DALLAS -- A series that has produced so many tight games produced another Saturday as No. 12 Oklahoma built a big lead early and then hung on by the skin of its teeth for a 29-24 win over Texas in the Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl.
Oklahoma's defense, a problem in the loss to Iowa State a week earlier and a liability for much of a win over Baylor before that, came up big when the game tightened up.
The Sooners stopped Texas on four of its last five possessions, and one huge Baker Mayfield touchdown led Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) to its second consecutive win in the series and its fourth in the last five years.
With just less than seven minutes remaining, Mayfield found a wide-open Mark Andrews along the right sideline for a 59-yard touchdown to put the Sooners back in front.
Oklahoma's defense carried the load the rest of the way.
The Longhorns (3-3, 2-1) were in the game thanks to their defense clamping down on the Sooners and helped by Oklahoma penalties that kept Texas drives going late in the first half.
But then Texas showed some offensive life early in the fourth quarter, converting two big third downs, including a 29-yard completion from Sam Ehlinger to Reggie Hemphill-Mapps after Ehlinger was flushed from the pocket.
Two plays later, Ehlinger tiptoed along the sidelines for an 8-yard touchdown to put Texas ahead for the first time 24-23.
Just three plays later, Mayfield answered with the big touchdown strike of his own to Andrews. He finished 17 of 27 with 302 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
The Sooners jumped out to a quick lead, going up 20-0 by late in the second quarter thanks to another hot start by Mayfield.
On Oklahoma's fifth offensive play of the game, Mayfield danced around in the pocket before heaving the ball to Jeff Badet in the end zone for a 54-yard touchdown.
Texas, on the other hand, struggled offensively early.
The Longhorns had just 19 yards of total offense in the first quarter, with 15 coming on the game's first play.
NOTES: Sam Ehlinger was just the third Texas true freshman QB to start in the rivalry game, joining Bobby Layne (1944) and Shane Buechele (2016). ... Texas RB Chris Warren suffered a chest injury early in the fourth quarter and did not return. ... Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield had attempted a school-record 200 passes without an interception before his second-quarter pass was picked off. ... Texas RG Terrell Cuney started for the injured Jake McMillon. ... Oklahoma WR Jeff Badet left the game after a lower-body injury in the first quarter. ... Temperature at kickoff was 93 degrees, the warmest for the annual October game since 1991. Two Sooners DTs -- Amani Bledsoe and Du'Vonta Lampkin -- made their first career starts. ... Oklahoma plays at Kansas State next Saturday. ... Texas hosts Oklahoma State.