Oklahoma football: Sooners' grades indicative of a blowout loss to Texas A&M
Texas A&M's 41-13 Cotton Bowl rout of the Sooners matched the third-most lopsided defeat of the Bob Stoops era, and the grades reflect it.
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CONTAINING JOHNNY FOOTBALL: F
When Johnny Manziel took off running, the Sooners looked like eighth-graders chasing the varsity. Manziel, who also threw for 287 yards, had eight runs of longer than 10 yards, including gains of 44, 31 and 24 yards. Manziel zipped through the Sooners on quarterback draws, option plays and scrambles. OU tried blitzing and three-man rushes, crashing and containing. Nothing worked.
PENALTY DECISION-MAKING: D
Bob Stoops erred in the first quarter. Damien Williams gained four yards on 1st-and-goal from the Aggie 5-yard line, but A&M was offside. Stoops declined the penalty, preferring 2nd-and-goal from the 1-yard line to 1st-and-goal from the 21/2. But Blake Bell was stuffed for no gain and then threw incomplete, then on fourth down, Brannon Green false started, and OU had to settle for a field goal. An extra down is worth more than 11/2 yards. Stoops' other penalty decision was not so obvious. The Aggies were called for clipping on a Manziel scramble early in the third quarter. A&M faced either 2nd-and-goal from the OU 8-yard line or 1st-and-goal from the 15. Stoops took the penalty, but A&M scored two plays later.
THIRD-DOWN OFFENSE: C
The Sooners converted seven of nine third downs in the first half, and one of the failures was a Belldozer incompletion. Landry Jones completed six of seven third-down passes before halftime, for 49 yards and a touchdown. But in the second half, OU converted just one of six third downs. Landry completed just two of six third-down passes after halftime, for 21 yards. He also was sacked once.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: A
The Gatlin Brothers, 30 years after their height of popularity, still can bring the vocals. They sang the anthem in the best possible way. Strong, straight, quick. And though Larry Gatlin was born in Seminole, Texas, he had an air of neutrality. He's a former University of Houston receiver who caught a touchdown pass in the Cougars' 100-6 victory over Tulsa in 1968.
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