For­get the Soon­ers’ of­fense, penal­ties doomed Texas

Star-Telegram (Sunday) - - Sports - BY STE­FAN STEVEN­SON ssteven­[email protected]­gram.com

The Texas Longhorns have mostly them­selves to blame.

The Longhorns com­mit­ted 13 penal­ties for a record 128 yards in their 39-27 loss to the Ok­la­homa Soon­ers in the Big 12 Cham­pi­onship game on Satur­day af­ter­noon at AT&T Sta­dium.

The Soon­ers were pe­nal­ized five times for 60 yards. The 18 com­bined penal­ties and nu­mer­ous re­play re­views made for a, at times, la­bo­ri­ous cham­pi­onship game in front of the largest con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship crowd ever recorded: 83,114.

“It’s hard to win when you’re go­ing back­wards that many times,” Texas tight end An­drew Beck said. “I do think that had an im­pact.”

The 128 penalty yards against Texas sur­passed the 113 by Ok­la­homa in the 2007 cham­pi­onship. Texas’ 13 penal­ties tied Ok­la­homa (2007) and Kansas State (1998) for most in the cham­pi­onship game.

A cou­ple of the penal­ties erased big plays by the Longhorns, in­clud­ing Lil’Jor­dan

Humphrey’s 92-yard kick­off re­turn for a touch­down with two min­utes re­main­ing that was over­turned be­cause of a hold­ing call on Josh Thomp­son.

“I was re­ally pray­ing it was on them, but it wasn’t,” said Humphrey, who had seven catches for 51 yards and a touch­down. “We shot our­selves in the foot. We can’t do that. That played a big role in to­day’s loss. We’ve got to do bet­ter on that.”

The loss left the Longhorns still look­ing for their first Big 12 ti­tle since 2009.

“I want to say we’re right where we want to be, but we’re not yet,” Humphrey said. “We’re sup­posed to be Big 12 Cham­pi­ons but that’s not what we are right now. We still have a lot of work to do but we’re get­ting there. We’re close. That’s what we re­ally strug­gle with, shoot­ing our­selves in the foot. So we have to play smarter.”

Texas coach Tom Her­man called some of the flags “ag­gres­sive penal­ties that were called that cer­tainly hurt us.”

It’s the most penal­ties and penalty yards against the Longhorns since they had 16 for 128 in a loss to Ok­la­homa State on Sept. 26, 2015.

“Those penal­ties def­i­nitely hurt us,” said Collin John­son, who had a cham­pi­onship game record 177 yards re­ceiv­ing. “But we have no say on the call.”

WE SHOT OUR­SELVES IN THE FOOT. WE CAN’T DO THAT. Lil’Jor­dan Humphrey, Texas re­ceiver

ROGER STEIN­MAN AP

Texas Longhorns run­ning back Keaon­tay In­gram is tack­led by Ok­la­homa Soon­ers line­backer Caleb Kelly dur­ing the Big 12 Cham­pi­onship game Satur­day.

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