Deep Fried Disappointment: OU Beats Texas 45-40


The way Big 12 offenses play today, whoever blinks first during the inevitable shootout loses. On a beautiful, clear Saturday afternoon, Texas once again lost the staring contest, and has now given up 45 or more points in every game not played against another team in the University of Texas System.

Two early interceptions from Dylan Haines had Texas fans cautiously optimistic about its new defensive coordinator. That man is none other than head coach Charlie Strong, who took over defensive playcalling duties last week after demoting former DC Vance Bedford. Bedford handles the defensive backs only now.

But the patina of defensive excellence was just that; despite heading into halftime down just 14-13, Oklahoma’s offense exploded in the second half.

Texas started with the ball, and new Baylor transfer Devin Duvernay, the fastest man on the field for either team, burned his defender for a 63-yard TD. Oklahoma answered with a three-play, 79-yard scoring drive. Shane Buechele hit Dorian Leonard with a 45-yard TD pass immediately after, and the WR did a great job holding on to it. Seven plays later, OU was back on top.

Then Texas blinked. OU would score the next two touchdowns to take a double-digit lead. Texas mounted a comeback, including one TD from each Foreman brother, and the chance to win the game on the final, lateral-filled play, but it was too late. Texas and OU have now traded Red River Showdown wins the last four years.

Any way you slice it, giving up 600-plus yards to the opposing offense is a rough day. Scoring 40 points and still losing (fans who watched the Cal game know this) is frustrating. But—and this doesn’t magically transform a loss into a win, or provide solace for anyone still suffering fried Oreo-related heartburn (like me) right now—Oklahoma’s offense is darn good.

Wide receiver DeDe Westbrook set the new Oklahoma receiving yards record (232), scored three times, and midway through the second quarter caught the longest scoring TD (71 yards) in the history of the TX-OU rivalry.

The miscommunications in the Texas defensive backfield continued, with Westbrook wide open at times, and OU QB Baker Mayfield had all day to throw on most passing plays. Add in Samaje Perrine running for 214 yards, and it was clear that the Texas defense didn’t have just one problem on defense.

With the Longhorns unable to stop Perrine from looking like the next Adrian Peterson, Mayfield could pick on Texas corners all afternoon. If Longhorn defensive linemen couldn’t get to Mayfield, his corners could only stay with their men for so long. As the corners and linebackers broke down in communication, Mayfield could get the ball out before the edge rushers could reach him.

But those thinking of keeping the batter-fried binge going into next week, stress eating isn’t the answer here. It’s still a work-in-progress. Texas finally forced multiple turnovers in a game. The Longhorns were 8-17 on third down and 1-1 on fourth down. Shane Buechele made some upperclassmen-type throws for scores. Trent Domingue was 2-2 on field goals and 4-4 on PATs, a huge swing from last week.

It doesn’t change anything in the win-loss column, but Texas lost to a better team this weekend while still showing flashes of greatness. And hey, at least you’re not a Rutgers fan.

Quick hits:

-Texas fans are going to have to learn to say goodbye to running back D’Onta Foreman, who is playing so well right now that NFL teams are likely gunning for him already. He ran for 159 yards and a pair of scores.

-As usual, the Texas sideline had some star-studded talent. I spotted Emmitt Smith, Jordan Spieth, and Vince Young. OU had Brian Bosworth, WWE announcer Jim Ross, and Toby Keith.

-The score from Duvernay was his first as a college WR. The winner of the 2016 Class 6A 100m dash looks like he has star potential, and he is really fun to watch.

-The atmosphere at this game was spectacular. Texas fans were spirited, even in a loss. Even the OU fans I encountered were (mostly) kind. They’re mad about their defense too, trust me.

-I ate too much at my very first appearance at the State Fair of Texas. Story coming on my caloric intake later this week.


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