12 Oct

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Top 10 UT Red River Rivalry Moments

The 107th edition of The Red River Rivalry is almost upon us, and in celebration of one the the best rivalries in all of college football, here are our top ten Texas moments in chronological order. But before that, we have to show love to UT great Rod Babers, who had one of the truly great moments in the Red River Rivalry.

And here...we go.

1958: Royal, once the apprentice, becomes Master
Photo by Mack Royal

Texas defeated Oklahoma by a single point, breaking OU's series stranglehold of the 1950s. The game was noteworthy in that UT head coach Darrell Royal had ten years before had been the quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. Royal defeated his former boss and mentor Bud Wilkinson in that game. Wilkinson would go lose to Texas the next five years before retiring and ending his coaching career in 1963. -Bradford Harrison

1963: No. 2 UT downs top-ranked OU

On a oppressive 90-degree day in Dallas, No. 2 Texas whipped No. 1 Oklahoma 28-7. Tommy Ford, Duke Carlisle and Phil Harris rushed for touchdowns and Marv Kristynik's single completion of the day went for a score3 as the Longhorns got a bump to No. 1 in the polls on the road to an unblemished regular season record. Texas went on to defeat Roger Staubach and Navy in the Cotton Bowl to secure a national championship trophy. -Bradford Harrison

1977: The Sooner Stunner
Photo courtesy of UT Athletics

The Red River Rivalry has provided the chance for unlikely heroes to emerge. Such was the case for third-string Longhorn quarterback Randy McEachern in the 1977 Red River Shootout. With the first and second-string quarterbacks going down for Texas in the first half, McEachern stepped up in the biggest way. He displayed a surprising amount of maturity and, with the help of Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell and a lockdown defense, helped lead the fifth-ranked Longhorns to a shocking 13-6 win over the then No. 2 ranked Sooners. -Adam Sweeney

1977 Part 2: Johnson's Stop

Before Stoney Clark, some  twenty years earlier, there was Johnny Johnson. In 1977, the All-American Longhorn helped stuff OU quarterback Thomas Lott on 4th and 1 at the Texas 4 yard line to help the Longhorns win 13-6 in a instant thriller. Johnson would win the first of three All-Southwest Conference honors that year. In an era before the arrival of the Thorpe Award, Johnson was tabbed as the nation’s top defensive back of 1978 by the New York Downtown Athletic Club. -Bradford Harrison

1984: Texas Ties on Controversial Call

The 1984 game between No. 1 Texas and No. 2 Oklahoma was played in the worst conditions possible. The matchup took place on a rain-soaked Cotton Bowl field that just kept getting worse and worse as the game wore on. Forget about cutting back or juking a defender on the run, if you were going in one direction and tried to shift in another, you hit the deck and probably slid a few yard before getting popped.

The most crucial plays happened inside the Oklahoma 20. In the 4th quarter, the Longhorns were down 15-10 and were at the Sooners goal line. Rather than kick a field goal on 4th down after getting stuffed on three straight plays, Texas went for it. Oklahoma was all over the play and Texas never had a chance to score on the play. The Horns held the Sooners on the ensuing drive and rather than give Texas great field position back, they took a safety. The Longhorns drove for the winning touchdown when Todd Dodge threw into double coverage and Oklahoma appeared to come up with an interception. The pass was ruled incomplete and Texas kicked the game-tying field goal as time expired. -Javi Perez

1989: Peter Gardere: The Legend Begins

The Texas Longhorns came into 1989's game against Oklahoma having lost five straight games to the Sooners. With OU ranked #15 in the country and the Horns starting a freshman quarterback, it was looking like this would be the 6th in a row for the Sooners.

It was a rollercoaster of a game with Texas getting every break and big play to start only to see Oklahoma grab a 24-20 lead with less than four minutes to play. That's when Gardere took over and his legendary career against the Sooners got started. The Houston native and 3rd generation Longhorn went 5-5 on the game-winning drive including a 25-yard pass to Johnny Walker to give Texas the lead and the victory. Gardere would beat OU every year he played, making him the only Texas quarterback to beat the Sooners all four years as a starter. -Javi Perez

1994: The Stone Cold Stop

The 1994 edition of the Red River Rivalry brought the introduction of freshman quarterback James Brown, who filled in for the injured Shea Morenz in Texas' 17-10 win over the Sooners, but it was Stonie Clark, the 6-foot-1, 343 pound Texas nose tackle,who stole the show. With 43 seconds left in the game and the Sooners set to score the tying touchdown, Clark stonewalled running back James Allen on a reverse by making a monumental goal-line stop on fourth-and-goal.The stop saved the game for the Longhorns and cemented Stonie Clark's name amongst the greats of Texas football. -Adam Sweeney

 

2005: Vince Young Ends The Longhorns' Drought

The first half of the past decade was painful for Texas in the Red River Rivalry. We're talking "you have to sit and watch a Nicolas Cage movie marathon" brutal. In the first four Red River Rivalry games of the decade, the Horns failed to come within ten points of beating the Sooners. Thank the Heavens for Vince Young and the 2005 Longhorns, who took out the collective frustrations of Longhorn Nation on Boomer Sooner by ringing up 45 points on the Sooners. Young finished the game 241 yards passing, 3 passing touchdowns and 45 rushing yards.VY and the Horns would go on to win the national title that season and the 2005 win for Texas put the nation on call that the Horns were for real. -Adam Sweeney

2008: Colt Let Out of the Stable
Photo courtesy Peter Read Miller/Sports Illustrated

In 2008, #5 Texas took on #1 Oklahoma in a game where we found out whether Colt McCoy was really going to be the quarterback that showed so much promise as a freshman. In short, he was. Twice the top-ranked Sooners smacked the Longhorns in the mouth, and twice Texas rebounded. Early in the 4th quarter, OU took a five point lead, but McCoy led two touchdown drives to end the game on a 15-0 run and the Longhorns pulled off the upset 45-35. McCoy finished 28-35 for 277 yards passing, a touchdown and no interceptions. -Javi Perez

2008 Part 2: Jordan Shipley's Special Performance

While McCoy had a great game, Shipley was the big playmaker responsible for the Texas victory. Down 11 immediately, Shipley's kickoff return touchdown put Texas right back in the game. He finished with 112 yards receiving and caught McCoy's touchdown pass.

He nearly had another touchdown, but instead was ruled down at the one yard line. It's a shame too because he got a great block from Quan Cosby on Lendy Holmes. I can't watch this play enough. -Javi Perez

Adam Sweeney, Javi Perez, and Bradford Harrison are all staff members of Playmaker Magazine and want nothing more than to see David Ash light up the Oklahoma Sooners this weekend.

Honorable Mention: Fozzy Whittaker's 2011 kick return