ABC sportscaster Brent Musburger brought up a painful memory for Sooner fans — Boise State's 43-42 overtime victory over OU in the Jan. 1, 2007, Fiesta Bowl — in explaining why he thought OU coach Bob Stoops would “pile it up” on the Texas Longhorns on Saturday. Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin took over the Longhorns' offense this year.
“You don't think Bob Stoops is enjoying this,” Musburger said with the Sooners leading 20-3 in the second quarter. “You go back to one of the famous calls in all of college football, that Statue of Liberty play that Harsin dialed up for Boise State for the game winner. Stoops is going to pile it up if he can on Harsin today. He has not forgotten … Trickeration is not going to do it against this defense.”
Analyst Kirk Herbstreit said the Sooners had another incentive, dropping from No. 1 to No. 3 in The Associated Press poll behind LSU and Alabama. “Oklahoma knows they have a big stage and a big opportunity against Texas to show what they can do,” Herbstreit said of ABC's national telecast. “This defense is a lot better than a lot of people give them credit.”
Herbstreit was impressed with quarterback Landry Jones and the Sooners' fast-pace offense. After Fozzy Whitaker's 100-yard kickoff return for Texas cut the score to 27-10, Jones quickly drove the Sooners downfield, connecting with Kenny Stills for a 14-yard touchdown pass.
“Ladies and gentleman, that's what you call an answer! So much for the momentum after the big kickoff return. Bing, bang, come, TD!”
Herbstreit questioned Texas coach Mack Brown's plan of alternating two quarterbacks. “I think playing two quarterbacks is a dicey situation,” he said, noting Brown should give either Case McCoy or David Ash a chance to go full-time for a game.
The enthusiastic Musburger came up with several colorful lines to describe the rout at the Cotton Bowl.
“OU is taking them to the woodshed in the first half.”
“It's Boomer Sooner in Dallas today.”
“The Red River Rivalry has turned into the Red River bloodbath.”
After the Sooners' final touchdown, Jamell Fleming's 56-yard fumble return, Musberger gushed, “Well, folks, Bevo can't stand to watch it anymore,” he said as cameras caught Bevo sitting. “He has flat turned his back on the 'Horns and said enough of this stuff. Holy Toledo!”
ESPN studio analysts raved about OU's performance. Jesse Palmer praised the OU defense. “There is so much speed on defense for the Sooners that defensive coordinator Brent Venables was able to dial it up, confusing the young Texas quarterbacks.” And Mark May saluted Jones' passing offense. “They are automatic, like a well-oiled machine. You can't stop it.”
— On ESPN's “College GameDay,” guest picker Blake Griffin, a former OU basketball star, and analyst Lee Corso both picked the Sooners to win. Corso donned a schooner hat then fired shots with two RUF/NEKS' shotguns, smoking up the stage area. The show profiled OU receiver Ryan Broyles, noting his “neat freak” tendencies.
— ABC play-by-play announcer Carter Blackburn praised Kansas State's methodical style in the closing minutes of its 24-17 victory over Missouri. “It may not be eye-popping, it may not be Heisman material, it may not be sexy, but it's tough football. Cats closing in on 5-0.”
— ESPN analyst Urban Meyer, a former Florida coach, was impressed with Penn State's defense in its 13-3 victory over Iowa, calling the Nittany Lions a Big Ten contender. “The way they play defense, they are going to be in every game.”