Figuring Out OU Football: Tale of the Numbers Telling in Sooners’ Meltdown


One thing that curiously stands out from the annual OU football rivalry with Texas at the Cotton Bowl every October is that the winning team is generally the one on the west sideline wearing the home jerseys.

Since 2000, Oklahoma has been the home team in its annual Red River Showdown in the fall with archrival Texas eight times, and the Sooners have come away the winner in six of those eight contests.

Similarly, when the Sooners have been the road team – albeit with over half the stadium filled in OU crimson colors – particularly since 2005, the Longhorns have prevailed four of the six years while wearing their home, burnt orange jerseys.

Oct 10, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns players takes the field before the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Red River rivalry at Cotton Bowl Stadium. Texas won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Does that mean that the Sooners will win in this game next season when they will be the home team? No, not at all. But it certainly makes for an interesting conspiracy theory.

Unfortunately, the Oklahoma collapse on Saturday had nothing to do with the color of the jersey, but everything to do with far too many rushing yards given up to the guys in the burnt orange jerseys and too few offensive yards gained by the good guys in all white.

Here is the telling tale of the numbers from Saturday’s disappointing Sooner loss to Texas, the first by Oklahoma this season after four uplifting wins:

1.8 – Average yards gained by the Oklahoma running backs on 37 running plays.

6 – Quarterback sacks allowed by the Sooners on Saturday. That is the most by Texas this season and the most allowed by the OU.

Oct 10, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway (98) and defensive tackle Paul Boyette Jr. (93) sack Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) in the second quarter during the Red River rivalry at Cotton Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

15 – In the opening 15 minutes of the OU-Texas game on Saturday, the Sooners picked up just one first down and only 15 yards of total offense.

25 – Oklahoma’s third-down conversion percentage vs. Texas in Saturday’s game (3 out of 12). Conversely, the OU defense allowed the Longhorns to successfully convert 9 of their 16 third-down possessions.

30 – Number of games it has been since Texas last rushed for over 300 yards in a game. The last time the Longhorns gained over 300 yards on the ground was their opening game of the 2013 season.

59 – Texas’ 1-4 start to the 2015 season was its worst record coming into its rivalry game with Oklahoma  in 59 years.

61 – Texas has now won 61 times in this annual rivalry; OU has 44 wins and their have been 5 ties.

71 – The total number of offensive plays run by both teams in Saturday’s Red River Showdown. The Longhorns made the most out of their possessions, outgaining the Sooners by 90 yards (368 to 278).

81 – D’Onta Foreman’s 81-yard run on the final play of the third quarter was the 11th longest run by a Texas player in Longhorn history.

1971 – Since 1971, Oklahoma has a winning record against Texas (23-19-3). Since Bob Stoops became the Sooners’ head coach, OU is 10-7 against the Longhorns.