Preview: Texas vs. Oklahoma

Lincoln Riley’s dynamic offense at Oklahoma has consistently been explosive enough this season to make up for one of the worst defenses in the country, but Texas knows all about the one time it wasn’t. The fifth-ranked Sooners hope to avenge their only loss of the season and impress the College Football Playoff committee enough to move up from the No. 5 spot in the CFP rankings when they meet No. 9 Texas on Saturday in the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

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Oklahoma, which leads FBS in scoring (50.3 points) and total offense (583.8 yards), finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak despite surrendering 47.3 points per game in its last four contests – and at least 40 points in each contest – by averaging 53.3. The Sooners have failed to score at least 48 points in only three games, the last of which came on Oct. 6 when Oklahoma needed less than six minutes in the fourth quarter to erase a 21-point deficit before the Longhorns got a game-winning 40-yard field goal from freshman Cameron Dicker as time expired for a 48-45 victory. Texas has been living on the edge for most of the season, playing all but one of its last eight opponents within one score and winning six of them. The Longhorns are making their sixth Big 12 Championship appearance and first since 2009, while the Sooners are seeking their fourth consecutive conference crown and a ninth championship win in 18 league title games.

TV: Noon ET, ABC. LINE: Oklahoma -8

ABOUT TEXAS (9-3): Sam Ehlinger, who produced 386 yards of total offense and five total touchdowns in the first meeting, is responsible for the two highest total offense outputs by a Longhorn quarterback in the 113-game history of this rivalry (388 last season) but has been playing through a shoulder injury since Oct. 13. Lil’Jordan Humphrey (72 catches, 1,058 receiving yards and eight TDs) and Collin Johnson (57, 768, six) are one of only 14 duos in FBS with at least 55 catches, and Humphrey is only the fifth player in school history with at least 1,000 yards and eight receiving TDs in a season. Dicker’s 34-yard field goal against the Jayhawks tied him with Dusty Magnum (16; 2001) for the most made field goals ever by a Texas freshman.

ABOUT OKLAHOMA (11-1): Heisman Trophy candidate Kyler Murray is the first player in FBS history to average at least 300 passing yards (306.2) and 60 rushing yards (71.1) for an entire regular season and leads an offense that is the first in FBS history to record at least 500 yards of total offense in nine regular-season games. With Trey Sirmon (shoulder) still limited due to injury, freshman Kennedy Brooks took over the team lead in rushing with 993 yards and boasts an FBS-best 9.6 yards per carry (minimum five rushing attempts per game). Since returning to full strength prior to the Oklahoma State victory on Nov. 10, junior receiver Marquise Brown has caught 25 passes for 450 yards and three TDs.

EXTRA POINTS

1. This game marks the second in-season rematch between the arch-rivals and first since 1903.

2. Oklahoma’s eight-game streak of scoring at least 45 points is tied for the longest among FBS teams since at least 1980.

3. The Longhorns, who are the only school in the Big 12 with a winning record against the Sooners (62-46-5), are 6-3 in one-possession games this season.

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Preview: Iowa State at Texas

No. 18 Iowa State is coming on fast in the Big 12 and can post its sixth straight victory if it’s able to upend No. 14 Texas on Saturday. The visiting Cyclones and Longhorns are tied for third place in the league standings and only Saturday’s winner will remain eligible to win the Big 12 title.

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Iowa State has scored at least 27 points in every game during its winning streak and has given up 14 points or fewer three times during the hot stretch. “There’s still a lot of work to be done. We’re still a young football team,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said after his team doubled up Baylor 28-14 last weekend. “I think what’s exciting is that I sit here right now knowing that our best is still out there.” Texas avoided a third straight loss with a 41-34 triumph at Texas Tech its last time out as Lil’Jordan Humphrey made an athletic touchdown grab in the final minute. “He’s as good a jump ball guy as there is in the country. We’re already in field-goal range,” Longhorns coach Tom Herman said. “If we get one-on-one coverage, we’re going to try for the win.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Longhorn Network. LINE: Texas -3

ABOUT IOWA STATE (6-3, 5-2 Big 12): The Cyclones have only posted a single-season winning streak longer than five games twice in their history – a seven-game run in 1938 and a six-game streak in 2002. Brock Purdy threw one touchdown and ran for another in the win over Baylor while playing interception-free football for the third straight game. Hakeem Butler had one of his quietest games of the season with three catches for 25 yards, snapping his streaks of three straight 100-yard games and four consecutive games with a touchdown.

ABOUT TEXAS (7-3, 5-2): Sam Ehlinger tossed four touchdown passes last week, finishing a crisp 22-of-34 for 312 yards without an interception. In fact, the sophomore quarterback has not been picked off since Week 1, when he threw two interceptions against Maryland, and has 18 touchdowns and no picks since that contest. Ehlinger also has nine of the team’s 17 rushing TDs, while Keaontay Ingram and Tre Watson have combined for over 1,000 rushing yards and six scores.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Longhorns’ three losses have come by a total of nine points.

2. Texas has won 13 of the 15 all-time meetings with Iowa State.

3. The Cyclones’ defense has held eight of its 11 opponents below its season scoring average.

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