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:

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SOONER POSTGAME - Berry Tramel

Tack­ling

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.

Kyler Mur­ray

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.

Pass cov­er­age

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.

Run­ning game

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.

De­fen­sive scheme

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.

Pass pro­tec­tion

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).

[PHOTO BY IAN MAULE, TULSA WORLD]

Btramel@ ok­la­homan.com

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