Red River Shootout

Red River Shootout

Template:Infobox college sports rivalry

The Red River Rivalry, also known as the Red River Shootout, the Texas-OU Game, or the OU-Texas Game, is an American college football rivalry game played annually by the Oklahoma Sooners football team of the University of Oklahoma and the Texas Longhorns football team of the University of Texas at Austin. The series is one of the major rivalries in NCAA football and in all of American sports.[1]

The name is derived from the Red River that forms part of the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma that has in the past caused conflict between the two states, most notably the 1931 Red River Bridge War.

Series history

The game originated in 1900, while Oklahoma was still a United States territory and the Oklahoma campus was still in Oklahoma Territory.[2] Until the 2005 meeting, the 100th meeting between the schools, the game was called the Red River Shootout. In 2005, it was sponsored by SBC Communications, and the game was officially renamed the SBC Red River Rivalry, with the word "Rivalry" replacing "Shootout" out of a desire not to convey an attitude of condoning gun violence. Since 2006, with SBC's merger with AT&T Corporation, the game is referred to as the AT&T Red River Rivalry. The term Red River Shootout or Red River Rivalry is also applied to meetings between the two schools in sports other than football. During a Q&A session with DeLoss Dodds (the Athletic Director of UT) during the Big 12 restructuring and chaos that ensued thereafter, Mr. Dodds stated in an interview, "That game - the rivalry game for us has always been Oklahoma. The A&M game's been a great game and all of that. And we may play 'em. But it's not something that we have to do. I think the Oklahoma game is something we have to do." This further serves to emphasize what an important game the Red River Rivalry is to both Oklahoma and Texas.

Since 1948, one or both of the two teams has been ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation coming into 61 out of 66 games. Texas leads the all-time series 60–43–5, with a 47–39–4 edge in Dallas. Since 1948, the series is very close with Oklahoma holding a one-win lead, 32–31–3. Six of the last ten showings featured one of the participants in the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game (2000, 2003–05, and 2008–09), including national titles won by Oklahoma in 2000 and by Texas in 2005. In 2005, the Dallas Morning News asked the 119 Division 1A football coaches to identify the top rivalry game in college football. The Red River Rivalry ranked third, behind only Michigan–Ohio State and Army–Navy.[3]


The first meeting between Texas and Oklahoma's football teams occurred in 1900, before either team had acquired their current nickname. At that time, the Texas team was typically called "Varsity". The write-up in the Austin American-Statesman article referred to the game as a "practice game".[4] The paper reported:

The game of football yesterday afternoon at the Varsity athletic field was an interesting contrast, notwithstanding the rather one-sided score of 28–2 in favor of the Varsity.
The Oklahoma men played a very good game, but they had weak points and the Varsity men found this out, and proceeded to take advantage of them. For instance, the visitors' tackles and ends were weak, and the Varsity men made most of their gains through these men. Their guards and center, though, were stiff enough, and the Varsity's attack at these points never netted large gains, and were frequently futile.
While Oklahoma should be given credit for the stiffness of her center trio, the fact that the Varsity backs made but small headway at these points is partly due to the Varsity backs themselves. They had not the life and dash that is necessary to successful line plunging, and they failed to heed Coach Thompson's oft repeated admonition to hit the line low and with speed, and the consequence was that when they got to the line they did not have the necessary momentum to plunge on through.
This was the case, notwithstanding the fact that the men are coached to play a good distance behind the line, so that they can get up speed by the time they reach it.[4]

In the 1950 rivalry game, Billy Vessels scored on a 11-yard run late in the contest and Texas native Jim Weatherall kicked the extra point to give Oklahoma a narrow 14-13 win.

In 1958, Texas defeated Oklahoma by one point, breaking the University of Oklahoma's series dominance of the 1950s. The game was notable in that Texas Longhorns head coach Darrell Royal had 10 years earlier been the quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. Royal defeated his former coach and mentor Bud Wilkinson in the game. Wilkinson would lose to Texas the next five years before retiring in 1963.


The 1976 rivalry game was overshadowed by allegations by Texas coach Darrell Royal that Oklahoma had been spying on his practices. A claim that was later confirmed in OU Coach Barry Switzer's book, Bootlegger's Boy. Royal and Switzer (who was 3–0 against Texas as a head coach coming into this game) were involved in a serious feud at the time. The 1976 game was attended by U.S. President Gerald Ford. Ford made an appearance with Royal and Switzer before the game. Switzer and Royal both spoke to Ford but not to each other. The game ended in a 6–6 tie. It was Royal's final Red River Shootout.

In the 1977 game, Texas lost both their starting and backup quarterbacks in the first half. Yet, behind the power running of eventual Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, a strong defense, and the unheralded composure of third-string-quarterback Randy McEachern, the Horns prevailed 13–6.

In a rain-soaked 1984 game, Texas entered the game ranked #1, Oklahoma #3 (#2 in some polls). University of Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer wore a ballcap during the game that read "Beat Texas." This game also marked the only time that future University of Texas at Austin head coach Mack Brown participated in the Red River Shootout not as a Texas Longhorn (Brown was OU's offensive coordinator). Texas jumped to a 10–0 halftime lead but OU rallied to lead 15–12 in the game's closing seconds. With 10 seconds remaining, trailing by 3, Texas was driving and was within field goal range but decided to take one more shot at the end zone. Texas quarterback (and future North Texas head coach) Todd Dodge appeared (in replays) to be intercepted in the end zone by OU's Keith Stanberry, but the officials ruled it incomplete. Texas's Jeff Ward subsequently kicked a field goal and the game ended in a 15–15 tie.


The first Big 12 Conference overtime game, the 1996 meeting featured a John Blake squad under the direction of freshman quarterback Justin Fuente. The game ended Oklahoma 30–Texas 27 after a come from behind victory in the final seven minutes. Jarrail Jackson returned a punt 51 yards for a touchdown, then Fuente completed a 2-point conversion pass to Stephen Alexander to cut the lead to 24–21. The Sooners forced the Longhorns to punt, and drove to the Texas 28. Jeremy Alexander kicked a 44-yard field goal to tie the game at 24.[5] In overtime, Texas was forced to settle for a 43-yard Phil Dawson field goal, after losing 1 yard on three plays.[5] Lining up at the Texas 25, James Allen broke a ten-yard run, carried for two and three yards, then caught an 8-yard screen pass from Fuente on 3rd and 5 from the 10. On the next play, Allen took a pitch from Fuente two yards into the endzone, doing what he was unable to do two years before.[5]

The 2000 game was marked by rain and 49-degree weather, but it ended up being noted for bringing the most lopsided margin of victory in the history of the match-up (at that time; Oklahoma would top its feat three years later). Oklahoma came into the game ranked 10th, with Texas ranked 11th. This was the highest combined rankings of the teams since 1984.[6] The Sooners got up to a 42 point lead before Texas was able to prevent the shut-out, and Oklahoma won the game 63–14. OU also held Texas to minus-7 yards rushing, an all-time regular-season low for the Longhorns.

Longhorn coach Mack Brown said "It wasn't even a game because we did not play in the first half." Sooner coach Bob Stoops said, "This was a total team victory, everybody made plays. ...We had a little bit of everything." Stoops improved his record vs the Longhorns to 1 win, 1 loss as a result of the game.[6] OU President David Boren cancelled classes the following Monday on account of inclement weather: "It was snowing touchdowns in Dallas."[7]

Sooner running back Quentin Griffin scored six touchdowns, tying the all-time NCAA record for most rushing touchdowns in a game. Oklahoma went on to an undefeated season, and won the 2000 National Championship.

The 2001 game, which ended Oklahoma 14–Texas 3, was a classic defensive struggle that was notable for a play made late in the 4th quarter.

Both the Sooners' and the Longhorns' defenses were outstanding, holding their counterparts to less than 100 yards rushing for the entire game. When either offense could muster any momentum, they were often let down by their kicker-OU's Tim Duncan missed two field goals and UT's Dusty Mangum had one blocked.

OU led 7–3 at the half on a Quentin Griffin 2-yard touchdown in the second quarter. That score held until late in the fourth quarter.

The Sooners got the ball with just over eight minutes to play on their own 20-yard line, and put together a 12-play, 53-yard drive that took them all the way to the Texas 27-yard line. Facing a 4th & 16, OU sent out Tim Duncan for what appeared to be a 44-yard FG attempt. Instead, Duncan sent a pooch punt deep into the Texas zone, which caught UT's Nathan Vasher off guard. Confused, Vasher caught the ball at his own 3-yard line and was immediately downed.

Down 7–3, Texas had 2:06 to drive 97 yards on the stiff Sooner defense. On first down, Texas quarterback Chris Simms' pass was deflected by OU safety Roy Williams, who had blitzed and literally leapt over blocker, Brett Robin, to collide with Simms at the moment he released the ball. The ball landed right in Oklahoma linebacker Teddy Lehman's hands, who walked into the endzone for a touchdown. The play happened so fast, many fans did not know exactly what had happened. The play by Roy Williams is often called "The Superman Play"[by whom?] because of the way that Williams resembled Superman flying through the air with his arms stretched out at Chris Simms when he hit him. Duncan's extra point sealed the 14–3 OU victory.

Texas beats Oklahoma to break five-year skid

The 2005 game, which ended Texas 45–Oklahoma 12, was the 100th meeting in the series and a special logo was created to commemorate the event. The game logo included both team logos as well as the logo of the sponsor for that game, SBC communications, as well as the number 100, as well as a football, as well as a star. Prior to the game, the Longhorns were ranked 2nd by the Associated Press, and the Sooners were unranked for the first time since 1999, which was also Texas's last victory over OU.

By breaking the string of five consecutive losses to Oklahoma, Longhorn coach Mack Brown preserved the Longhorns's National Championship hopes. With the win, Texas tied its largest margin of victory in the series. Freshman running back Jamaal Charles set a record for rushing yards by a Texas freshman in the series. With his 80-yard scamper, Charles also had the longest touchdown from scrimmage by a Texas running back in the series.

The game also featured one of the most violent hits in the series history, when Texas DE, Brian Robison, blindsided Oklahoma quarterback, Rhett Bomar, in the 4th quarter, causing a fumble and ensuing touchdown by Longhorn tackle, Rodrique Wright.

As had occurred the two seasons prior, the road to the National Championship game went through Dallas. Oklahoma left the game with a 1-1 conference record and a 2–3 record overall, finishing with a 6–2 conference and 8–4 overall record, including a victory in the Holiday Bowl. The Longhorns improved to 5–0 overall, 2–0 in the Big 12 on their way to an 8–0 conference, 13–0 overall record, including a victory in the Rose Bowl and the 2005 football National Championship.

2007 Oklahoma vs. Texas football game, Oklahoma 28, Texas 21

The 2007 match-up between Oklahoma and Texas was predicted to be the #3 game to watch in 2007 by's "Top 20 Games To Watch In 2007" list,[8] and it did not disappoint.[dubious ] The game was close from start to finish as the Sooners struck first with a quick touchdown pass to TE Jermaine Gresham. QB Colt McCoy's passing attack responded quickly to tie the game for the 'Horns, then again to take a lead, particularly off the efforts of TE Jermichael Finley. The Sooners were able to tie the score going into the half off of another Sam Bradford-to-Jermaine Gresham connection. The Longhorns were able to get into the red zone at the beginning of the second half, but a costly fumble by RB Jamaal Charles at the 5-yard line cut short the momentum. A few series later, RB DeMarco Murray ripped off a 65-yard TD run to give the Sooners a 21–14 lead. The 'Horns did not take this lying down, as they were able to score soon thereafter. The Oklahoma passing attack scored the final touchdown of the game about ten minutes from the end of the game, with a 35-yard touchdown pass to WR Malcolm Kelly from Bradford. The 'Horns threatened twice in the final waning minutes, as it took a CB Reggie Smith interception and defensive play against star WR Limas Sweed to secure the win for Oklahoma.

2008 Texas vs. Oklahoma football game

The 2008 Meeting of the Red River Rivalry ended Texas 45, Oklahoma 35. Oklahoma ranked #1 in the nation and Texas was ranked #5. Both were 5-0 coming into the game. In the first quarter, Bradford completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Manuel Johnson. The Sooners led 7-0. With 6:41 left in the first quarter, Texas answered with a Hunter Lawrence 26-yard field goal. OU scored 2 touchdowns in the second quarter and Texas scored two touchdowns and a field goal including a 96-yard kickoff return by Jordan Shipley. The score at the half was 21-20 OU.

Texas ended up winning this 103rd meeting, 45–35. It was the highest scoring event in the history of rivalry, and it was seen by the most fans, a record 92,182.[9]

Recent games

In 2009 Texas won a low scoring game, 16-13. Texas scored only one touchdown and three field goals, while OU scored one touchdown and two field goals. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford had injured his shoulder earlier in the year when playing the BYU Cougars, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. Despite this injury, Bradford started in the 2009 Red River Rivalry confident that his shoulder was healed. However, early in the first quarter a sack by Aaron Williams re-aggravated his injury and forced him out of the game, ending his season and making the Texas game his final college game. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy threw for 127 yards, while the team combined for 142 yards. OU's replacement quarterback, Landry Jones, replaced Bradford and threw for 250 yards of passing with 2 interceptions. The most notable statistic of the game was that the Sooners were held to minus 16 yards of rushing by the Longhorn defense.

In 2012, the 107th meeting of the University of Texas at Austin and University of Oklahoma, Texas was defeated by a score of 63 - 21. It appeared that the game would have a very different feel than the 2011 meeting after OU scored its first touchdown and Quandre Diggs of Texas recovered a blocked PAT and ran the distance of the field to score a 2-point conversion. This game had moments that will add to the history of this rivalry. Damien Williams broke free for a 95-yard touchdown run for the longest rush in Red River Rivalry history. Trey Millard had a 73-yard reception, the longest pass play by an OU player in Red River Rivalry history, surpassing Buddy Leake's 65-yarder in 1953. Oklahoma ended up with a 677-289 advantage in total yardage.

In 2013, Texas won the Red River Rivalry game for the first time since 2009. The game was notable in part because a defensive lineman from each team scored a touchdown on an interception return.

The game often airs on ABC as part of its college football coverage.


The ticket sales for the game are equally divided between the two schools, and the Sooner and Longhorn fans are split on the 50-yard line. This creates a dynamic in which half of the stadium crowd is happy and the other half unhappy, depending on which team is in the lead.

There are three Red River Shootout trophies exchanged based on the outcome of the game. The best known of these is the Golden Hat, which is, appropriately, a gold ten-gallon hat, formerly of bronze. The trophy is kept by the winning school's athletic department until the next year.[10] A newer trophy, the Red River Rivalry trophy, has been exchanged between the two student governments since 2003. The governor of Texas and governor of Oklahoma also exchange the Governors' trophy and frequently place a bet on the game such as the losing governor having to present a side of beef to the winning governor, often donated to charity.[11][12][13]

Another annual tradition is the running of game balls by the schools' Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs.[14] Each school's ROTC program uses a relay running system to run one game ball all the way from their respective campus to Dallas. Once there, they participate against each other in a football scrimmage, with the winner taking home a rivalry trophy and bragging rights. For both teams, the rivalry is bitterly emotional and territorial in nature relating to the two states' close proximity, past border disputes and economic and cultural differences.[15][16][17]


The series began in 1900 and has been played in Dallas since 1912, except for 1913 (Houston), 1922 (Norman, Okla.), and 1923 (Austin). Dallas was chosen as a "neutral" site since it is situated approximately halfway between Austin, Texas and Norman, Oklahoma — the locations of UT and OU, respectively. This also provides both teams an opportunity to showcase themselves for DFW Metroplex-based alumni and potential high-school recruits of both teams.

Since 1932 the game has been held at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, during the State Fair of Texas. The designated "home" team alternates from year to year, and ticket sales for the game are split 50–50 between the two schools, with the stadium divided along the 50-yard line. Historically, the Oklahoma fans have occupied the south end zone, which contains the tunnel where both teams enter and exit the field. Beginning in 2007, the teams will have the option to alternate North and South ends of the field, thereby giving the home team fans the seats adjacent to the tunnel leading to both teams' locker rooms.[18] However, Texas declined to exercise its option to move to the south end in 2007 and in 2009.

Officials at both universities had indicated that soon the game may be rotated between each campus because they prefer a venue with more seats, which would mean more revenue — the Cotton Bowl then seated just 68,252; the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium seated 94,113 (but has subsequently been expanded to 101,000 [19] and will soon be expanded further), and the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium holds 82,112.[20] Additionally, the Cotton Bowl has no luxury suites, is cramped, has narrow seats and its plumbing can be faulty. Renovations to the stadium, however, were completed shortly before the 2008 match solving many of these problems.

To ensure that the game — which produces about $17 million annually for local businesses — stays in Dallas, Dallas mayor Laura Miller supported a bond referendum to pay for more expansion and renovation at the Cotton Bowl. Additionally, the governing board of the State Fair engaged a consultant to prepare plans for a complete renovation. In November 2006, Dallas voters passed a $30 million bond issue for improvements to the stadium in addition to $20 million to come from the city and the State Fair of Texas.

Texas and Oklahoma agreed in 2006 to keep their game at the Cotton Bowl through 2010, but the future of the series remained in doubt. In February 2007, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic announced it would move to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington in 2010. The game receives a subsidy of $700,000 from the city of Dallas, which will end when the game moves out of Dallas.

In April 2007, Miller announced that Texas and Oklahoma have agreed to keep the game at Fair Park through 2015. The deal increases payouts to the two schools from $250,000 to $850,000, funded in part by the savings from the end of the Cotton Bowl Classic's grant. The stadium has now been renovated with a new video scoreboard, new seats, and many other improvements. Its capacity has been increased to more than 90,000 due to the addition of surrounding upper decks in both end zones. The 2011 match-up brought a crowd of 96,009 to the Cotton Bowl.


Game results

Rankings taken from the AP Poll released prior to the game.

All-time Red River Rivalry teams

Jimmy Burch and Mike Jones selected Red River Shootout all-time teams for Texas and for Oklahoma, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 8, 2005.




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External links

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