he’ll find something in his game to work on. He’s never not worked,” Benjamin said. “He knew he was going to earn everything. When he talked to me, he never really downplayed anything. He didn’t say he shouldn’t be doing this or that they should be playing him.” Rambo did what he could to make the most of his first two seasons in Norman. He spent this time focusing on the things that held him back — in particular, his size. Rambo was listed at 6-foot-1 and 167 pounds as a freshman, and he knew he’d need to bulk up to hold his own. “He was all about the weight room as a redshirt,” Hooks said. “He knew he had to get bigger and that he had to get stronger. He’s not a naturally big-framed kid, but he really started to take the weight room seriously that year. And it worked — he got bigger, he got stronger.” ‘THE CHAINS ARE OFF’ Once Rambo finally got his opportunity at Oklahoma, he wasn’t going to let it slip. When his redshirt season was done, he was used sparingly in Oklahoma’s 2018 offense. He caught only eight passes on the year, but four of them came in the Sooners’ biggest games of the year: the Big 12 Championship against Texas and the College Football Playoff semifinal against Alabama. Against Texas, Rambo caught a critical pass on third-and-five with the game tied at the start of the fourth quarter. The Sooners went on to nail a go-ahead field goal later in the drive and win the game, 39-27.

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“HE WON’T TALK A LOT ABOUT WHAT HE’S GOING TO DO, BUT DO YOU SEE WHAT’S HAPPENED THIS YEAR? ... GIVE HIM A LITTLE BIT, AND HE’LL MAKE MORE THAN MOST OF THE PEOPLE AROUND HIM.” MARGIN HOOKS, FORMER BYU RECEIVER AND FORMER COACH AT WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL

Rambo prepares for the play during the game against Texas Tech Sept. 28.

In the playoffs, Rambo made his name known on one of football’s biggest stages by sprinting past two Alabama defenders, including first-team All-American Deionte Thompson, to cut the lead to 11 late in the third quarter. “His outlook after the (Alabama) game was that, now, they gave him his chance, he made it — now it’s his time to shine, and the chains are off,” Hooks said. “He knew he had to win the trust of the coaches and the other established guys there. He had to be something different and couldn’t come to the table with the same thing the other receivers had, and that’s what he did against Alabama.” The Orange Bowl was the first time Sooner fans got a glimpse of what Rambo could become. But just like he did during his redshirt year, he knew he’d have to improve to make room for himself in a loaded receiver room with Lamb and three five-star freshman recruits, among others. “Charleston told me that, at the end of the season, coach Riley came to him and said,

‘You’re our speed guy.’ So when he told me that, we decided to work on that,” Hooks said. “We took the speed that he already had, and we decided to maximize it. Sure, you can be fast for a couple of yards, but can you go the distance?” Through the first part of 2019, all the offseason work Rambo put in is paying dividends. In the first four games of the season, he’s proved his ability to be an elite deep threat — after four games, he leads the nation in yards per catch with 28.7. The Sooners’ 55-16 win over Texas Tech was a perfect example of how Rambo can shine with limited opportunities. He was targeted only twice, but both times he beat the Red Raider secondary and grabbed passes for 48 and 74 yards. “He won’t talk a lot about what he’s going to do, but do you see what’s happened this year?” Hooks said. “He doesn’t need a lot of targets, and he’s never needed a lot. Give him a little bit, and he’ll make more than most of the people around him.”


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Rambo scores a touchdown during the game against UCLA in Pasadena Sept. 14.


‘HE WAS ALWAYS THE ALPHA MALE’

he stepped on the field, no one questioned anything.” Rambo’s injury kept him off the field for Cedar Hill’s first three games of his junior year, and the Longhorns went 3-0. But by the time he was healthy, Rambo proved why he’d earned the team’s respect. In the seven games Rambo played his junior year, he ranked second on the team with 23 catches, 423 yards and seven touchdowns. His senior year would take both Rambo and the Longhorns’ performance to another level. Rambo caught 87 balls for 1,590 yards and 25 touchdowns, and Cedar Hill won 11 games and

Before Rambo donned the crimson and cream, he decided to be a Longhorn. Not those Longhorns. After spending his first two seasons starring for Dallas’ Woodrow Wilson High School, Rambo transferred 20 miles across Dallas to play for the Cedar Hill Longhorns. It was an ambitious jump, as not only was Cedar Hill in 6A — the state’s highest class — compared to Woodrow Wilson’s 5A, but, also, the Longhorns were fresh off a state championship victory in 2014. For most high school players, coming into one of Texas’ best programs would be difficult, but Rambo had built a reputation as one of Dallas’ best young prospects. He had several Division I o f f e r s, i n c l u d i n g Kansas, Arizona State and Texas Tech. “When he came in, he was already an established athlete, and he would be our top recruit at receiver that year,” said Cedar Hill wide receivers coach Kevin Benjamin. “We had a good group, but he’s a humble kid. He knew he had to learn the offense, and he knew he had to figure things out. But he didn’t worry about his status or what people Rambo runs the ball during the game against Texas Tech Sept. 28. thought and just did what he had to do for the offense.” reached the 6A state quarterfinals. Unfortunately for Rambo, he came to Cedar On a team with future Division I college Hill with a roadblock — an injured wrist. He players, such as Texas A&M’s Camron Buckley, wasn’t able to develop on-field chemistry with Notre Dame’s Avery Davis and Texas Tech his new teammates, but instead of falling becommit Quinshone Bright, Rambo was the unhind and not living up to expectations, Rambo questioned leader. did as much as he could in the locker room to “We were a special team. There are eight of prepare himself for the season. us playing Division I football right now, like “So he was in a cast, but he just said, ‘I’m big-time football,” said former Cedar Hill quargood, Coach,’” Benjamin said. “And he kind terback Garret McGuire. “He was always the of just went through the motions and earned alpha male of the group. Just with his speed, everyone’s respect. Just by the way he aphis playmaking ability and the fact that he proached things, and the way he approached wasn’t gonna talk all about it — he was going practice and learning the playbook. So when

to do it.” ‘HE WAS GOING TO EARN EVERYTHING’ Two years after being forced to sit on the sidelines when he arrived at Cedar Hill, Rambo would find himself in a similar situation at Oklahoma. Rambo was a consensus four-star recruit coming out of high school and had 31 offers. But Oklahoma was always one of his top choices due to his relationship with Hooks. Hooks played for BYU from 1997 to 2000, where he played with now-Oklahoma outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons. Hooks said they first met on his visit to BYU when Simmons was his host, and the two formed a close bond. Their friendship certainly helped in R a m b o ’s r e c r u i t m e nt p ro c e s s, a n d Simmons immediately told Hooks when they offered Rambo a scholarship. “I never had to tell Charleston to go to OU. Ever since a young age, he loved OU and always wanted to go there,” Hooks said. “Other schools started recruiting him, but he just felt comfortable with OU and comfortable with coach Simmons, and knew the relationship we had.” Rambo signed with Oklahoma in February 2017 and came to Norman that July. He was one of four fourstar wide receivers to sign with Oklahoma, including Brown and CeeDeeLamb. With the loss of 2016 Heisman Trophy finalist Dede Westbrook, there was a clear hole at receiver for the Sooners. Lamb and Brown went on to be one of college football’s most dynamic receiving duos for two years, combining for 4,378 yards and 35 touchdowns while Rambo watched from the sideline. In 2017, he was redshirted, and in 2018, he spent most of his time on the bench. STORY CONTINUES ON PAGE 20

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RAMBo: new blood Charleston Rambo sat behind a talented group of wide receivers for two seasons. Now, he has earned his place and emerged as one of the Sooners’ top targets. STORY BY VIC REYNOLDS • @VICAREYNOLDS PHOTOS BY CAITLYN EPES • @CAITLYNEPES

After ending his season with a 37-33 loss to Southlake Carroll High School in the first round of the 2015 Texas 6A state playoffs, Cedar Hill High School head coach Joey McGuire grabbed his phone. He called former BYU wide receiver Margin Hooks, who previously coached and trained Cedar Hill wide receiver Charleston Rambo. In the loss, Rambo had two catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns. McGuire thought he should’ve gotten Rambo the ball more. “After the game, coach McGuire called me and said, ‘That’ll never happen again,’” Hooks said. Three years later, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley had his season end against Alabama in the Orange Bowl, 45-34, and his team also could have benefited from more targets to Rambo. The then-redshirt freshman had a breakout game with three catches for 74 yards, including a 49yard touchdown in the third quarter that cut the deficit to 11 points and electrified the Sooners. “I’m proud of Charleston Rambo,” Riley said after the game. “He stepped in and made some big plays for us there, and it bodes well for the future for him.” Rambo’s performance in playoff losses at two different levels illustrates his ability to make an impact on a game and an impression on his coaches with just a couple plays.

But behind the stats and natural talent is a selfless player who’s had to wait his turn to be a star. In his rise to prominence, Rambo has shown he’s a man of few words who is willing to do whatever he can to make a name for himself on teams loaded with talent. With an imposing name and a personality that lives up to the 1980s action movie character he shares it with, Rambo has emerged as one of Oklahoma’s top receiving targets in 2019. He’s become the Sooners’ go-to deep threat, which is a crucial part of Riley’s offense that’s been occupied for the last two seasons by Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. Like cultural icon John Rambo, Charleston is never one to talk too much about himself, but he always gets the job done. He doesn’t engage in the same violence of the Vietnam War veteran, but he enjoys the name anyway. “Playing football when I was little, they thought that was my nickname because I hit so hard on the field,” Rambo said. “They were like, ‘Since you go so hard, do they call you Rambo?’ and I was just like, ‘Nah, that’s my legal name.’ It really excites me just knowing that John Rambo goes hard, and I try to go hard on the field. I just want to try to have that killer instinct like him.” STORY CONTINUES ON PAGE 18

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PHOTOS OVER THE YEARS


Bottom left: OU running back Joe Washington jumps over Texas players during the Red River Rivalry game in 1974. Bottom right: The 1974 OU defense tackles the Texas ball carrier during the Red River Rivalry game. Page 14: Then-senior Daryl Williams lifts up then-freshman Samaje Perine during the Red River Rivalry game Oct. 11, 2014. OU DAILY FILE PHOTOS

PHOTOS OVER THE YEARS

Top: OU linebacker Jamie Thomas tackles a Texas player during the Red River Rivalry game in 1973.

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PHOTOS OVER THE YEARS

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PHOTOS OVER THE YEARS

Top left: Then-junior wide receiver Marquise Brown runs the ball during the Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl Oct. 6, 2018. CAITLYN EPES/THE DAILY Top right: Then-junior running back Samaje Perine fights a defender during the Red River Rivalry game Oct. 8, 2016. SIANDHARA BONNET/THE DAILY Bottom: Then-redshirt junior quarterback Kyler Murray runs the ball in the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl Oct. 6, 2018. CAITLYN EPES/THE DAILY Page 12: Then-senior quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates with then-senior safety Ahmad Thomas after winning the Red River Rivalry game Oct. 14, 2017. OU DAILY FILE PHOTO

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TOP 5 OU WINS OVER TEXAS TEXAS

THE DAILY PICKS THE BEST SOONER VICTORIES IN THE HISTORY OF THE RED RIVER RIVALRY

OU DAILY FILE PHOTO

OU running back Quentin Griffin runs the ball during the Red River Rivalry game in Oct. 7, 2000.

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OU DAILY FILE PHOTO

The OU defense tackles the Texas ball carrier during the Red River Rivalry game in Oct. 12, 1996.

2000: OU 63, Texas 14 VIC REYNOLDS @vicareynolds

The 49-point Oklahoma victory was, at the time, the most lopsided win in the rivalry’s history, but the Sooners’ dominance stretched far beyond the Cotton

Bowl. The 2000 game was the start of what is known as “Red October,” which was a three-week stretch that saw the S ooners take down 10th-ranked Texas, second-ranked Kansas State and top-ranked Nebraska by an

average of more than 25 points. The Sooners dominated the Longhorns in every facet of the game, with 534 yards to Texas’ 154 and three takeaways to Texas’ two. The biggest standout of the game was running back Quentin Griffin, who

scored six of the Sooners’ nine touchdowns. The victory cemented Oklahoma as a legitimate contender, and the Sooners went on to run the table and win their seventh national championship trophy.


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4 Nick Hazelrigg Jordan Miller George Stoia Caitlyn Epes Will Conover

contact

1985: OU 14, Texas 7 CALEB MCCOURRY @CalebMac21

Sooner fans have heard it before. Then-head coach Barry Switzer, firing up his 1985 Sooners before their 14-7 win over then-No. 17 Texas, is a sight to behold in the world of OU football. The win itself isn’t high up in the ranks of best OU wins over the Longhorns, but the pregame speech will forever be heard on the speakers of Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

“Cut loose. Turn it loose today. Cut and slash, don’t worry about anything,” Switzer said. “You’re the best team. You don’t beat yourself and you’ll win today. You’re the best team. Turn it loose. Don’t play apprehensive. Don’t play it cautious, they’re scared. “Like I told you yesterday, men, they’re scared. T h e y ’ re d a m n s c a re d . They’re scared and that’s n o t t o o u r a d v a n t a g e. You’re up against a scared man — a scared team.”

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2001: OU 14, Texas 3 CALEB MCCOURRY @CalebMac21

Just a year removed from Oklahoma’s 49-point win over Texas in 2000, it initially seemed absurd to think any victory would come close to it. But it wasn’t the win. It was the moment — a moment etched into the memories of every Sooner fan since the first time they saw it. Roy

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Williams’ “Superman” tackle on Texas quarterback Chris Simms, which led to a Teddy Lehman pick six at the goal line, serves as Oklahoma’s version of the Jordan brand “Jumpman” logo that’ll last until the end of time. With 2:06 left on the clock and a score of 7-3, the Sooners iced the game with what was definitely one of the greatest plays by any Sooner ever, winning 14-3.

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1975: OU 24, Texas 17 VIC REYNOLDS @vicareynolds

The 1975 game was loaded with legends from both teams, such as running backs Joe Washington for the No. 2 Sooners and Earl Campbell for the No. 5 Longhorns. Despite the star-studded backfields, the game ended up being dominated by the defenses, as the teams combined for a total of seven turnovers. With a 7-point lead, the Sooners faced a third-andeight while pinned at their

own 10-yard line late in the fourth quarter. Without a first down, it looked like Texas would have a chance to march down the field and tie the game. Switzer made an unconventional play call and pegged Washington to do a quick kick to catch Texas off guard. With no one deep, the ball rolled 76 yards and the Longhorns were trapped deep in their own territory. The play deflated the Longhorns, and they weren’t able to recover.

1996: OU 30, Texas 27

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GEORGE STOIA @georgestoia

The 1996 Sooners, led by then-head coach John Blake, came into the game 0-4. Texas, on the other hand, was ranked No. 8 in the preseason and came into the game as heavy favorites against the Sooners. Texas jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and a 24-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.Then, with 4:30 remaining, quarterback Justin Fuente led

Oklahoma on a game-tying drive, when Jeremy Alexander made a 44-yard field goal to tie the game at 24 and send it to overtime — a new rule in college football that season. The Longhorns struck first, making a 43-yard field goal. All the Sooners needed was a touchdown to complete the upset. Ru n n i n g b a ck Ja m e s Allen delivered the final blow, scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run to seal Oklahoma’s 30-27 win.

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“I GUESS YOU CAN TAKE IT AS DISRESPECT, BUT WHO GIVES A RAT’S ASS? THIS IS FOOTBALL. IF YOU’RE HURT BECAUSE WE’RE THROWING THE HORNS DOWN, STOP ALLOWING US TO BEAT YOUR ASS.” FORMER OKLAHOMA SAFETY ROY WILLIAMS

2001 OU DAILY FILE PHOTO

Then-OU junior safety Roy Williams forces an interception with the “Superman” play Oct. 6, 2001.

a s l ig ht l y m o re nu a n c e d perspective. “Textbook definition: Is it inappropriate? Yes,” said Cody Havard, an associate professor of sport commerce at the University of Memphis, who happened to earn his bachelor’s at the University of Texas. “So, in one aspect, it’s setting a good example, but I can also see people who would say this is a part of the fabric, this is a part of the history. ... You have to consider

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the potential that when it wasn’t a huge deal and it wasn’t something that people got real upset about, that it was more fun. What do we do as humans when something is taken away? We want more of it.” Since the Big 12 has outlawed horns down, Oklahoma fans of all ages, even young children, have seemed to do the gesture more at games. Havard said he’s unsure how banning

horns down — whether it be from players, the spirit squad or all fans — would affect the rivalry itself. “If this completely goes away, you’d have to see over a series of years what it does. You can’t really predict what it’s going to do now ver y well,” Havard said. “There’s part of me that thinks it’s a rivalry — rivalries, hand signals, symbols, words, songs, language — that’s all a big part of rivalries. But it’s not

the only part. “The reason why people love rivalry is because it’s ‘Group A versus Group B.’” OU-Texas will always be OU-Texas. From the Cotton Bowl to the state fair to the game itself, the animosity between the two schools will always remain. “I guess I don’t hate Texas,” f o r m e r O k l a h o ma c o a c h Barry Switzer said. “I just want to beat their ass.” But if horns down ceases

to exist, does that diminish one element of the rivalry? “It won’t just be Oklahoma or Oklahoma State or Texas A&M or Texas Tech fans that would be upset if this were to go away,” Havard said. “There are plenty of people who root for Texas, myself included, who see it as — you can tell when it’s fun and when it’s not. ... And when it’s fun, and not malicious, then it’s not a negative thing.”


WHO HAS THE MOST WINS? Ties: 5 4.4 percent

Oklahoma: 47 41.2 percent

Texas: 62 54.4 percent

Average score: Oklahoma: 17.8 Texas: 18.0

OU’S WINNINGEST DECADES

1910s: 1950s: 1970s:

6-3-0 7-3-0 6-3-1

1980s: 2000s: 2010s:

5-4-1 6-4-0 7-3-0

OU’S FIRST WIN AGAINST TEXAS: Nov. 3, 1905 (2-0)

OU’S MOST RECENT WIN AGAINST TEXAS: Dec. 1, 2018 (39-27)

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HORNS DOWN Sooners’ spirit squad told not to do ‘horns down’ as controversy over Oklahoma-Texas gesture spreads.

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BY GEORGE STOIA @GEORGESTOIA

JACKSON STEWART/THE DAILY


OU

spirit squad m e m b e r s h av e b e e n “heavily encouraged” not to perform the “horns down” hand sign at athletic events or on any social media platform, sources within the program have told The Daily. The horns down symbol — a staple among Oklahoma fans for more than 50 years to signify disdain toward their chief rival, the Texas Longhorns — has been widely controversial in the last two years after the Big 12 Conference decided to penalize teams that use it during games. Seven student members f ro m a c ro s s O U ’s s p i rit teams, including the cheer squad, RUF/NEKS, Lil’ Sis and mascots programs, have told The Daily they’ve been instructed by OU Spirit Coordinator Phil O’Neill not to use the hand sign. The students, some of whom have graduated and some who remain in the program, all shared the information on the condition of anonymity. Their identities are known to The Daily. According to the sources, on several occasions, including at a meeting in August 2018, O’Neill told the students they were not allowed to use the hand symbol. O’Neill informed them that any use of the symbol on social media would be asked to be removed. Several sources told The Daily they were asked to delete posts with horns down in them over the past two years. “Please take down all pictures on social media with horns down,” O’Neill said in a text message to spirit squad members in October 2018. “This is not a new rule and a clear expectation of our program.

Thank you. Beat Texas.” O’Neill declined to comment, directing The Daily to an OU spokesperson. In response to The Daily’s questions, O U Athletic Director Joe Castiglione offere d a statement on Sunday: “First of all, as a matter of record, our approach to the purpose of all spirit squads is to support, cheer, create energy and properly represent our team. There

time. Again, their job is to cheer for our team and model high standards of sportsmanship.” Sources told The Daily they were able to do the gesture as recently as the 2017-2018 season without any serious problem. In years prior, spirit squads were strongly encouraged to do it only at the OUTexas game. The horns down controversy erupted in Texas’

done horns down. “I remember every single team/player that disrespects the rich tradition of the University of Texas by putting the Horns down,” Ehlinger said in a tweet that he later deleted. “Do not think it will be forgotten in the future.” In the days following the game, the Big 12 supported the officials’ call, which started an uproar among fans. This summer, Big 12

2018 loss to West Virginia, when Mountaineers quart e r b a c k Wi l l G r i e r w a s called for unsportsmanlike conduct for using horns down after scoring a 2-point conversion to win the game. After the game, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger went to Twitter to voice his displeasure with Grier and anyone else that has ever

coordinator of officials Greg Burks addressed the situation at Big 12 Media Days, explaining how a player could earn an unsportsmanlike penalty for flashing the horns down. “Like any play, there is a degree — who it’s directed at,” Burks said in July. “If they do it in their bench area, we’re not going to look at it. It would be like

1973 OU DAILY FILE PHOTO

is a consistency throughout all ‘official groups’ to recognize how our purpose and core values connect to the expectations of those wearing any University of Oklahoma uniform. That said, each year leaders of those groups educate their members of those expectations. This is not new. It’s a practice that’s been in place for a long

any other celebration foul, so it has to be like any other foul we have. Does it rise to the level we need to deal with that? It’s a hot topic. “I know people want us to be definitive on that, but it ’s like any touchdown celebration. Is it directed at an opponent or just celebration with your teammates?” The original hand symbol, “Hook ‘em Horns,” was introduced by former Texas head cheerleader Harley Clark in 1955, according to his 2014 obituary in the Austin AmericanS t a t e s m a n . C l a r k p e rformed the hand sign at a pep rally the night before the Longhorns played TCU, and the sign became Texas’ official symbol. It’s unclear when horns down became its own counter symbol, but according to an ESPN article, one of the first horns down images showed a Baylor fan doing it on the front page of The Daily Texan in 1963. The horns down gesture has become a universal symbol for teams playing Texas, but it’s Oklahoma that’s practically made it a part of its brand. In many ways, according to former players, it’s just another piece of what makes the rivalry great. “That’s just history. It’s tradition. They don’t like us, we don’t like them. They throw horns up, we throw them down,” former Oklahoma safety Roy Williams said. “I guess you can take it as disrespect, but who gives a rat’s ass? This is football. If you’re hurt because we’re throwing the horns down, stop allowing us to beat your ass.” A professor who studies rivalry in sports had STORY CONTINUES ON PAGE 6

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AN AGING TRADITION

The Cotton Bowl has hosted OU-Texas every year since 1932. But how much longer will the stadium host the rivalry? BY GEORGE STOIA • @GEORGESTOIA Joe Castiglione, like many others, always gets a corn dog from Fletcher’s Original State Fair Corny Dogs at the State Fair of Texas the weekend of OU-Texas. It’s become a tradition for Castiglione, now in his 21st year as Oklahoma’s athletic director. Like Castiglione and his corn dog ritual, the Red River Rivalry between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas has also become a tradition. Every year, on the first or second Saturday in October, the two schools’ football teams meet at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. It’s been that way since 1932, when the teams met at the venue for the first time. “There isn’t anything that compares to it in college or professional sports. There’s no setting like it. It’s unique. It’s iconic,” Castiglione said. “I guess you could say (OUTexas is) a place where the combination of the passion of the two fanbases (collide) with the pure joy of being in the middle of the state fair.” But as the stadium ages and the popularity of the game itself grows, an important question arises: How much longer can the Cotton Bowl host the Red River Rivalry? “Somewhere down the road, someone is going to have to decide to discuss a new stadium. I don’t know when that is,” Castiglione said. “Maybe not in my lifetime, but in your lifetime, that’s going to have to be on the table.” The contract among the two schools, the state fair and the city of Dallas goes through 2025, but as the stadium

CAITLYN EPES/THE DAILY

The outside of the Cotton Bowl stadium before the Red River Rivalry Oct. 6, 2018.

enters its 89th year of existence, questions surrounding its viability in the long term have become relevant. Castiglione said the biggest issues that have come up in the recent past have been the constant updates and improvements the stadium has needed. One of the biggest improvements, and maybe the most notable, came in 2008 when the Cotton Bowl gained over 20,000 seats by adding an upper deck in both end zones, going from approximately 70,000 to 90,000 seats.

“It’s no secret the stadium itself is old. But the state fair has probably poured in close to $80 million over the last 5 to 10 years, including the seating expansion they did earlier (in 2008),” Castiglione said. “They keep finding ways to make the stadium better with some additional fan amenities that have really been helpful and welcomed. The basic structure of the stadium, while sound, is not quite providing the spaciousness of a new stadium.” Last season, for the first time since 1932, OU and

Texas met at a stadium other than the Cotton Bowl when they played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the Big 12 Championship. AT&T Stadium also happens to be the most talked-about option if the Red River Rivalry were to be moved from the Cotton Bowl. While nice in theor y, Castiglione said moving the game to “Jerry’s World” just wouldn’t feel right. “For (the Big 12 Championship game), AT&T Stadium is absolutely fabulous. One would have to

really think through that. It’s obviously one of the best venues in the world,” Castiglione said. “But you’re talking about almost over 100 years of tradition. I know in today’s world sometimes people dismiss tradition and act like this is just like any other kind of thing, but this game is massive. It’s like a bowl atmosphere in the middle of the season. It’s magical. I’m not exaggerating anything when I say this game is on a different level.” Oklahoma and Texas have no intentions of moving

the game in the near future, Castiglione said. But no one can predict the future. If Castiglione could have it his way, the game would stay forever at the Cotton Bowl. And he thinks most fans, on both sides of the rivalry, would agree. “I say this in a humorous way,” Castiglione said, “but this game has such appeal, such attractiveness, such passion, such tradition — if fans had to sit on a 5-gallon paint bucket turned upside down to watch the game in that kind of setting, they might do it.”

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DT-OU Special Edition Red River Rivalry 2019-10-11  

The Friday, October 11, 2019 special edition of the DT-OU joint paper.

DT-OU Special Edition Red River Rivalry 2019-10-11  

The Friday, October 11, 2019 special edition of the DT-OU joint paper.

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