Saturday, October 8, 2011
Sooners fly high in Red Rivalry win
In the 106th all-time meeting between these two Big 12 rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners posted one of their biggest wins in the series, blowing out the Texas Longhorns 55-17 on Saturday afternoon at the Cotton Bowl.
The 55 points are the third-most the Sooners have scored against the Longhorns and the 38-point loss is the third-worst by Texas in the Red River Rivalry game under coach Mack Brown.
Oklahoma broke the game open in the second quarter, outscoring Texas 28-7, as Landry Jones passed for 171 yards and three touchdowns. The Sooners have owned the second quarter this season, with a plus-79 point differential while averaging 19.2 points per game in those 15 minutes.
Turnovers once again proved to be a difference-maker in this game, with Oklahoma having the edge, 5-1, over Texas in the victory. In each of the last seven seasons, the team who won the turnover battle has also won the game.
Defensive pressure was key to Oklahoma’s victory. The team scored 31 points off the five turnovers it forced, marking the first time it has converted a Texas turnover into points since 2005. Oklahoma also set a school record with three defensive touchdowns in the game.
The Sooners defense forced Texas into 17 negative plays on offense, which matches the most the Longhorns have had in a game since 2004. Texas also had 17 negative plays in the 2009 Big 12 Championship game.
Jones finished with 367 yards and three touchdown passes, reaching the 300-yard mark for the fourth time in five games this season. He thrived against the Texas blitz, completing 9-of-13 passes for 118 yards, including two touchdowns.
Ryan Broyles was once again a favorite target of Jones, catching nine passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. It was the 42nd career receiving touchdown for Broyles, tying Oklahoma State’s Rashaun Woods for all-time Big 12 record.
This was the fifth time since 2000 that Texas and Oklahoma have played each other when both teams were unbeaten. Oklahoma has now won four of those five matchups, avenging a loss in the last such meeting in 2008.
So what does this win mean for Oklahoma? Over the last several years, the winner of the Red River Rivalry game has not only played a big role in who wins the Big 12 but also who plays for the National Championship.
Entering this season, in five of the last seven years, the winner of the Texas-Oklahoma game has won the Big 12 title. And since the 2003 season, either Texas or Oklahoma has played for the BCS title five times.