But even so, the truth was apparent.
“They came with their best,” OU linebacker Eric Striker said. “The better team won today.”
Despite dominating most of the day, Texas still hadn't put away the Sooners late. OU was on the ‘Horn 11-yard line, midway through the fourth quarter, in a two-possession game.
Then came four plays that defined OU's futility.
First down: A two-yard gain by fullback Trey Millard, who had open running room but the ‘Horns closed fast. A talent issue.
Second down: Incomplete pass to Reynolds on a fade pattern, the international distress signal for offensive ingenuity.
Third down: Reynolds dropped that slant pass that might not have been a touchdown but would have had the Sooners close. Basic mistake.
Fourth down: Delay of game penalty. Total breakdown in game operations.
Fourth down: Sack on fourth-and-13.
“It seemed as though things like that were happening all game,” Bell said. “When we're in the red zone, we need to score.”
So Texas went home a winner and suddenly a contender for the Big 12 title. OU went home a loser and not knowing what kind of team it has, but knowing it doesn't have the team it thought it had.
“The one thing the outside can't predict is the will and determination of young people,” Mack Brown said. “I knew we would play really hard and I knew we would play really well. I didn't know if it would be good to win.”
Turns out, it was plenty good enough to win, and Mack Brown lives to coach another day. Stay tuned if he'll be back for another OU-Texas.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.