Saturday, October 8, 2011
Halftime analysis: Oklahoma 34, Texas 10
By David Ubben
DALLAS -- Oklahoma has been the more experienced, more prepared and more aggressive team through the first half.
As a result, the Sooners have opened up a big lead and looked dominant while doing it. If not for early red-zone struggles, this could be even more lopsided.
Even still, at 34-10, this looks ugly for the Longhorns and it's a strong statement for Oklahoma to try and gain back some of the ground it lost in the polls in past weeks.
Turning point: Trailing 13-3, Texas quarterback David Ash threw an interception downfield to Tony Jefferson, who returned it 13 yards to the Texas 33-yard line to set up an eventual five-yard touchdown pass from Landry Jones to Ryan Broyles. That put Oklahoma up 20-3 and the game began looking out of reach for Texas. It still looks out of reach.
Stat of the half: Texas had 60 yards of offense in the first quarter. The Longhorns had 38 in the second quarter, including 18 on a pass to Mike Davis on the scoreless final drive of the half. Oklahoma's defense is playing physical, pressuring the quarterback, and making big plays. Demontre Hurst already returned David Ash's second interception of the day 55 yards for a touchdown.
Best player in the half: Jones. The Sooner signal caller has made a good Texas defense look bad for most of the first half, racking up 305 yards and three touchdowns on 23-of-35 passing and kept the Sooners offense humming throughout the half. Unbelievable stats against a pretty good, albeit inexperienced, Texas secondary.
What Oklahoma needs to do: Quit giving up big plays. Oklahoma looked like it was ready to send the Longhorns back to Austin after going up 27-3 late in the second quarter, but the Longhorns stuck around when Fozzy Whittaker took the ensuing kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown. He also cued the Oklahoma critics crying for a special teams coordinator. Texas' offense isn't built like Oklahoma's and can't sustain consecutive systematic drives. It doesn't have the experience. Big plays are all that can keep Texas in it, and if Oklahoma prevents them, it's over.
What Texas needs to do: Petition the Big 12 to vacate the results of the first half on account of ... uh ... something. Then figure out a way to shoehorn Philadelphia Eagles backup QB Vince Young into its 2011 lineup. After that, find a way to help its young core freshmen to come out of the tunnel with another year or two of experience.