Friday, August 21, 2009

Sooners Hook the Horns in Dallas

Every year there is a reason for one of the teams to seek revenge. It may be a losing streak. It may be how the star player got hurt. It may be getting back at the other team for knocking your team out of the conference and national championship race the season before. Whatever it is, it fuels the Oklahoma-Texas rivalry. The 2009 Red River Rivalry was no different.

If one thinks back to about one year ago, most will recall Texas coming back and beating Oklahoma by a final score of 45-35. Sooner fans felt cheated due to the in-game injury of middle linebacker Ryan Reynolds and how the Longhorns took advantage of the loss by hitting crossing patterns the rest of the game which led to their victory, the third in the last four years. Most will also recall the BCS battle the two teams went through down the back stretch of the season when the Sooners ended up the champions of the Big XII South due to the conference tie-breaker rules. The rules determined the highest ranked team in the final BCS rankings determines the conference champ in the event of a three-way tie. The final BCS rankings put the one-loss Sooners ahead of the one-loss Longhorns. Most national media made comments about the apparent slight to Texas but usually failed to mention Texas' loss to Texas Tech, a team Oklahoma destroyed in Norman in a nationally televised game on ABC.

Coming into 2009, the national media again jumped on the Longhorns as the Big XII South favorites over Oklahoma and had already annoited Colt McCoy as the Heisman Trophy favorite over 2008 winner Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) and 2007 winner Tim Tebow (Florida). The Sooners did McCoy no favors.

Oklahoma's Jeremy Beal (#44) sacks McCoy in the first quarter at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday.

The Sooner defense was ready for what the Longhorns brought to Dallas. They knew the 'Horns didn't have an established run game and would rely on Colt McCoy to run and pass the ball. If the Longhorns had any hopes of winning they knew they had to have some breaks go their way and McCoy had to have the game of his life.

McCoy had an average day through the air, completing 19 of his 29 (65%) passes for 239 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. On the ground it was a different story. McCoy rushed 7 times total for minus thirteen (-13) yards and was sacked three times. The Longhorn rushing game all together was held to 39 yards on 24 attempts (1.6ypc) by the Sooner defense, led by the Sooner Player of the Game, defensive end Jeremy Beal (9 tackles, 3 tackels for loss, 3 sacks).

The Sooners never were in any real danger of losing the game. They jumped out to a 14-3 lead on two Sam Bradford touchdown passes (Gresham and Broyles) and took that lead into the half.

The second half was also controlled by the Sooners, but it must be noted that the 'Horns scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to make the score look respectable. The Sooners showed good sportsmanship by not scoring in the final minute of the game when down at the Longhorn 1 yard line with a first down. They instead took a knee and let the final seconds of the game tick away.
Some of the highlights:
--This 70 yard kick-off return by Jordan Shipley (below) was earily similar to his kick-off return TD in 2008 that swung momentum to the side of the 'Horns. It nearly did the same this year.

--Bradford hits Gresham (below) in Q2 for the game's 1st TD

--Bradford hits Broyles (below) on a SWEET pass...

Stats of Note:


Bradford, OU: 23-33-310-3 TD-1 INT

McCoy, UT: 1-29-239-1 TD-0 INT


Murray, OU: 21-58-2.7-0 TD

Johnson, UT: 16-57-3.5-1 TD


Gresham, OU: 7-99-14.1-1 TD

Tennell, OU: 4-91-22.7-1 TD

Broyles, OU: 3-77-25.6-1 TD

Williams, UT: 4-55-13.7-1 TD


Beal, OU: 9 TKL, 3 TFL, 3 Sacks

Acho, UT: 11 TKL, 3 TFL, 2 Sacks

Players of the Game:

Oklahoma: Beal

Texas: Acho

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. That last TD vid is pretty sweet. I know that play - just started toying with that formation. Haven't been able to hit that route yet though.