DALLAS — A Heisman campaign gains momentum, a defense gets offensive and Sooner fans fans mock a network. Time to hand out the grades for the Cotton Bowl classroom.
LANDRY JONES' HEISMAN CAMPAIGN: A
Jones completed 23 of 35 for 305 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions — in the first half. Texas' pass rush was decent, yet Jones never came close to a bad play. Andrew Luck, the game is on.
POLL POSITIONING: A
LSU won big at West Virginia and jumped the Sooners in the AP poll. Alabama won big at Florida and did the same. The Sooners answered. A 34-10 halftime lead was plenty for the pollsters to realize OU belongs in the discussion for the nation's best team.
More bathroom problems at the Cotton Bowl. Reports of several closed because of pump problems. Some flooding issues. The spectacle is grand. The state fair is magnificent. But if Dallas doesn't do something, at some point the right person is going to have to walk in urine, and to JerryWorld we go.
DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD: A
Jamell Fleming turned a strip into a touchdown return, and Demontre Hurst returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown. Even better, Texas broke few tackles against the Sooner secondary. Fleming had a game-high 13 tackles, safety Aaron Colvin had eight and Hurst seven. Safety Tony Jefferson had a sack and an interception. A superb performance.
Jones' receivers made some nice catches, but they also developed a case of the dropsies. Ryan Broyles, James Hanna, Trey Millard and Dejuan Miller all had drops. That can't happen in a more competitive game.
FAN CREATIVITY: A
The delirious OU crowd serenaded the exiting Bevos with a chorus of “Long-horn, Net-work (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap); Long-horn, Net-work.” And former Sooner tight end star Trent Smith, basking in the 34-10 halftime lead, tweeted: “Hey Texas, Make sure you show this game on your network.”
RUN DEFENSE: B
Texas actually ran the ball OK. Quarterback sacks and tricky reverses kept handing the ‘Horns negative plays, but tailbacks Malcolm Brown, Fozzy Whittaker and D.J. Monroe combined for 120 yards on 26 carries. That's 4.6 yards per carry. Not bad for a team unable to throw the ball downfield.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: A
Country singer Jack Ingram, playing an acoustical guitar, delivered a unique, but solid, rendition.
OFFENSIVE LINE: A
If you want to be picky, OU's run game wasn't great – aside from Dom Whaley's 64-yard TD run, OU tailbacks gained 26 yards on 15 carries. But Texas blitzed much of the game, and the Sooner wall well-protected Landry Jones. UT had just one sack, and Jones had enough time to throw for 305 passing yards in the first half.