Spencer Rattler threw a 25-yard scoring pass to Drake Stoops in the fourth overtime, and Oklahoma survived a late rally from No. 22 Texas in regulation for a 53-45 victory Saturday as a most unusual version of the Red River rivalry ended with a familiar dose of drama.
Rattler’s successful completion on the required 2-point conversion didn’t matter when Sam Ehlinger’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Tre Brown to end just the second Big 12 game to go four OTs.
Because of the pandemic, the crowd was limited to 24,000 in the 93,000-seat Cotton Bowl, with the surrounding Texas state fair shut down for the first time since World War II. On the field, it was the first time since 1999 neither team was in the Top 20.
But the small crowd, low rankings and previous losses didn’t matter much by the time the final five minutes came.
Ehlinger threw two touchdown passes in the final 3:28 of regulation after what appeared to be a game-sealing interception by Woodi Washington in the end zone with the Sooners leading 31-14 with five minutes remaining.
After tossing a 2-yard score to Keaontay Ingram with 14 seconds left in regulation, Ehlinger opened overtime with his third rushing TD, from 3 yards.
Rattler answered with a an 11-yard touchdown pass to Austin Stogner, then plunged over from the half-yard line on fourth down after his initial scoring run was overturned over review to start the second OT.
Ehlinger’s career-best fourth touchdown run forced the third overtime, but the Longhorns (2-2, 1-2 Big 12) couldn’t avoid a second straight loss.
The Sooners (2-2, 1-2) had a chance to win in the third overtime, but Gabe Brkic’s 31-yard field goal attempt was wide left after Perrion Winfrey blocked Cameron Dicker’s 33-yard try to start the extra period.
Rattler was replaced by sophomore Tanner Mordecai in the second quarter after throwing an interception and losing a fumble. He returned to start the second half.
Rattler was 23 of 35 with three touchdowns, and T.J. Pedger ran for 131 yards and two scores.
Ehlinger threw for 285 yards and three TDs and ran for a career-high 112 yards to with the four touchdowns.
Consecutive Big 12 losses, the first for Oklahoma since 1998, sent the Sooners tumbling from No. 3 to out of the poll for the first time since 2016. They could get back in now. The Longhorns are likely on their way back out after a second straight loss.
Texas: The Longhorns squandered a great chance to take control early before scrambling to force the tie late. Ingram fumbled on his first carry at the Oklahoma 40, his second straight carry with a fumble. Ingram fumbled on the goal line a week earlier to help preserve TCU’s 33-31 win in Austin. Despite the three early OU turnovers, the best Texas could do was a 10-10 tie.
Oklahoma: Coach Lincoln Riley never had to think much about replacing his quarterback the past three seasons, with Heisman Trophy-winning and No. 1 overall NFL draft picks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, followed by Jalen Hurts. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the move with Rattler was for injury or ineffectiveness. During the second quarter, Rattler was holding his helmet on the sideline while rubbing and shaking his right arm.
Texas: Baylor at home Oct. 24.
Oklahoma: At TCU on Oct. 24.