Sports Minute: Texas-Oklahoma rivalry a test for quarterbacks and Big 12
No. 22 Texas (2-1, 1-1 Big 12) vs. Oklahoma (1-2, 0-2) in Dallas, on Saturday at noon ET (FOX).
Line: Oklahoma by 2 1/2.
Series: Texas leads 62-48-5.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The Sooners are desperate for a win as their run of five consecutive Big 12 championships is already in serious jeopardy. The Big 12 itself also has a lot at stake. If Texas loses, the league's College Football Playoff hopes would take yet another blow. Texas coach Tom Herman said he's not ready to panic after an early loss, but another one and an 0-2 start in league play will probably sound alarms.
Texas senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger against the Sooners' defensive front. Oklahoma sacked Ehlinger nine times last season, matching an overpowering push at the line of scrimmage with stunting blitzes that kept him off balance all day. Texas didn't allow a sack last week against TCU.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Texas: Ehlinger. He's the senior in a rivalry that brings laser focus and pressure on quarterbacks. He leads the nation with 14 touchdown passes. He's got the experience of three starts in the Cotton Bowl and the poise to lead late comebacks. Counting the 2018 Big 12 title game, he's 1-3 against Oklahoma. His Texas legacy needs a win.
Oklahoma: Freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler. He spent last season as the player-in-waiting on an assembly line of Sooners Heisman Trophy candidates. He ranks among the top passers in the country after three games, but shoulders an enormous burden to not just win a rivalry game, but to keep the Sooners' season from collapse.
FACTS & FIGURES
The atmosphere will be quite different. The state fair outside the stadium is closed because of COVID-19. Attendance will be limited to about 23,000 and social distancing rules will be enforced. ... The Sooners have lost consecutive regular-season games for the first time since 1999. ... Texas is No. 1 nationally in scoring, averaging 51 points. The Sooners are No. 2 in passing offense at 390.3 yards per game.
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