The Red River Shootout lived up to its name Saturday afternoon at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
A year after the Texas Longhorns (2-3) pulled off an upset in a relatively low-scoring affair, the No. 20 Oklahoma Sooners (3-2) exacted their revenge with a 45-40 win thanks to 672 yards of total offense and a career day from wide receiver Dede Westbrook.
Oklahoma outgained Texas by a whopping 247 yards in the win, and Westbrook was sensational to the tune of 10 catches for a school-record 232 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was strong as well, with 390 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on 22-of-31 passing.
On the ground, Sooners running back Samaje Perine thrashed the Longhorns front seven with 214 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries.
USA Today's Paul Myerberg put Oklahoma's offensive explosion in perspective:
Conversely, Texas averaged just 3.9 yards per carry as a team, while quarterback Shane Buechele battled inconsistencies on a day when he finished 19-of-36 for 245 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
While touchdowns started flying fast and furious once the second half got underway, the early going resembled more of a defensive struggle.
The Longhorns managed a meager 33 yards over the game's first 15 minutes, and they couldn't find any consistency through the air or on the ground.
Sprinkle in a D'Onta Foreman (25 carries, 159 yards, two touchdowns) fumble that set up a two-yard Perine touchdown run just over a minute later, as Fox College Football documented on Twitter, and Texas was sputtering to a concerning degree.
But even though the Sooners gained 107 more yards than the Longhorns in the first quarter, they couldn't create sufficient separation.
Mayfield tossed two interceptions that stalled a pair of early drives, and Texas clawed its way back thanks to an eight-play, 66-yard drive punctuated by a one-yard touchdown run from Foreman at the start of the second quarter.
The Longhorns had a chance to capture momentum entering halftime as Oklahoma's mistake-prone offense continued to flounder, but their inability to stretch the field or solve the Sooners' stout run defense opened the door for head coach Bob Stoops' squad to retake the lead.
With just over four minutes remaining in the second quarter, Mayfield loaded up and fired a deep pass that found Westbrook for a 71-yard score, via Fox College Football:
According to Oklahoma's official Twitter account, Mayfield's strike to Westbrook was the longest touchdown in Red River Rivalry history.
The Longhorns entered halftime down just one after a short field goal cut Oklahoma's lead to 14-13. Considering they were outgained by 151 yards over the first two quarters, that was close to a best-case scenario.
And while big plays proved elusive for the Longhorns in the first half, early in the third quarter, Buechele broke the Texas offense out of its slump with a gorgeous 63-yard dime to Devin Duvernay to thrust the Longhorns in front by six after the extra point.
However, that lead proved fleeting.
Three plays later, Mayfield hooked up with Westbrook for a 42-yard score down the right sideline to move back in front:
As SB Nation's Spencer Hall noted, the senior wideout torched Texas' secondary with some filthy footwork downfield:
Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman also chimed in with a take on a Texas secondary that entered the day allowing a 105th-ranked 274.8 passing yards per game:
At that point, the shootout was on.
Buechele continued to keep his eyes downfield, and a 45-yard connection with Dorian Leonard kept the points flowing as Texas struck back and took a 27-21 lead.
ESPN's Bomani Jones noted how the shootout mentality started to affect Buechele's approach:
The Texas offense was back in a groove, and the Oklahoman's Ryan Aber broke down just how explosive the Longhorns were after halftime:
As Oklahoma marched down the field and facilitated the game's seventh lead change behind a four-yard touchdown run from Mayfield, Yahoo Sports' Dr. Saturday poked fun at the tactics that allowed both sides to trade scores at such rapid rates:
Leading 28-27, Oklahoma refused to let up.
Mayfield continued to feed Westbrook, and the big-time burner gashed Texas' secondary once again as he caught a slant and put on the jets before pulling away for a 47-yard score, as Fox College Football documented:
Perine then tacked on his second score of the day to put Oklahoma up 42-27. At that point, Texas had to scramble to try to keep pace as its defense struggled to contain an offense that piled up yards at will.
With the running game working, the Sooners killed clock effectively throughout the fourth quarter even though they gave up a quick-strike score to Texas that cut their lead to eight.
Perine's legs churned effectively with the game hanging in the balance, and Mayfield made several clutch third-down passes to keep the chains moving against a gassed Texas front to set up a field goal to make it a two-score game.
Now that the Sooners can bring a Red River crown back to Norman, Oklahoma, they can turn their attention to stringing together three straight wins when they host the Kansas State Wildcats next Saturday.
On the flip side, the Longhorns have now lost three in a row after starting the 2016 season 2-0. Next up for Texas is a potential trap game against an Iowa State team that nearly upset Baylor a week ago. So the Longhorns can't take the Cyclones lightly even if they are favored on home turf.
According to Anwar Richardson of Rivals' Orangebloods, Foreman provided a blueprint for turning things around:
After losing a third straight game, Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong told reporters he isn’t thinking about coaching for his job, per Richardson:
"We lost the game," he added, according to KXAN’s Andrew Schnitker. "There wasn't any improvement at all on defense. We gave up 45 points."
"It's not desperate," Strong said, per the Austin American-Statesman’s Kirk Bohls. "But you can't lose three games in a row. We had a few guys stand up in the locker room."
Oklahoma, however, was far more pleased with the result.
"Really proud of our players and how they battled throughout the day," Stoops said, per the team’s official Twitter account.
"It's special to me," Mayfield said of the win, per OU Football’s Twitter. "I know what this rivalry is all about. It felt good to go out there and celebrate with my teammates."