We have to pick at least a few nits, but everything seems sublime after beating Texas:
When Landry Jones put the ball on the turf deep in OU territory, it had the makings of one of the most gut-wrenching endings in the history of the OU-Texas rivalry. (Think Superman, in reverse.) It typified the way the Sooners have managed the end of games so far this season – clumsily.
And what the hell was up with that ridiculous fake field goal? Incredibly stupid.
Eventually, all the close scrapes will cost OU. Didn’t catch up to the Sooners yesterday, thankfully.
This game had a 50-point win written all over it in the first quarter. The hurry-up offense was in a zone, and the Sooner D looked immovable.
After tight end James Hanna’s touchdown catch mid-way through the second quarter, though, OU’s offense essentially shut down. From that point on, the Sooners strung together one drive of more than 30 yards. Three of Oklahoma’s final eight possessions were three-and-outs.
UT’s D definitely deserves credit for tightening up in the second half. However, much of the blame for the Sooners’ malaise has to lie at the feet of offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. This year, Wilson doesn’t just tap the breaks when OU gets a comfortable lead, he puts the car in park.
As The Skinny noted to me last week, you don’t know what you’re going to get with Jones from play to play, let alone game to game. On Saturday, he gave the Sooners far more positive plays than negative ones, which added up to possibly the most effective game of his career.
Statistically, the ‘Stache didn’t dominate the 2010 Red River Shootout. However, against UT’s vaunted D, he operated OU’s offense with self-assured efficiency. His play in the first quarter, in particular, probably made the difference in the game.
Jones was far from perfect. He dodged two killer bullets on fumbles. In the end, though, Jones gave the Sooners exactly what they needed under center.
The Sooners’ middle linebacker definitely has his issues with stopping the option. However, Wort showed yesterday why all the knee-jerk talk last week about benching him was so ridiculous.
Wort ran from sideline to sideline with reckless abandon all game long, registering 10 stops on the day. When OU’s botched fake field goal seemed to swing all the momentum back to Texas, Wort sacked Gilbert for an 11-yard loss.
Sooner Nation, Wort is more than just your middle linebacker of the future – he’s the now.
Murray has taken his fair share of lumps in this rivalry. On this day, OU’s senior running back was the best player on the field.
In his Red River debut in 2007, Murray was mainly a home run hitter. While Murray has lost some of that big play ability, Saturday’s performance against one of the country’s best defenses exemplified the all-around game he has developed.
Wilson stuck with Murray in his last hurrah against the Lonrhorns, hammering the Texas defense with No. 7 to the tune of 25 carries and 115 yards. Murray added 31 yards through the air scored twice for good measure. And his 17-yard run on third down with 1:08 left from OU’s 6 gave the Sooners some much-needed room to punt away.
If Murray’s decision to come back for 2010 isn’t helping his stock with the NFL, at the very least, he’s cementing his legacy as a Sooner.
I noted before the game that how OU’s rookies played in their first Red River Shootout would go a long way to determining the winner. Let’s see:
Led OU in receiving with 78 yards on five catches; scored first career touchdown on incredible end zone catch.
Nine tackles, including one for a loss.
Five carries for 16 yards from the fullback spot; outstanding blocking in OU’s effective run game.
Seven tackles in his first career at cornerback.
For all the hype surrounding UT’s decorated 2010 recruiting class, it was OU’s freshmen who easily made the biggest impact yesterday.
From an OU fan’s perspective, Texas’ offensive coordinator was at his befuddling best yesterday.
Apparently, UCLA handing the Longhorns their heads the week before wasn’t enough to convince Davis to lose the “side-to-side” game. On third down, his receivers ran short of the first-down marker. When Davis did try to stretch the field, the whimsical play-caller dipped deep into his bag of tricks and sent receivers on go routes down the sideline.
His biggest gaffe: After D.J. Monroe’s 60-yard touchdown dash in the first quarter, Davis managed to get the ball in the electric sophomore’s hands just three more times.
Remember this game every time you start bitching about Kevin Wilson, OU fans.