- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
Who was up and who was down in Oklahoma’s 41-13 loss to Texas A&M in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
1. FB Trey Millard: With 28 yards on four carries, Millard was one of the few Sooners to have a decent day. More importantly, Millard declared during the postgame that after contemplating going pro he has decided to come back to school for his senior season. Millard has been one of OU’s best players the last three seasons, and his return gives the Sooners one of their best playmakers and blockers for another season.
2. Offensive line: Against one of the better fronts they’ve faced, the OU offensive line held its own. Damien Williams and Brennan Clay combined for 85 yards rushing, and Landry Jones had time to throw until the Sooners had to abandon the game plan in the third quarter. With Tyler Evans and Nila Kasitati set to rejoin a group that brings back four starters and promising freshman center Ty Darlington, the Sooners figure to be even better up front next season.
3. SS Javon Harris: The outgoing senior had the best game of any Sooner defender. Harris had nine tackles and a pick in the end zone that wiped out a potential Texas A&M score. Harris was maligned after a rocky junior season, but he bounced back with a very solid final campaign.
1. Mike Stoops defense: Once again, the OU defense was a disaster. The Sooners gave up 41 points, but that could have been much worse had Johnny Manziel not thrown a pick in the end zone and had the Aggies not hit the breaks early in the fourth quarter. The Sooners got no push up front, and did a miserable job containing Manziel, who rushed for 229 yards and threw for another 287. Considering that Harris, cornerback Demontre Hurst and the bulk of the line graduates, the Sooners have quite the uphill climb to defensive respectability next season. Especially if Tony Jefferson and Aaron Colvin bolt for the NFL.
2. QB Landry Jones: Love him or hate him, Jones will go down as one of the most prolific passers in OU history. And those wanting to pin the Cotton Bowl loss on him should keep in mind that the Sooners would have gone 8-5 this season without him. But Jones did not go out the way he had hoped and did not deliver one of his better games. A second-quarter interception set up a Texas A&M touchdown in a game the Aggies needed little assistance offensively.
3. Bob Stoops: “Big Game Bob” is now 1-6 in his last seven January bowl games, with the only victory coming over lowly Connecticut in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. This season, the Sooners do not have a win over a team currently ranked in the AP Top 25.
4dBrandon Chatmon and Jake Trotter