Texas has spent most of this season struggling to defend running quarterbacks, and especially speedy ones like Sooner backup Trevor Knight.
OU didn't dial up many designed quarterback runs in Saturday's 36-20 loss to the Longhorns, and Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said he never considered inserting Knight into the game to catch Texas off guard or change the pace of the game.
Knight rushed for over 100 yards as the starting quarterback in the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe, but struggled throwing the ball, causing him to eventually be replaced by junior Blake Bell.
Despite Bell's mobility, he recorded only seven carries for minus-27 yards. Much of the negative yardage came on sacks, but Bell only gained eight yards on his limited rushes.
“I'm here … as a quarterback you're gonna run the offense and whatever is called,” Bell said. “Coach Heupel and Coach (Jay) Norvell call the plays. Whatever they call, is what we're gonna run and execute as best we can.”
HEAT TAKES ITS TOLL
Although rain was initially in the forecast Saturday, the day turned into a hot and humid day, with highs just below 90.
The Sooners, especially defensively, struggled with the surprisingly muggy mid-October conditions.
“It's a drive, you get a little tired,” linebacker Eric Striker said. “I'm not going to say I didn't. I got a little tired.
Freshman linebacker Dominique Alexander said it wasn't an issue.
“The heat wasn't a factor today,” Alexander said. “We don't have any excuses.”
BIG PLAYS HURT SOONERS
The Sooners had given up a few big plays this season before Saturday's game against Texas, including a 75-yard run by West Virginia's Dreamius Smith and an 80-yard score by Notre Dame's George Atkinson.
But the Sooners had given up just 12 plays of 10 or more yards in their first five games.
The Longhorns had 10 Saturday, including five for 20 or more yards. OU had given up just four plays of 20 or more yards before the loss.
“Nothing was good today, for whatever reason,” Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “We just weren't on.”
STRIKER: ‘I DESERVED IT'
It didn't end up hurting the Sooners much, but linebacker Eric Striker was flagged for roughing the passer after drilling Case McCoy just as he released the ball late in the first quarter.
Striker's arm was just under McCoy's neck as he knocked the quarterback to the ground.
“That's on me,” Striker said “My hands went up. I've got to work on that. It's a free shot — he's facing me — I've just got to get my hands out. That's on me. I feel like that's a great call.”
The Sooners recovered a fumble on the next play, but penalties were a common theme the rest of the day.
Oklahoma was flagged eight times for 63 yards in penalties.
After losing Corey Nelson for the season with a torn pectoral muscle in last week's win over TCU, Aaron Colvin was clearly the Sooners top defensive player.
But Colvin went down with a shoulder injury in the third quarter and didn't return.
“I have no idea,” Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said of Colvin's status. “He came back (to the sidelines) and I think he could've went in, but there was no need at that point.”
Colvin had a pair of tackles for loss, a career high.
JEFFCOAT: TEXAS FOCUSED ON BEING PHYSICAL
During Oklahoma's back-to-back Red River routs in 2011 and 2012, the Sooners appeared to physically dominate the Longhorns.
Saturday, just the opposite was true. Texas manhandled Oklahoma's offensive and defensive fronts on the way to a 36-20 victory.
“A lot of people said they out-physicaled us, and we didn't like that,” said Texas senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. “That was a slap in the face. This year, we made sure that wasn't the case.”
Jeffcoat recorded two sacks in the Longhorns' win Saturday.
Survivors from the May tornado that went through Moore and the April explosion of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant joined the captains on the field for the coin flip before the game.
Nelson joined the Sooners captains at midfield.
Nelson suited up, wearing pads but with a baseball cap instead of his helmet.
Michael Hunnicutt extended his school record for career field goals to 52. Hunnicutt has made two or more field goals in each of OU's last seven games. … Three OU defenders — Dominique Alexander (19), Frank Shannon (16) and Chuka Ndulue (15) — finished with 15 or more tackles. All three were career highs. It was the first time the Sooners had three players in double figures in tackles since beating Air Force in 2010. ... Geneo Grissom's 54-yard interception return for a touchdown was the third-longest ever by a Sooners defensive lineman. … Jordan Wade's blocked extra point in the third quarter was the Sooners first since Adrian Taylor did it against Kansas State in 2009.