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CFN Analysis - Red River Rout

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 13, 2012


Oklahoma embarrasses Texas making a tremendous statement.

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Is it possible that Oklahoma, by not really being like Oklahoma, could have found the right mix and the right formula at the right time? The Sooners are getting better as the season is going on, and this time around it just might work.

The big storyline is Texas and how a team loaded with as much NFL talent as any team in the nation could be this bad, can’t tackle, and can be outclassed in every way possible, and Mack Brown is certainly on a hot seat now, but this is also about Oklahoma. This is about how the team might have figured it out and can use the last two weeks to build on and get back into the national title chase.

Over the years, OU has come out roaring, put up big numbers in stunning blowouts, and looked every bit the part of a national champion, and then came the gags. Whether it was last year against Texas Tech and Baylor, or against Missouri a few years ago after starting out No. 1 in the BCS standings, the Sooners were always a bit of a mirage. This year, they came out sluggish with a poor game against UTEP and a tough loss to Kansas State, but against Texas the old spark was back.

After a strong win at Texas Tech when the defense forced a slew of big mistakes, OU came back roaring and in total command from the start against Texas with a bruising opening scoring drive, a thrilling scoring dash from Damien Williams – thanks to the inability of the Longhorns to tackle – and one of the most impressive wins in the Stoops vs. Brown era.

This was a total team win for the Sooners with speed, power and flash on offense and stop after stop on defense. This is the Oklahoma team everyone has been waiting for over the last few years, and now it’s a question of sustaining it.

By Richard Cirminiello

Please be careful and be sure to watch your step as you exit Manny Diaz’s bandwagon.

Texas had a multitude of problems in Dallas today. And while defense wasn’t the only one, it sure was a big one as Oklahoma pulled away and hid in the first half. Wasn’t this supposed to be the Big 12’s best D, a Diaz-coached unit that was steeped in future pros? The ‘Horns are still loaded with next-level talent, yet you’d have no way of knowing based on the recent box scores—31 points allowed to Ole Miss, 36 points allowed to Oklahoma State and 48 allowed in last week’s loss to West Virginia.

And then there was today, a dreadful low-point in 2012 for a Texas team that began the year with such incredibly high hopes, based largely on the anticipated play of that defense. They missed tackles, missed assignments and generally looked lost throughout the day, especially on the second level.

Texas now begins life as a program that’ll fall short on many of this year’s goals, laying the groundwork for what could be a very uncomfortable offseason for head coach Mack Brown. Oklahoma, on the other hand, has a new lease on life, having dominated what was essentially a BCS elimination game with its biggest rival. All of a sudden, that rout of Texas Tech in Lubbock last week doesn’t look so fluky or inconsequential now. And hopes for getting back into the national championship discussion don’t look so remote either.

The rest of the schedule is brutal, but if Diaz’s counterpart in this one, Mike Stoops, keeps maximizing his defensive talent, the Sooners are going to be an extremely tough out the rest of the way.

By Matt Zemek


In the aftermath of Oklahoma's beatdown of Texas, you are likely contemplating how prematurely West Virginia was anointed as a top-tier team by many pundits. While you do that, and while you also try to understand how Texas could forget how to tackle, keep one point in mind:

Mack Brown gave up on this game – and his team – only 12 and a half minutes into the 2012 edition of the Red River Rivalry.

The first quarter wasn't even over – 2:30 remained on the clock at the Cotton Bowl – but the Longhorns, down 13-2 with a defense that was getting gashed by Oklahoma's offensive front, needed their offense to make some plays. At the very least, Texas needed its offense to keep the ball away from the Sooners' dominant offense. Merely keeping the ball for four or five minutes, even without points, would have slowed Oklahoma's runaway momentum.

Brown and his staff – due to a replay review of a fumble (a review that was overturned, giving Texas the ball back) – had ample time to think about and then call a play on fourth and one from the Texas 27. Naturally, there was and is an element of risk involved when a coach goes for it inside his own 30 in the first quarter of a big game. Yet, given the helplessness of his defense at that point in time, Brown had to go for it. There shouldn't have been much of a debate about the matter. Yet, he punted.

Oklahoma gladly accepted the Texas punt, drove 62 yards for a touchdown, and the contest was over at 20-2, early in the second quarter.

Perhaps at a lower-tier program, you can coach to keep the margin of defeat close. You can't do that when you're Tennessee (Lane Kiffin at Florida in September of 2009), and you definitely can't do that when you're Texas. Mack Brown gave up on his team, and then his team gave up on him.