John E. Hoover: Red River Rivalry was an epic match of two hungry defenses, two dynamic quarterbacks and two young coaches

John E. Hoover: Red River Rivalry was an epic match of two hungry defenses, two dynamic quarterbacks and two young coaches

Texas coach Tom Herman (left) shakes hands with Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley before Saturday’s Red River Rivalry. The Sooners won 29-24.

DALLAS — While Baker Mayfield strutted around the Cotton Bowl, posing for selfies and doffing the Golden Hat Trophy (but stopping short of planting any flags at midfield), Sam Ehlinger shook the cobwebs of a brutal fourth-quarter tackle and tried to gather himself for postgame media interviews.

“Incredible,” Ehlinger said.

“The atmosphere was incredible,” he clarified. “The atmosphere was incredible. Losing the game is not incredible. I’m looking forward to the next three years.”

Saturday’s Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl belonged to Mayfield and No. 12 Oklahoma, a riveting 29-24 Sooners triumph that will go down as one of the classics in a series already full of them.

“That’s why they call it the Red River Rivalry,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “What a great game. The atmosphere was electric.”

To read the rest of John E. Hoover’s game story for Sporting News, click here:


Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

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