Here are some quick observations from Texas’ 36-20 upset of No. 12 Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl:
1. First Time For Everything: For the first time all season, the Sooners made some uncharacteristic offensive mistakes, from Brennan Clay’s drop on a wide-open deep ball, to Blake Bell’s interception returned for a touchdown. The pass rush pressure came on Bell’s INT and the quarterback turned the ball over for the first time all season. It was only a matter of time before Bell made a turnover, but it turned out for the worst. Longhorns DT Chris Whaley made a great play and even better 31-yard touchdown return to put Texas ahead 10-3 before the end of the first quarter. The Longhorns led the rest of the way and Bell finished with two interceptions after not throwing one in the first five games.
Other firsts: The Sooners gave up their first special teams touchdown of the season on a backbreaking 85-yard punt return by Daje’ Johnson in the third quarter. Geneo Grissom matched Whaley with a 54-yard pick six of his own in the fourth quarter – the first interception of his career.
2. Phillips and Nelson Missed: With nose guard Jordan Phillips and middle linebacker Corey Nelson missing on defense due to injury, OU couldn’t get off the field. Texas was money on third down, finishing 13-of-20. The Sooners only gave up 44 yards rushing last week against TCU, but Texas finished with with two backs over 100 yards in Jonathan Gray and Malcolm Brown.
3. Case Closed: In what was supposed to be a lopsided quarterback battle in OU’s favor, Case McCoy acquitted himself with the best game of his career. After taking the Hit of the Year from Eric Striker on a blitz, McCoy gathered himself and sent Texas into half with a 23-10 lead. His 59-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson on third-and-11 was perfectly placed, and he essentially finished off the Sooners with a 38-yard beauty to Mike Davis for the 36-13 lead in the third quarter.
4. Fire from Finch: Texas was up 20-3 before a spark for the Sooners finally came on Roy Finch’s 73-yard kickoff return. OU then went to the ground for a quick and easy drive, capped by Damien Williams’ 3-yard touchdown run 1:06 before half. If not for Finch’s big play, the Sooners would have been buried by halftime.
5. Where was the Quarterback Run?: Texas came into the game with a horrendous run defense against quarterbacks. The Longhorns looked like the Steel Curtain against OU. Well, at least against the Sooners’ running backs, because OU didn’t really attempt to put the ball in the hands of Blake Bell (or Trevor Knight) in the running game. Bell had just one carry in the first half and finished with seven carries for minus-26 yards. Knight didn’t touch the ball.