Ex­citabil­ity, postgame cel­e­bra­tion hats among best, worst of game

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - ED GODFREY’S OUTDOORS - Joe Mus­satto jmus­[email protected]­la­homan.com STAFF WRITER

AR­LING­TON, TEXAS — Ok­la­homa claimed its fourth con­sec­u­tive Big 12 Cham­pi­onship with a 39-27 win against Texas on Sat­ur­day at AT&T Sta­dium.

Here’s a look at the best and worst from the game.

Best re­ac­tion: Ruf­fin McNeill

De­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Ruf­fin McNeill di­aled up a fourth-quar­ter blitz that sent OU cor­ner­back Tre Brown on a bee­line for Texas quar­ter­back Sam Eh­linger.

Brown sacked Eh­linger in the end zone for a game-chang­ing safety with 8:27 left. TV cam­eras showed McNeill’s re­ac­tion to the play, ex­cept there was no re­ac­tion — not even the slight­est of smiles or fist pumps.

Ap­par­ently the non-cel­e­bra­tory cel­e­bra­tion is a trade­mark of McNeill’s.

Worst re­view: Texas in­ter­cep­tion

No one has fig­ured this one out.

On OU’s first drive of the game, Kyler Mur­ray’s pass was in­ter­cepted in the end zone by Texas safety Caden Sterns. A flag was thrown on the play — a face mask penalty against the Longhorns.

Be­cause the flag was thrown dur­ing the play, the in­ter­cep­tion was in­con­se­quen­tial. But in­stead of mov­ing on and award­ing OU an au­to­matic first down, the play was re­viewed to see if Sterns se­cured the in­ter­cep­tion.

He did, but it was still an OU first down. So why the re­view?

Best postgame at­tire: Samia, Ford hats

Ok­la­homa guard Dru Samia came into the postgame in­ter­view room with a gold straw hat with an up­side-down Longhorn mounted to the front of it. In­side the Longhorn was an OU logo.

Samia and fel­low of­fen­sive line­man Cody Ford were given the hats by a young fan af­ter the game.

Worst much ado about noth­ing:

Horns Down

The Horns Down dis­cus­sion dom­i­nated the lead-up to the game, but it had no ef­fect on the ac­tual game.

No Sooner was flagged for mak­ing the hand ges­ture.

Ford flashed a Horns Down as he ran out of the tun­nel be­fore the game, but that was about it un­til the Soon­ers cel­e­brated free of penalty af­ter the game.

Best show of unity: Pregame re­mem­brance

The ri­val fan bases came to­gether in ap­plause as the late Ge­orge H.W. Bush was hon­ored be­fore the game. The 41st pres­i­dent died at the age of 94 Fri­day night at his home in Hous­ton.

Worst chant:

“We want Bama”

No you don’t. No one wants to play the Crim­son Tide.

But this time Sooner fans get a pass. OU’s play­off chances hinged upon Alabama beat­ing Ge­or­gia in the SEC Cham­pi­onship game.

[PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

Ok­la­homa’s Dru Samia cel­e­brates af­ter the Soon­ers’ Big 12 Cham­pi­onship vic­tory over Texas on Sat­ur­day in Ar­ling­ton, Texas. The hat Samia is wear­ing was given to him by a young fan.

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