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No. 3 OU 55, No. 11 Texas 17

October 10, 2011
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

DALLAS (AP) - Travis Lewis took the Golden Hat trophy and treated it like a real hat, holding it to his head as he trotted along the field, waving to the thousands of Oklahoma fans still in their seats. When he got to the section where friends and family were sitting, Lewis walked alongside the railing, holding out the trophy for folks to touch.

So many people starred in this resounding victory that it only made sense for plenty of people to take part in the celebration.

Landry Jones threw three touchdown passes, Dominique Whaley ran 64 yards for a touchdown and three defensive players found their way into the end zone, too, powering No. 3 Oklahoma to a 55-17 victory over No. 11 Texas on Saturday - the kind of whipping that could help the Sooners return to the top of the poll.

OU was No. 1 from the preseason until two weeks ago. The Sooners slipped to second after struggling at home against Missouri, then to third even after whipping lowly Ball State. Voters were more impressed by what they saw from SEC heavyweights LSU and Alabama.

This performance, however, showed that Oklahoma is as good as folks originally thought.

The Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) were precise on offense and swarming on defense. They scored the first four times they had the ball and cruised to leads of 24 at halftime and 45 midway through the fourth quarter. Texas' only touchdown on offense came in the final minutes, long after Oklahoma was on its way to the most lopsided win over its Red River rival since 2003, when it won by a series-record 52 points.

"It was an excellent day," OU coach Bob Stoops said. "To come down in here in this situation and win like that is really pretty special."

Jones was 31 of 50 for 367 yards and no turnovers. He improved to 2-0 against the Longhorns, and gave Oklahoma its third win over Texas in five years.

Oklahoma's most impressive feat was the three defensive touchdowns: an interception returned 55 yards from Demontre Hurst, a sack-fumble returned 19 yards by David King and a vicious strip of a receiver taken 56 yards by Jamell Fleming . It was the first time in the school's long, proud history that its defense has scored three times in one game, and only the second time a pair of fumbles were returned for TDs. Oklahoma matched another school record with eight sacks.

"To me there is nothing more fun than a defensive touchdown when you're on that side of it," Stoops said.

Here's yet another nice bit of history for Sooners to savor: this win pushed Oklahoma ahead of Texas for the fourth-best winning percentage among major colleges. Only Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State are better. The Longhorns actually slipped from third to fifth.

Texas (4-1, 1-1) was trying to figure out how far it's come since being 5-7 last season. Now coach Mack Brown's knows his squad still has a ways to go, especially on offense.

Sophomore Case McCoy and freshman David Ash had their share of rookie mistakes at quarterback, such as McCoy losing two fumbles and Ash throwing two interceptions. Receiver Mike Davis was to blame for the pickpocket fumble.

The two times Oklahoma didn't immediately score on those turnovers, the Sooners still cashed them in for points, getting a field goal and a touchdown on the ensuing drives.

"You don't give yourself a chance to win," Brown said.

With the Sooners swarming running plays and getting heavy pressure on passes, McCoy and Ash couldn't keep drives going. The longest completions before the game turned into a joke were a screen for 15 yards and an 18-yarder along the sideline against a prevent defense in the final seconds of the first half.

How silly did it become? Late in the third quarter, Texas let a first-and-10 at the Oklahoma 15 turn into a fourth-and-49 from its own 47. The ensuing punt didn't even reach the first-down marker.

"You learn so much from a loss like this," Ash said. "You learn what it takes to play at the level Oklahoma plays. They're a great team. It's great to get exposed to that. We're a young team. The great thing is we have so much potential to become a really great team."

The Sooners were so ready for the Longhorns that they let them know it before kickoff. Oklahoma players lined up between the 30s and hollered at Texas players as they ran onto the field. Coaches and officials scrambled to maintain peace.

OU drove inside the Texas 10 on its first two series, but settled for field goals of 26 and 24 yards, seemingly bothered by the noise at the end of the field occupied by Texas fans. The Sooners moved into the friendly end for the start of the second quarter and, on the first play, Jones threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills.

Oklahoma got the ball back on an interception by Tony Jefferson, a defensive back who picked off passes on three consecutive series against Ball State. Jones threaded a 30-yard pass between two defenders on a third-and-25, then hit Ryan Broyles with a 5-yard pass just inside the right front corner of the end zone.

The play had to be reviewed, and Oklahoma fans used the break to start chanting "Boomer! Sooner!" Longhorns fans answered with their chant "Texas! Fight!" Their cries lasted longer and were louder than their foe's, only to end with the news that the touchdown stood.

Texas fans were hardly heard from again. Once Oklahoma got its third defensive score - the strip of Davis with 11:22 left - most folks in burnt orange headed out to drown their sorrows at the State Fair going on all around the Cotton Bowl.

Jones was 31 of 50 for 367 yards and no turnovers. He improved to 2-0 against the Longhorns, and gave Oklahoma its third win over Texas in five years.

Broyles caught nine passes for 122 yards, leaving him four receptions shy of the NCAA career record. He also tied a conference record with his 42nd career TD catch. Stills caught five passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns.

Whaley ran for 83 yards on 13 carries.

McCoy was 9 of 16 for 116 yards and three sacks. Ash was 11 of 20 for 107 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions and four sacks. Jaxon Shipley caught nine passes for 89 yards, including a 4-yard TD pass from Ash with 2:31 left. He took one snap at quarterback and was sacked.

Fozzy Whitaker had the 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, tying the school record. He also ran for 43 yards and caught a pass for 15.

 
 

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