Sunday, October 13, 2013
What we learned: Week 7
By Max Olson
DALLAS -- Safe to say Texas' 36-20 upset of No. 12 Oklahoma on Saturday was one filled with revelations about where these Longhorns stand through six games. Here's what we learned at the Cotton Bowl:
Win one for the Mack: Mack Brown has spent the past month hearing that his job is on the line, that this is his final season and it's about to fall apart on him. National sportswriters gathered in Dallas this weekend not to scout the Sooners, but to write the Mack Brown Era obituary. And then his Longhorns went out and dominated Oklahoma. No matter how this season ends, it's clear the players haven't given up on him. His coordinators and players came up big on Saturday, but no doubt this is a sweet victory for Brown and a thrilling reprieve from all of the drama.
Longhorns finally get physical: It's hard to know whether to praise the Texas offense or defense more after that game. The D gave up 13 points and kept a far-too-rudimentary Sooners offense in check throughout while forcing turnovers and pressuring Blake Bell. Mission accomplished. And Texas' offense executed a run-heavy Major Applewhite game plan to perfection, got effective and at times impressive passing from Case McCoy, and truly excelled on third downs. The credit on both sides of the ball has to go to the big guys up front. They were far more physical than the Sooners and maintained that advantage throughout.
How good Texas could be: Folks laughed when Texas players started the season 1-2 and were still talking up their goal of a Big 12 championship. Now they're 3-0 in the conference and dreaming big again. This win probably means that, at least for one week, Texas is considered one of the three best in the Big 12 behind undefeated Baylor and Texas Tech. Considering all the twists and turns we've already seen in the league thus far, it's not hard to picture a scenario in which two teams share the Big 12 title. Going 7-2 in the conference might be all it takes. Can Texas get there? If the Longhorns get past TCU on the road in two weeks, they should be in great shape.