According to FOX Sports PR, the Red River Showdown between No. 7 ranked Oklahoma and No. 19 Texas was the highest rated football game of the 2018 college football season. The network says that the event recorded a 4.3 metered market rating, meaning a designated market area that can receive a televised event.
The game wasn’t without its share of hype in the lead up, however.
Texas freshman defensive tackle Keondre Coburn tweeted, “I’m so happy to finally be a Longhorn, baby. This has been the hardest process, ever, but it’s over and my next journey is in Austin, and with my boys in this Revolution Class, and I promise, we will beat OU and the rest of them. ” Former OU quarterback Baker Mayfield responded with, “This is what we call being naive. Kid has no idea what it’s like stepping into the Cotton Bowl. So here’s how it works… The team north of the Red River doesn’t flinch. But it’s okay, you’ll see for yourself, wish you the best.”
At kickoff, Oklahoma had a 75.6 percent win probability, according to ESPN. But with a balanced approach on offense, the Longhorns managed to gas the OU defense, controlling the clock for 33 minutes and 50 seconds of total possession, and finished the day with 177 total rushing yards, and 501 passing yards. After Texas stunned the Sooners with a 48-45 victory, Coburn posted:
— Keondre Coburn⁹⁹ (@KeondreCoburn99) October 6, 2018
The 2018 Red River Showdown was the highest rated sports event yesterday, according to FOX, which is quite the turnaround from two seasons ago, when the game produced its lowest television rating in 16 years. The 2016 game, which was shown on FS1, had just a 2.0 television rating.
Here’s the official release from FOX Sports PR:
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) October 7, 2018
While yesterday’s game exposed several deficiencies in he OU defense, it also showed that Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando has his hands full, too, as the Longhorns allowed OU quarterback Kyler Murray to finish the day with 304 total yards and four touchdowns. The Sooners also clawed its way out of a 21 point deficit with fourth quarter domination.
Despite that second-half performance, Texas moved from No. 19 in the nation in the recent AP Poll, to No. 9, and the loss sent OU to No. 11.