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Oklahoma football: OU takes what Texas does not want, and then makes Longhorns pay

Several Sooner players are from Texas, and most did not receive an offer from the Longhorns. Looking at recent Red Rivalry outcomes, perhaps Texas missed out.
by Jason Kersey Published: October 14, 2012

DALLAS — After Saturday's Red River onslaught, Bob Stoops' Oklahoma teams have now humiliated Texas in the Cotton Bowl four times — three of which with OU scoring 60-plus points.

The fourth, a 55-17 romp in 2011, was just shy of that.

“It's just unacceptable for Texas to lose like that to Oklahoma ... especially two years in a row,” Longhorns coach Mack Brown said after his team was routed 63-21 on Saturday.

So what is it about Stoops and Oklahoma that makes it capable of embarrassing Texas in ways no other program really can?

A closer look at the OU players who often shine said blowouts reveals a trend.

The first time Stoops-led Oklahoma embarrassed Texas — a 63-14 rout in 2000 that propelled OU to the national championship — a running back from Houston named Quentin Griffin found the end zone six times.

The next year, a defensive end from Omaha, Texas, named Jimmy Wilkerson sacked Longhorns quarterback Chris Simms three times, one of which was immortalized on a Sports Illustrated cover with the headline “TAKE THAT, TEXAS!”

Mark Clayton was an overlooked wideout from Arlington, Texas, who became a Sooner All-American and hauled in a touchdown and 190 yards in 2003, when OU routed Texas 65-13.

Derrick Strait — from Austin, Texas, of all places — played some of the best games of his All-America career inside the Cotton Bowl. He intercepted two passes, recovered two fumbles and averaged about eight tackles in his four career Red River wins, book ended by the 2000 and 2003 shellackings.

Griffin, Wilkerson, Clayton and Strait — along with a bevy of other past and current OU standouts — are former Texas high school recruits who never received Longhorn scholarship offers, signed with Stoops' Sooners and went on to great college careers.

“I think a big thing with it, at least for me, is that Texas didn't recruit me at all,” said Eric Mensik, a Rosenburg, Texas, native who was an All-Big 12 first-team offensive lineman in 2010.

“Going to Dallas and playing Texas, you can say, ‘Oh, you didn't want me? Well let me show you what you're missing out on.' The coaches do a good job during the week of trying to get the guys ready.”

Mensik declined to reveal specific coach-player motivation tactics involving spurned Texans — “It's not my place to say. That's best kept between us and the coaches” — but added Texas' lack of interest definitely motivated him in those games.

Dusty Dvoracek, though, wasn't buying it. The former OU defensive tackle from Lake Dallas, Texas, said that with everything else at stake in that game, he never once recalled his lack of a Texas offer.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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