DALLAS — The Sooner crowd in the Cotton Bowl's south end chanted "OU! OU!" and Travis Lewis ran around the field wearing the Golden Hat and Bob Stoops walked up the famed rampart with fists raised.
Stoops solved his Texas Problem with a 28-20 victory Saturday in a game the Sooners dominated until, like always in this quirky 2010 season, they made the fourth quarter maddeningly interesting.
Stoops had lost four of five to the Longhorns, but he won't join the club of Snorter Luster, Bud Wilkinson and Gary Gibbs, OU coaches who went 1-5 in a six-year span of this series and never coached the Sooners again.
And speaking of Texas problems...
Here's why OU was in position to withstand a series of mental meltdowns, by coach and player alike.
Texas penalties. Texas gifts. The biggest bailouts this side of General Motors.
OU scored four touchdowns; major Texas penalties extended three of those drives.
"Game-changers," said UT coach Mack Brown. "Just absolute killers."
This is not to say the Longhorns gave away the game.
OU took it. The Sooners, self-mutilators a year ago, leading to an 8-5 season, played clean football, and most every time Texas gave an OU drive extra life, the Sooners pounced.
This was not only the reverse of the 2009 season, it was the reverse of the 2008 Texas game, when OU was crippled by a couple of late-hit penalties as 'Horn QB Colt McCoy scrambled.
On the game's first drive Saturday, Texas committed a personal foul and a defensive holding, giving OU first downs out of dire situations. Landry Jones and DeMarco Murray responded by leading an 83-yard touchdown drive, and OU never gave up the lead.
"They helped us out on third downs," said OU flanker Ryan Broyles. "Last year, we beat ourself a lot. This year, we made a point, we were gonna be a smart team."
Mission accomplished, until the last 6 1/2 minutes. Then Stoops lost his compass.Box Score: OU, 28 - Texas, 20