Oklahoma vs. Texas score, takeaways: Caleb Williams propels Sooners to largest comeback in Red River history

No. 6 Oklahoma pulled off the largest comeback in the history of the Red River Showdown, topping No. 21 Texas 55-48 on a walk-off touchdown run by Kennedy Brooks. Sooners starting quarterback Spencer Rattler was benched in the second quarter as true freshman Caleb Williams led Oklahoma back from a 28-7 deficit to pull off one of the biggest comebacks in program history.

With the game tied at 48, Williams led the Sooners on a game-winning touchdown drive capped by a 33-yard rushing score from Brooks on a direct snap. The improbable play kept OU undefeated and in the thick of the College Football Playoff race. 

Every break went Texas' way to start this game. QB Casey Thompson's first pass attempt was a bubble screen that went 75 yards for a touchdown. The Longhorns blocked a punt to score just seconds later and take a 14-0 lead six plays into the game. 

After a Rattler fumble was taken for a touchdown two plays later to create a 35-17 deficit, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley listened to chants from the stands and inserted Williams, the true freshman No. 1 quarterback in the Class of 2021. The Sooners went on to score on six of their next seven drives, posting 25 straight points in fewer than 11 minutes of game time. 

Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy didn't go down easily. The true freshman caught nine balls for 261 yards and two scores for the second-best receiving game in Longhorns history, trailing only Jordan Shipley's 273 yards against UCF in 2009. He caught a long touchdown with fewer than two minutes remaining to tie things up, but Brooks toted the long touchdown for the win. 

Williams completed 15 of 24 passes for 211 yards, rushed for 88 yards and accumulated three total touchdowns. Brooks carried the ball 25 times for 217 yards and touchdowns. Oklahoma WR Marvin Mims had a bounce-back game with 136 yards receiving and two scores. 

Thompson threw for 388 yards and five touchdowns in the loss. Texas star RB Bijan Robinson added 137 yards rushing and a touchdown. The Sooners have now won six of the last seven games in the Red River Showdown. 

Here are major takeaways from the game. 

The legend of Caleb Williams begins

Oklahoma fans have been chanting Williams' name for several weeks after poor play from Rattler, but few could have expected the true freshman from Washington, D.C., to be so poised from the start. Williams broke off a 66-yard touchdown on a short-yardage package and ultimately was the spark that changed this game. 

Williams seemed to handle pressure much better than Rattler with his combination of running ability and accuracy on the run. The final stats don't even count a pair of beautiful passes that would have been touchdowns if they were caught. 

Rattler entered the year as the projected No. 1 NFL Draft pick and a Heisman Trophy contender. At this point, Williams could be the starting quarterback heading forward with Rattler finding the bench as the Sooners' playoff push gets new life.

Another crushing loss for Texas

Texas has played four games against Power Five competition since coach Steve Sarkisian took over the program. Two were embarrassing losses against future SEC foes Oklahoma and Arkansas. (This one against the Sooners receives that label simply because the Longhorns held a 21-point lead.) Another was a closer-than-expected matchup against a struggling TCU squad. 

There's plenty of work to do in this program -- and Sarkisian deserves time to do it -- but blown leads and being physically unprepared is as much on coaching as it is players. With matchups against No. 12 Oklahoma State, Baylor and Iowa State in the next three weeks, the all gas, no breaks express could slide off the rails quickly. 

Kennedy Brooks is a trump card

Riley had been hesitant to lean on the run game earlier in the year thanks to having just two eligible scholarship running backs on the roster. Finally, third-string Marcus Major was ruled eligible on Friday and Oklahoma's offense reaped the benefits. 

In his first game getting over 15 carries, Brooks put together his first 200-yard performance since arriving at Oklahoma. The 339 yards rushing on 8.3 yards per carry was a classic Oklahoma offensive performance, the type we haven't seen since the Cotton Bowl in 2020. 

While the offensive line is still a significant question mark, Oklahoma proved against Texas that it has a running game to unleash anytime it wants. With just Brooks, Major and Eric Gray on the roster, Riley might not pull it out every game, but it's always available. 

Sooners finding their rhythm

Oklahoma put together the three worst scoring performances of the Riley era in the first five games, but wins against Texas and Kansas State showed more of what we expected. The Sooners scored a combined 92 points between the two games, averaging 7.5 yards per play. 

One-score wins against Tulane, Nebraska and West Virginia were unacceptable, but all will be forgiven if the offense is finally finding its rhythm entering the heart of Big 12 play. Tests against No. 12 Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Baylor and TCU still remain, but every game on the rest of the schedule is winnable if Oklahoma plays to its potential. 

In a year where the top of the sport looks more exclusive than ever, Oklahoma still has a chance to work its way towards the top. 

Live updates

Rattler benched

Backup Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams, the No. 1 quarterback in the class of 2021, has come into the game in place of starter Spencer Rattler. Rattler had a pair of turnovers – an interception and a fumble – that directly led to 14 Texas points. The Sooners are attempting to climb out of a 35-17 hole against the No. 21 Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl. Williams ran for a 66-yard touchdown on a short-yardage package earlier in the game. 

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0:03 4Q: Oklahoma 55, Texas 48

Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks takes the direct snap, runs the option with Caleb Williams and breaks away for an uncontested 33-yard touchdown run that should clinch the game. What a finish for the Sooners, who scored 31 points in just 17 minutes of game time. This will go down as one of the best games in the history of the Red River Showdown. 


Texas mounts a comeback as Casey Thompson finds Xavier Worthy for a lengthy touchdown to tie the game. Oklahoma is driving with 10 seconds remaining needing a field goal to win. 

@TexasFootball via Twitter
October 9, 2021, 7:54 PM

Texas drives down the field behind a 48-yard reception from Xavier Worthy, the third 200-yard performance by a receiver in Longhorns history, but a Casey Thompson pass falls incomplete in the end zone on 4th-and-11. Oklahoma takes over with 4:39 remaining just needing to run out the clock. 


4Q: Oklahoma 48, Texas 41

Suddenly, this game is all Sooners. Oklahoma forces a fumble on a kick return and Kennedy Brooks runs it in one play later to take a 48-41 lead – the first lead of the afternoon for the undefeated Sooners. Oklahoma just scored 15 points in 15 seconds. 


4Q: Oklahoma 41, Texas 41

WHAT A COMEBACK! Caleb Williams throws an absurd 52-yard touchdown to Marvin Mims and Spencer Rattler comes in to throw a game-tying two-point conversion. Everything has changed since Williams has entered the game. 


Another awesome drive from Caleb Williams and it ends in another field goal. Granted, it makes it a one-score game in the fourth quarter, but it's the third drive inside the red zone settling for a field goal. Oklahoma was at the 8-yard line. 


3Q: Texas 41, Oklahoma 30

Finally, Caleb Williams completes his first touchdown pass of the day and the Sooners are mounting a comeback. Williams picked up a bad snap and found Marvin Mims through a handful of Texas defenders, one of the best passes by Oklahoma all day. There's still time for Oklahoma to mount a comeback, but it needs to keep getting into the end zone and not settling for field goals.


Nearly another disaster for Oklahoma as Kennedy Brooks breaks off a massive run but has the ball stripped away at the 13-yard line. Luckily for the Sooners, Brooks' knee was down so the 65-yard run stands. There's no excuse, Oklahoma needs to get into the end zone with such favorable position. 


Twice Oklahoma has been driving into the red zone and settled for field goals despite being down multiple touchdowns. It's shockingly conservative play for one of the most aggressive offensive coaches in college football – and it's hard to imagine that Oklahoma can come back if they don't start converting. 


Oklahoma is leaning on Caleb Williams and Kennedy Brooks as rushers after starting with the ball in plus field position. Brooks and Williams have combined for all five plays on this OU drive as the Sooners are now in the red zone. 


Down 18 points, Oklahoma gets its first drive of the second half, which will start at the 25-yard line after a touchdown. Freshman Caleb Williams remains in the game at quarterback after leading a field goal drive to end the half. 


Caleb Williams immediately came in and gave the Sooners a spark. He completed a pair of passes for 32 yards and threw one of the prettiest incompletions you'll ever see to lead a 57-yard drive for a field goal to cut the lead to 35-20 late in the second quarter. If Oklahoma can get a stop in the final three minutes, the Sooners get the ball out of halftime. 

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