October 9, 1993
Oklahoma coach Gary Gibbs entered the Red River rivalry game against unranked Texas (1-2-1) with his third undefeated team. His tenth-ranked Sooners (4-0) had even renewed an old rivalry with #5 Texas A&M, as the two schools met for the first time in 42 years after having played each season from '44-'51, and won convincingly, 44-14. But Gibbs entered the game with a 0-4 record against the Longhorns and a gimpy quarterback in senior Cale Gundy, already owner of numerous records as the school's most prolific passer, who had suffered a strained hip injury that week in practice.
Oklahoma's passing game had flourished under offensive coordinator Watson Brown and Gundy. They planned on throwing to defeat Texas before a sellout crowd of 75,587, and Gundy came out throwing when the Sooners had the 20-mph wind at their backs in the first quarter. The fact that Gundy was misfiring turned out to be quite fortunate for Oklahoma, for instead, it used a throwback, the running game.
Texas had not proven an ability to stop a running game, as evidenced by Colorado rushing for 270 yards in the opener and Louisville for 254 yards two weeks ago, and they couldn't slow the Sooners' ground game either. Oklahoma looked like it did in the days of its famed wishbone, when it simply ran over opposing defenses. Behind the freshman combination of tailback James Allen and converted fullback Jerald Moore, who followed Scott Blanton's 22-yard field goal with a nine-yard first quarter touchdown, the Sooners slashed and dashed their way to a 10-0 lead.
Texas' offense sputtered in the first half behind freshman quarterback Shea Morenz, and that proved to be crucial. The Longhorns reached Oklahoma territory four times, but had only three points to show for it, courtesy a booming 52-yard field goal by senior Scott Szeredy. It sent the Horns to the locker room trailing by seven.
In the second half, Gundy came through like a trooper, and he surprised everybody by running for an 18-yard touchdown, which put the Sooners ahead, 17-3. Texas came right back with an 80-yard drive, capped by sophomore wide receiver Mike Adams' 41-yard touchdown reception from Morenz. It was something the Horns had rarely done this season, answer an opponent's touchdown by returning the favor.
But the Sooners' adaptive strategy was working, so they kept on using the run. Gundy went in from a yard out, and they extended their lead to 24-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
With the Texas running game completely bottled, they were forced to the air. Oklahoma safety John Anderson stepped in front of a Morenz pass and returned it 15 yards down to the Longhorns' 15. Seven plays later, fullback Dwayne Chandler scored from three yards out to put the Sooners up, 31-10, and putting the game away.
But again, Texas came right back and scored when Morenz hit Adams with another scoring pass, this one from 12 yards out, but the Sooners were not finished. Marching right back down the field, they scored on their fourth consecutive second half possession when Gundy ran across from three yards out, his third rushing touchdown of the game, sealing the 38-17 victory.
Sooners' fans saw something they had not seen before when Gibbs walked out of the Cotton Bowl with a smile. "I'm relieved to get that monkey off my back," he said afterwards. "But if we come down here and lose next year, the monkey is going to jump back on."
It was a throwback win to the days of yesteryear in Norman. Oklahoma rushed for 275 yards and averaged five yards per carry, with Allen's 102 yards on 18 carries leading the way, and Perry Collier's 74 and Moore's 67 yards right behind. The Sooners scored five touchdowns on the ground, and Gundy had three of them, in addition to passing for 111 yards without an interception. And at 5-0, Oklahoma appears well on its way to a bowl.
Texas' second-year coach John Mackovic, along with nearly everyone who saw the game, knew exactly what hurt the Longhorns most. "Wasn't that obvious?" he said. "They ran the ball pretty well. We tried stunting, we tried blitzing, we tried moving up."
Offensively, they did not fare much better. The Longhorns rushed for 88 yards, and their leading back, sophomore Curtis Jackson, had 48 yards on 11 carries. Adams came alive in the second half, finishing with seven receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns, only the second time a Longhorn had over 100 yards receiving against the Sooners, with the first coming 24 years earlier. But it wasn't enough to combat Oklahoma's all-out attack.
For Texas (1-3-1), the loss does more than ensure a winless non-conference regular season schedule for the first time since 1938, it also stops what little momentum the Longhorns had gained a week earlier in a 55-38 victory over Rice. However, Mackovic maintained an optimistic outlook for the rest of the season. His Longhorns have lost three games and tied one against top 25 competition, but are 1-0 in the Southwest Conference. "If we win all six of them, we'll be back here on New Years Day. That's not out of the realm of possibility."
Source: Jeff Linkowski