Sooners ready for more

The Sooners demolished Texas on Saturday, giving them much-needed confidence

Updated: October 14, 2012, 10:47 AM ET
By Jake Trotter | SoonerNation

DALLAS -- Senior defensive lineman Jamarkus McFarland took a victory lap around the Sooners' side of the Cotton Bowl, waving an oversized Oklahoma flag. Kenny Stills put the Golden Hat Trophy on his head and galloped in circles in the end zone.

The celebrating, however, started long before that.

OU put the Longhorns away in the first half, then bloodied them in the second on the way to a dominating 63-21 victory.

"We're capable of doing a lot," said Landry Jones, who became the winningest quarterback in OU history with Saturday's victory. "We're capable of doing this all the time."

[+] EnlargeBlake Bell
AP Photo/Michael Mulvey"Belldozer" quarterback Blake Bell carried the ball 11 times for 31 yards and four scores against Texas.

If so, the rest of the Big 12 is in trouble.

This is how dominant the Sooners were: Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro said the OU receivers began telling him what plays were coming.

"They were like, 'We're running it here,'" Vaccaro said. "That's it."

By halftime, the Sooners had outgained Texas 407 yards to 65 and produced both the longest rush and longest pass in the history of the Red River Rivalry. Damien Williams' 95-yard touchdown run gave the Sooners a 13-2 lead late in the first quarter. Later, fullback Trey Millard took a pass out of the backfield, hurdled a Texas defender and rumbled for a 73-yard gain to set up the Sooners' fourth touchdown of the game.

"We had some struggles early in the year, but we're starting to pick it up," said Williams, who finished with 167 yards on 22 carries. "The guys are getting after it."

As good as the OU offense was, the defense was even better. Texas entered the game with the nation's sixth-highest scoring offense but got just two first downs in the first half and didn't cross the OU 36-yard line on offense until late in the fourth quarter, when the Sooners inserted the reserves.

"The defense was stoning them and the offense would go right down the field," said coach Bob Stoops, who has beaten Texas coach Mack Brown by at least 38 points four times since becoming Oklahoma's head coach. "Just a complete game."

Since losing to Kansas State on Sept. 22, the Sooners have played as well as anyone in the country.

"That early loss could've ruined the season," center Gabe Ikard said. "But I think the team showed what kind of character the guys on this team have."

The ground game with Williams and "Belldozer" quarterback Blake Bell has been virtually unstoppable. The Sooners also continue to add weapons in the passing game. Just this week, Fresno State transfer Jalen Saunders was cleared to play by the NCAA. Despite practicing only two days with the first-team offense, Saunders had two catches for 54 yards against Texas.

The Sooners are also playing their best defense in three years, thanks to the return of defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, who has reshaped a secondary that struggled last season into an overwhelming force. Texas quarterback David Ash found that out firsthand, as he completed just 13 of 29 passes with two interceptions before getting knocked out of the game with a wrist injury.

"We tried to hit them in the mouth early, and finish hitting them in the mouth," said cornerback Aaron Colvin, who had an interception. "We didn't want to give [them] a chance to make any plays.

"When they got down, guys were saying, 'Let's step on their throat.' And we did."

While the win over Texas was impressive, the Sooners still have to go through a gantlet of a schedule that includes Notre Dame. But it also presents an opportunity for more statements like Saturday.

"Our team is ready for big games," safety Tony Jefferson said. "It's the perfect time for us to get on a roll."