BOULDER, Colo. — Oklahoma got precisely what it deserved Saturday against Colorado. The Buffaloes won 27-24, kicking a 45-yard field goal on the game's final play. But the 50,031 fans on hand knew CU had kicked the third-ranked Sooners all over Folsom Field long before the game-deciding play. "All losses stink,” OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said afterward. "They're all in one category.” This one certainly qualifies. The Sooners lost on the defensive front, the offensive front and on special teams. In the process, they lost their composure, their toughness, their swagger, their momentum and their national respect. They did keep their dignity, however. They knew they stunk and admitted it afterward. OU players didn't discriminate Saturday. Their shortcomings were multifaceted. They dropped receptions and interceptions. They missed blocks and missed tackles. Receivers dropped the first pass attempt of the game (Juaquin Iglesias) and the last attempt (Joe Jon Finley) — and there were plenty of tipped balls, muffs and bobbles in between. Sooners coach Bob Stoops repeatedly said his team wasn't very smart against the Buffaloes. His team wasn't very good, either. Venables didn't disagree and said, "We're smarter than that. We're better than that.” Let's hope so. Offensively, OU couldn't move the chains. Then again, your offense can't move when it doesn't have the football. The Buffs were a bunch of ball hogs. They ran 82 snaps to OU's 46 and had nearly 18 more minutes of possession time. The Sooners were 1-for-9 on third-down conversions, while CU was 6-of-19 on third down and 2-for-3 on fourth. "We couldn't make a play,” Venables said, "couldn't get off the field.” Sunday morning quarterbacks no doubt will criticize the play-calling of OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. But given the Sooners' horrendous execution, exactly what plays would have worked? "They did a great job stopping us,” Wilson said. "They were prideful and played well.” Sadly, the same can't be said of OU. "There were some competitive plays we needed to make and, well, we didn't,” Wilson said. As a result, this week's Red River rivalry went from being pure gold to fool's gold. A couple hours after the Sooners' loss in Boulder, Texas lost 41-21 to Kansas State in Austin. Hey, how about that Big 12 North? At least OU had the decency to lose on the road. Imagine the Sooners' momentum had they taken care of the task at hand Saturday. Instead, they got derailed. Defensively, OU couldn't corral an attack that had gained minus-27 yards rushing on 25 carries two weeks earlier against Florida State. And it wasn't as though the Buffs made any miracle adjustments down 17-7 at halftime against OU, nor did they resort to chicanery. Colorado just dominated. "It was pretty basic,” Venables said of the Buffs' play-calling. "Very elementary.” It's also very elementary why OU lost Saturday. It got what it deserved.
Oklahoma's Allen Patrick reaches out to grab his fumble in front of Colorado's Jordon Dizon on Saturday. By CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN