Sooners’ defense receives horrific grades
The Sooners’ 48-45 loss to Texas was mostly great offense and horrid defense. No other way to grade it:
DA C-game might have allowed the Sooners to escape with a victory. This time, it wasn’t just quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Big receivers Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson consistently repelled the smallish OU defensive backs. Ehlinger bulled his way to 76 yards on 12 designed run plays. Here’s how physically dominating were the Longhorns — they five times penetrated the OU 20-yard line. They scored touchdowns on all five drives and had only two third-down snaps from the red zone.
BMurray was spectacular at times. His passing numbers were awesome again — 19 of 26 for 304 yards and four touchdowns. And Murray was great on designed runs, with five carries for 91 yards. But Murray made two huge mistakes, an ill-advised deep ball intercepted by free safety Brandon Jones and a fumble while trying to scramble. Those turnovers set up 10 Texas points.
CEhlinger, a career 60 percent passer, completed 24 of 35 for 314 yards and nothing close to an interception. The Sooners did a decent job on deep balls but were consistently burned on slants and crossing patterns. Ehlinger completed eight of 11 passes on third down.
AThe Sooners ran the ball well. Sure, the
222 rushing yards were padded by Murray’s 67-yard touchdown run. But OU tailbacks combined to rush 20 times for 130 yards, a 6.5-yard average. All three tailbacks ran well — Trey Sermon consistently broke tackles and finished with 54 yards on nine carries, Kennedy Brooks’ three carries resulted in gains of 19, seven and eight yards. And Marcelias Sutton ran hard, gaining 42 yards on eight carries. One negative — Sutton was stuffed on the final play of the first quarter, a 3rd-and-1 that resulted in a Sooner field goal.
DThe Longhorns toyed with Mike Stoops’ game plan. Texas consistently got mismatches on the perimeter, either with receivers or with Ehlinger power runs. Worse yet, the ‘Horns audibled virtually every play, and OU stayed confused most of the game.
State Fair additions
AWith the expansion of the Cotton Bowl over the years, the in-stadium view of the fair has diminished. The giant Ferris wheel southwest of the Cotton Bowl isn’t as viewable as in the old days. But the State Fair of Texas has added a second Ferris wheel, not quite as huge as the original, but viewable from near the top of the upper deck. Helps you remember the magnificent setting.
BMurray was sacked three times (counting when he fumbled while scrambling) and scrambled for positive yardage three other times. But Texas had no quarterback hurries
(the Sooners had seven QB hurries).