Oklahoma-Texas: Sooners Out-Eat Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl
The atmosphere was electric with the media, the cheerleaders, the pep squads, the flag bearers, and the mascots all on the field before the opposing teams made their entrance.
I could not figure out which mascot was more hated: the Sooner Schooner, or the huge cow (excuse me—it is a longhorn) draped in burnt orange.
Turns out the cow, I mean, longhorn, has a name: Bevo. B-E-V-O. Not to be confused with the 1980s one-hit-wonder new wave and punk rock group spelled D-E-V-O.
Which one hit would change the course of this game, I wondered, and I also wondered how soon the University of Texas pep squad would incorporate a Devo-themed song into their routine.
It could go something like: “Is he not, cow? He is Bevo,” except Bevo is a guy, and therefore, a bull, scientifically speaking, I think.
Anyway, “Whip it Good” (a Devo hit song). Is that inappropriate to say these days in sports when speaking about dangerous animals that PETA will protect?
“I’m In a Daze” (a Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em 2010 hit song).
I was still a bit dazed by the visions of Devo wearing stepladder shaped bowls on their heads in a YouTube video I just saw.
UT’s side first, the Cotton Bowl crowd snapped me out my daze when they sparked into an electric daylight wave of supportive cheers as the opposing teams sprinted onto the field.
On a lights-out drive to start the game, Oklahoma drove 82 yards in about four minutes, capped by tailback DeMarco Murray’s elusive 18-yard TD dart.
The UT nemesis appeared to toy with the Texas defenders in escaping their tackles.
I know this is tail gate week, but how did the Longhorns get their tails caught just out of the gate? Too many fried Fletcher corny dogs eaten too fast, perhaps?
It was clear, from Texas’ ensuing possession going forward in this game, that OU’s defense was much faster than most of UT’s offense.
A worse start could have occurred only if Texas had fumbled away their opening possession.
A remarkable TD pass and catch from quarterback Landry Jones to Kenny Stills at 5:29 brought back visions of No. 1 Oklahoma’s “Red River Massacre” in 2003.
With their defense in desperate need of some No Doze, the Longhorns picked up their pace when D.J. Monroe dashed off left tackle for a 60-yard sprint to the end zone. He looked an awful lot like the speed monster Jamaal Charles.
It was the 5'9", 170-lbs. Monroe’s first play from scrimmage of the game. He was the Longhorns' leading rusher last week with a grand total of 51 yards. Talk about career game. He had his in the first quarter of the Red River Rivalry.
Seemed like he ran all the way back to his hometown of Angleton, Texas—wherever that is (turns out it is on the Gulf Coast side of the state).
The state of Texas darlings, the Longhorns stopped the Sooners on 4th-and-10 from the Texas 31, and the Longhorns took over on downs as the raucous first quarter ended.
After a string of three-and-outs by both teams, and an absolutely atrocious punt by some guy named “No. 47” of the Longhorns, the faithful wondered what was really going on.
After DeMarco Murray got loose on a something-out-of-nothing, 17-yard run, an illegal shift penalty nullified a tremendous 31-yard TD pass and catch executed by Jones and America’s leading college receiver, Ryan Broyles.
Texas returned the penalty favor with a foul that kept the OU drive alive, and the Sooners proceeded to go the rest of the field for a TD with 7:19 remaining in the first half.
A remarkably accurate Jones connected with TE John Hannah in the back of the end zone. 21-7 OU. Oh, my.
Foiled amidst Ferris wheels and Longhorns football setbacks, before I could edit my last sentence, the Sooners had the ball—again. But the scoring stopped for the first half.
Could Mack Brown have been any more flustered during the halftime interview? He started with a “misspoke,” stating Texas was winning the game, and he muttered the rest of the interview.
Want to get away, Mack?
UT came into the game having won four of five of the last Red River Rivalry matches, and I’m sure it stung Coach Brown to realize defeat was in the belly of victory. He did say that UT needed to score on its opening drive.
Starting the second half playing the up-tempo and no-huddle game, the Longhorns drove to inside the Sooners 10. But OU’s stellar defensive back, Tony Jefferson, crunched Gilbert on an ad-lib attempted TD run. Justin Tucker made a 22-yard field goal, and Brown got his wish.
A son of a former Dallas Cowboy great (Jim Jeffcoat), UT defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat forced a sack-fumble from Jones, and Texas recovered, but an offside penalty nullified it.
At 13:44 left in the fourth, Jeffcoat committed a personal foul penalty at the end of the play that resulted in an automatic first down on a failed OU third-down conversion. It was the second third-down penalty against UT’s defense in the second half.
Three plays later, Murray tight roped the sideline for a 20-yard TD, and Mack Brown was shown jotting down notes—presumably to holler at his team about third-down penalties.
It was Murray’s second TD of the game, and it came on the same I-formation play that he took to the house on OU’s first drive of the game. It was the same corner of the end zone, and this one was only tougher because Murray had to fight his feet to stay inbounds.
He scored untouched.
Murray moved into second place on the OU career TD list behind Steve Owens, a Heisman Trophy winner. In third place is Billy Simms, another OU Heisman Trophy winner.
UT’s bruising flanker Cody Johnson produced two consecutive big plays, the latter resulting in a five-yard TD. 28-17, OU, but Texas was in it to win it with 9:52 left in the game.
A failed fake attempt on a 47-yard field goal by OU’s Patrick O’Hara resulted in renewed hope for the Longhorns as they took control of the ball at their own 43.
But Gilbert committed the UT sin by taking a sack for a 13-yard loss on 1st-and-10.
The UT combination of Gilbert and Malcolm Williams converted on a 41-yard pass play with 2:30 remaining that placed the ball at the OU six.
A UT field goal with 1:39 left made it a TD and a two-point conversion game. Texas forced a punt, but a muff by Texas on the punt resulted in OU ball with 1:02 left at the UT 41.
Victory formation for OU with no timeouts left for UT. Oklahoma wins a thriller.
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