After two narrow losses to Oklahoma State and TCU, Kansas State will look to repeat last year’s upset in Norman when the Oklahoma Sooners come to Manhattan.
Texas hired Jay Norvell after Bob Stoops fired him and Norvell helped engineer a monumental upset of No. 19 Oklahoma by unranked Texas last Saturday. The loss probably knocked OU out of national championship contention and made it extremely hard for the Sooners to even win the Big 12.
OU has yet to play OSU, TCU and Baylor – all ranked in the Top 15 this week.
Norvell was fired because OU’s offense wasn’t good enough in an 8-5 season last year yet Norvell was savvy enough to know that the team that runs the ball best almost always win the Red River Rivalry.
Texas rushed 58 times for 313 yards while the Sooners had a measly 67 yards on 37 carries.
“I thought Jay did a great job setting the quarterback run game,” said OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. “We tried to make some adjustments to the run game. There were a lot of plays we didn’t see but there’s a lot – the sprint draw that went for 80 late in the third quarter – is a play that we’ve worked on. We just didn’t play, we didn’t execute. They played great all day. They blocked us. Any time you rush for 300 yards, that’s tough. That was unfortunate.”
Stoops said Texas, with a 1-4 record, was desperate for a win.
“They showed a lot of pride and toughness, and that’s still a big part of the game, as you know,” Stoops said. “You have to walk on the field with that. Thought our kids had a great week, but again we kind of walked into a lion’s den today and that’s what happens. So, people get backed into a corner and they came out fighting. That’s a prideful program; you’d be foolish to think they wouldn’t. We kind of got set up for this and just couldn’t respond in a more positive way. That’s the disappointing part.
“Still, we had our chances; even in the fourth quarter we couldn’t stop them. We got the ball back, we did one time. But then they get two first downs to end the game was probably the most disappointing part of it, because we fought our way through the entirety of the game.”
OU quarterback Baker Mayfield hit 20 of 28 passes for 211 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions. Behind a porous line, Mayfield was harassed by the Texas defense which got six sacks for 45 yards in losses.
“We just didn’t execute well,” Mayfield said. “So plays that we did string up and bust it loose, those were just basic plays. It was nothing unusual in their game plan. It was just they were doing the basic things that they needed to do, and we weren’t doing that early on.”
“It wasn’t like they were outmanning us. They were bringing five-man pressures inside. It wasn’t like they were just completely zero blitzing us. They were dropping back in the coverage scheme. They would just bring a different guy here and there and their mixup this week was their plan and early on it got us. Later we made an adjustment to it and at that point it was a little bit too late.”
The only truly bright spot for Oklahoma was freshman kicker Austin Seibert, who has now made eight consecutive field goals, the most ever by a Sooner to start a career. He was perfect on the day in field goal attempts and extra points.
OU fumbled a kickoff return that set up the second Texas touchdown. Each team had only five penalties.
“There wasn’t a lot of flukey plays that could really change the game, and they won a good, hard-fought game,” said OU coach Bob Stoops.
Stoops said OU had at least four missed tackles early and were outplayed generally by the Texas offensive and defensive lines.
“I think missed tackles were a big part of it defensively,” Bob Stoops said
OU center Ty Darlington analyzed the poor play of the offensive line.
“A lot of times we have four guys do a good job and then one guy make a mistake, and it’s a different guy every time,” Darlington said. “We’ll see on film what happened. We’ve got to be more physical not just Saturday but have to be more physical every day of the week and have a much better mentality. When we take the field, we can’t wait until — in the second half we started getting some drives, started doing a little bit better, and we can’t wait until the second half. We have to start fast. Whatever we did, it will be on the tape and see exactly what we need to do technically better, but our mentality and physicality has to improve a lot.”
OU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, who replaced Josh Heupel and was hired to fix the offense, explained the poor showing.
“It was a little bit of everybody,” Riley said. “It wasn’t just the offensive line. I had a couple of bad calls that put us in bad places, didn’t get the ball out a few times. Everyone contributed to that, and obviously the first part of the game we were behind the chains so much because of it. We were just playing catch up until the end.
“We failed on a route there the first drive, dropped an easy quick screen out there, we had some things. They did a good job of bringing pressure – Baker was a little unsettled early in the game and missed some things that we normally make pretty routine.
“We didn’t do it, and we gave them some confidence by not getting off to a fast start, and then it became a barnburner from there. There were some big holes out there, there were some opportunities, and we could not match up getting it protected and making the play to take advantage of it until the end of the game.
“We didn’t establish the run like we wanted to, so we have to give them credit.”