The Oklahoma Sooners were rolling early at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, taking a first quarter 7-0 lead over the Texas Longhorns in this year's edition of the Red River Rivalry. The Sooners defense exploded onto the field and intercepted Longhorn's QB Quinn Ewers on the second play of the game. The Oklahoma offense capitalized on their first turnover immediately, punching in a touchdown on an empathic five play drive that finished with Sooner QB Dillon Gabriel in the end zone.
Oklahoma easily could have added a fumble recovery to their turnover tally if not for a controversial replay review reversal of a strip and recovery of the ball from Oklahoma's Billy Bowman Jr.
— Lincoln Heimbach (@LincHeimbachTSP) October 7, 2023
The Sooners defense scrambled in slight confusion before the snap as Longhorn running back Savion Red lined up in shotgun as a wildcat QB. A play action pass followed with Red's throw finding the hands of Texas tight end Gunnar Helm, rumbling for 25 yards before having the ball poked free going to the ground.
The play was called a fumble on the field and was sent up to the booth for review. It was an incredibly close call, and the Sooners fans thought they had a second turnover locked up as the replay footage didn't look "clear and obvious". The officials upstairs thought differently though and overturned the call on the field to allow Texas to retain possession.
It may not have mattered as Ewers followed up the Longhorns lucky break by throwing his second interception of the game trying to force a ball in for a touchdown. The Sooners continued the game of turnover "hot potato" by going three and out off the interception and having a punt blocked and recovered for a Texas touchdown.
One would-be turnover and two legitimate ones in short order led to a first quarter of chaos and 7-7 scoreline. It wouldn't be a Red River Rivalry game without some wild plays and a large dollop of controversial officiating on top. Longhorn and Sooner fans alike are seeing plenty of both at the Cotton Bowl today.
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