Pa Leiken Litman
FOX Sports College Football Writer

DALLAS – It was a statement Texas needed, and that one Oklahoma did not do.

After what happened in that game last year during Steve Sarkisian’s first season as the Longhorns’ head coach, his program needed an offseason overhaul. Totally dominating your biggest competitor, even if that competitor is having a down year, will help.

Texas completely upset Oklahoma, 49-0, in the 118th running of the Red River Showdown on Saturday. It was OU’s worst loss in history and first since 1998 Texas A&M. It was also the Sooners’ worst loss since a 69-7 loss Nebraska in 1997.

For the Longhorns, it was the program’s biggest win over an opponent and its biggest win over a Power 5 team since 2007.

The Sooners may have been in a rebuilding year under new coach Brent Venables, but that only meant it was more important for Texas to take advantage, and it did. The Longhorns owned every phase of the game, putting up 585 yards of offense, limiting OU to 195 and intercepting a pair of passes.

Starting defender Quinn Ewers made a long-awaited return, going 21 of 31 for 289 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception. We haven’t seen him since he left the game in week two Alabama in the first quarter with a sprained collarbone.

Ewers picked up where he left off with the Crimson Tide in the background. yes Hudson card has been a more than viable backup the last few weeks, but Ewers came out and went right back to his job. There was no rust. He handled Sarkeesian’s rushing attack with ease and passed the ball like a veteran. Maybe if he hadn’t gotten hurt, Texas would currently be undefeated and ranked.

Oklahoma ranks last in the Big 12 in a rushing defense, and Texas showed why. The Longhorns rushed for 293 yards and the star was leaving Bijan Robinson receiving 130 of them with two touchdowns, averaging 5.9 yards per touch.

In this matchup last season, Texas had a double-digit lead in the second half, but ended up losing 55-48. The Longhorns lost their next six games and finished the season 5-7. Sarkisian said earlier this week that this team is immature and lacks the necessary poise and composure. On Saturday, his team proved they excelled in those areas.

The win not only keeps Texas in a wide-open Big 12 race, but also gives Sarkisian’s program a boost as it approaches the bulk of the conference schedule. There are still matches against Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU, Kansas and Baylorso it was a must win.

Oklahoma’s defense was a mess, ironic considering that’s Venables’ area of ‚Äč‚Äčexpertise. The Sooners have now lost three straight to Kansas State, TCU and Texas, giving up 145 points and 1,762 yards. Five different players scored touchdowns for Texas.

On offense, the Sooners had five different players line up at quarterback with the starter Dylan Gabriel still in the concussion report. Gabriel, who took a hit to the head last week against TCU, stood on the sideline Saturday in a jersey and shorts.

David Bevilletransfer from Pittsburgh, made his first career start at quarterback for OU, but offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby tried to get creative without Gabriel. In the first quarter, with Texas only leading 7-0 at the time, OU worked for Texas, running the Wildcat on five straight plays, mostly thanks to tight ends Braden Willis. Once Oklahoma got inside the Texas 30-yard line, however, they abandoned ship and Beville returned to the field. The drive stalled, even after a gorgeous fake field goal, and the Texas defense stalled on fourth-and-1.

The Longhorns took control early and never relinquished it. They led 28-0 at halftime, and while this rivalry isn’t unusual for second-half comebacks, it didn’t happen this time.

Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. She has previously written for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of Strong as a Woman, published in the spring of 2022 in honor of the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @Laken Litman.


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