OU was not very good on defense and awful on offense. And thus the Sooners were thrashed 36-20 by Texas on Saturday. The grades reflect such a beating:
THIRD-AND-LONG DEFENSE: F
What should have been perfume for the OU defense instead was poison. The Longhorns converted their first seven plays on third-and-long. On third downs when Texas needed more than five yards, UT was 8-of-10 for the game. Mike Stoops consistently blitzed, and the ‘Horns consistently blocked it, giving Case McCoy time to launch passes. The conversions didn't always produce points, but they lengthened drives and wore down the OU defense.
Mike Stoops did not have a good day with the OU defense. His blitzes failed to get to McCoy and allowed the ‘Horns to produce some big plays. Josh Heupel had a worse day. He failed to produce a plan for Blake Bell to run on Texas like other quarterbacks had done, and Heupel did not balance his attack. On OU's first 17 first-down plays, Heupel called for a pass only twice. In the fourth quarter, he opened it up out of necessity. But Heupel put Bell in a bind with few throws on running downs.
COTTON BOWL SECURITY: A
A member of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's party forgot their ticket. Fallin vouched for the honor of the guilty party, but to no avail. They weren't allowed into the stadium with the rest of Fallin's entourage.
PASSING GAME: D
The Sooners called 31 pass plays and managed 102 total yards on those snaps. And that's not counting Chris Whaley's 31-yard interception return for a Texas touchdown. Bell completed just 12 of 26 passes for 133 yards. Only three OU pass plays went for double-digit yardage – a 12-yard swing pass to Brennan Clay in the first quarter, a 29-yard gain to Trey Millard over the middle in the third quarter and a 47-yard inside screen play to Lacoltan Bester in the fourth.
I know, everyone will point to Texas tailbacks Jonathan Gray and Malcolm Brown going over 100 yards. But UT tailbacks ran 59 times for 254 yards, a 4.3-yard average. OU tailbacks ran 25 times for 133 yards, a 5.3-yard average. The Texas running game isn't what beat OU.
Since making Bell the starting quarterback, OU had zero offensive turnovers and only eight unintentional penalties total in three games. Saturday, the Sooners had two turnovers and eight penalties for 63 yards. The Sooners were flagged for four major penalties. Pass interference on Aaron Colvin, offensive holding on Daryl Williams, roughing the passer on Eric Striker and facemask on Adam Shead (while pass blocking).
KICKING GAME: B
OU allowed a punt return for a touchdown, but Roy Finch's 73-yard kickoff return set up a Sooner touchdown, so that's close to a wash. OU's Jed Barnett (46.3-yard average) out-punted UT's Anthony Fera (31.0) by 15 yards a try. Fera nailed three field goals, including a 50-yarder, but OU's Michael Hunnicut was 2-for-2. Plus, the Sooners blocked an extra point. Special teams did not cost OU.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: D
Jack Ingram sang a funky rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” with an acoustic guitar. It's hard to butcher a song that's sort of butchered to begin with, but Ingram gave it a solid try. It was hard to even know where he was in the song. Sort of made you glad OU fans yelled “SOONERS!” at the end of the song, so you didn't have to listen to quite as much of the song.
RED-ZONE OFFENSE: C
The Sooners got within 20 yards of the end zone on four possessions. Those four possessions totaled one touchdown and two field goals. The Sooners needed at least 20 points from those drives.