Sunday, October 14, 2012
Postgame wrap: Oklahoma 63, Texas 21
By Jake Trotter
It’s rare you see a game with this many fascinating numbers to underscore one side’s dominance. Among them:
OU outgained Texas 677 to 289, handing the Longhorns their greatest yardage disparity in a game in 62 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info. OU had outgained Texas 407 yards to 65.
The Longhorns didn’t get a first down through the first 20 minutes of the game. And David Ash was picked off on the next play after that first.
By halftime, OU had produced both the longest rush and longest pass in the history of the Red River Rivalry.
Texas has now lost nine straight games to Top 25 teams. The average margin of defeat in those games? Seventeen points.
Four of Texas’ worst six defeats in this series have come under Mack Brown against Bob Stoops, all by 38 points or more.
• Without question, this was the finest game plan ever designed in the young career of offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. Heupel was creative, unpredictable and scary efficient.
Trey Millard had his best game as a Sooner vs. Texas, accounting for 164 total yards and a touchdown.
"I thought Josh and Jay Norvell, both our co-coordinators, and the whole offensive staff did a great job game planning and having our guys prepared,” coach Bob Stoops said. “They really capitalized, to a degree, on some of the things they were doing."
Perhaps the most impressive part of Heupel’s game plan was how he got the ball in the hands of Trey Millard. The fullback finished with a career-high 119 yards receiving and 45 yards rushing.
Out of three-back sets, Heupel would have Millard chip on Texas ends Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor, then float him out of the backfield. With the Horns so focused on OU’s run, Millard was wide-open play after play, and Landry Jones found him.
“I knew there was an opportunity to have this type of day,” Millard said. “Coach Heupel put me in a lot of good situations. A lot of times I’d catch the ball out in the flats, nobody was around, or the blockers out in front. He just did a great job of calling the game, putting people in good spots.”
Heupel took a lot of heat for the K-State loss. But his last two games have been masterful.
• The Belldozer, meanwhile, was never more dominant. Blake Bell rushed for four touchdowns in the first half alone, raising the possibility he might tie or break Quentin Griffin’s six-touchdown record set in 2002 against Texas. Bell became the third Sooner along with Billy Sims and Steve Owens to notch multiple four touchdown games.
The Sooners added some wrinkles to the package that caught Texas off guard. After Bell converted on a third-and-one on the opening drive, OU left Bell in the game to run another play on first down.
The Sooners had some confusion on a fourth-and-one later on the drive, due to guard Bronson Irwin being injured. But after a timeout, OU straightened it out, and Bell rumbled for the first down behind backup Austin Woods. OU came right back with the Belldozer, and Bell ran wide and trucked Texas’ Mykkele Thompson for an eight-yard score.
“It’s just a numbers game -- he’s 255 pounds,” said Heupel. “He can throw the ball, we’ve seen that, and that creates some openings, but it’s his size and strength and his ability to run.
“You just get an advantage when your quarterback is running.”
Especially when your quarterback run the way Bell does.
• The usually mild-manner Landry Jones was having some fun after the win. He took a turn wearing the Golden Hat and flashing the Horns down sign.
Jones also became the winningest QB in OU history, passing Steve Davis with 33 career wins.
“It’s starting to sink in,” said Jones, who threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns and moved into seventh place on the all-time NCAA passing list, ahead of Philip Rivers, with 13,731 yards.
Jones also joined Davis, Jimmy Harris and Jamelle Holieway as the only OU QBs to go 3-0 as starters against the Longhorns.
“You just look back at all the great quarterbacks, all the great players around this place, and to be in that company and be in all those things, it's just been really fun,” Jones said. "It's just been a blessing, it's been a ride.”
Jones has had his love/hate moments with the OU fan base. But if he does nothing else, Jones’ legacy is solidified with his Texas record.
• What a find Damien Williams has turned out to be. The junior-college transfer rushed for 167 yards on 22 carries, including a 95-yard touchdown run. Williams now not only has the longest Sooners run in OU-Texas history, he already now has three runs longer than any OU’s had since 2008.
"I was just being patient and letting things happen in front of me,” Williams said. “You know, you can't be patient too long, you've got to get out there sooner or later, I just had to pick it up."
• Kenny Stills now has 2,016 career receiving yards and became the sixth OU receiver to total more than 2,000 yards. His highlight play, however, came on Williams’ touchdown run when he de-cleated Quandre Diggs to spring Williams loose along the sidelines.
"Well he's not in the end zone without it,” Stoops said. “I saw Kenny coming and I was just hoping he would get there and sure enough he's got great speed and he got there in the nick of time and knocked him off and that was it. I knew no one was catching him after that. It energizes the team when you can take something to the house like that. Ninety-five yards is pretty special. It gets everybody gassed up."
One major reason why the Sooners ran the ball for 343 yards was because of how the receivers blocked downfield.
• OU was extremely effective out of the three-back offense. Williams scored his 95-yard touchdown out of the offense. Trey Millard also had a 20-yard run and a 25-yard touchdown catch out of the formation.
• Jalen Saunders showed why the Sooners are pumped about his getting cleared this week. He caught two passes for 54 yards in limited action.
“I was so happy to play in this game,” Saunders said.
Saunders pointed out that if he didn’t hear from the NCAA last week on his appeal, he would have redshirted. So the timing couldn’t have been any better for the Sooners or Saunders for this season.
• What made this blowout different than the three others in the Stoops-Brown era was that turnovers played little role in the game getting out of hand. Last season, the Sooners scored three defensive touchdowns to ignite the rout. This year, OU just dominated the Longhorns on both sides of the ball.
On nine of Texas’ first 12 possessions, the Longhorns punted eight times after three-and-out series. They also gave up a safety.
“A lot of three-and-outs, a lot of good field position, but you’re right,” Stoops said. “It shows both sides were really playing well together.”