DALLAS -- Gabe Ikard sat on the Oklahoma bench as Texas players spilled onto the Cotton Bowl turf.
Finally, the Sooner center lifted himself off the metal seat and began an unfamiliar walk out of this stadium, of which the OU half was nearly empty at game’s end. Never before had Ikard, or any other current Sooner senior, lost in the Red River Rivalry.
That changed Saturday.
Texas 36, OU 20.
“We knew they were a very talented team and that if we weren’t at our best they could beat us,” Ikard said. “Today, they just outplayed us. We didn’t play well in any facet of the game.
“It’s just very disappointing with the way we played.”
Only four Sooner classes have gone undefeated against the Longhorns since freshmen became eligible in 1972. These seniors were trying to join a small, elite group that included the likes of the ’75 and the ’88 seniors.
But an error-filled afternoon ended OU’s three-game winning streak in this rivalry.
Sooner quarterback Blake Bell threw two interceptions, the first of which was returned for a Longhorn touchdown in the first quarter. OU gave up an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter.
“Those are always difference-makers in this game,” Sooner coach Bob Stoops said of mistakes that result in touchdowns.
Making matters worse for the Sooners, the offense converted only 2 of 13 times on third down, while the defense allowed Texas to go 13 of 20.
Now, after three consecutive seasons where the Sooners have used a win in this game as a springboard, they are faced with what comes next. They didn’t just lose; they got completely outplayed by an opponent that has struggled so much that Mack Brown is expected to lose his job at season’s end.
“The Big 12, we can still win,” said fullback Trey Milliard, another senior who missed out on an undefeated career vs. Texas. “We had one loss last year in the Big 12; we got a co-championship. It’s still out there for us. We just have to go out and do our job the rest of the season.”