Oklahoma and Texas played a four-overtime marathon game in 2020 so the 2021 game was already going to be difficult to top. They absolutely did it though as Kennedy Brooks scored the winning touchdown, with three seconds left on the clock, in a game that the once Sooners trailed 28-7.
This game literally had everything – spectacular plays, special teams plays, dueling running backs, turnovers, and the beginnings of a quarterback controversy. That said, the final score is what ultimately matters and the Sooners walked off the field on the plus side of a 55-48 decision that moved them to 6-0 on the season.
We’ll have more postgame coverage to come but here are some initial thoughts.
The Game Defining Moment
If you listen to our podcast, you know that I was not in favor of replacing Spencer Rattler for Caleb Williams. I feel like my reasons were good but I can’t take that stance anymore. I was wrong! There’s a different vibe to this offense when Williams is on the field and it became evident on the first snap that he took today.
At that point Williams replacing Rattler wasn’t the plan but it was in the cards. Williams’s 66-yard touchdown run gave Oklahoma life in a game in which they weren’t up against the ropes they were down on the canvas with the 10-count going strong. Texas had delivered what seemed to be the knockout punch but Williams literally picked them up and willed them to victory. I haven’t seen a team (players on both sides of the ball) rally around a quarterback since Baker Mayfield was on campus.
Williams ended the day with 300 total yards of offense and three touchdowns.
If you happen to be someone that has lost faith in Sooner Magic then may I please present this Caleb Williams to Marvin Mims to you.
A Tale Of Two Halves
It’s important to pause here and give Texas credit for the hot start. Particularly in the first quarter, but for most of the first half, the Longhorns outplayed and outcoached the Sooners. That progressively changed as the afternoon moved on. Texas outscored Oklahoma 28-7 in the first quarter but that was the only quarter where the Longhorns outscored OU. The Sooners took the second quarter by a slim 13-10 margin then they outscored the UT 10-3 in the third before dominating the final quarter 25-7. Oklahoma outscored Texas 35-10 in the second half!
Marvin Mims Is Back!
Mims looked like a super sophomore on Saturday. The Frisco, Texas native hauled in five catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. It was his most productive game of the season in terms of yardage and the two touchdowns were his first of the season.
It’s Ride or Die Time With Williams And Brooks
Not only did Caleb Williams replace Spencer Rattler but Kennedy Brooks made his first start of the season at running back. After accounting for over 500 total yards of offense, this is the duo that Lincoln Riley has to go with for the remainder of the season. Yes, that would likely send Spencer Rattler into the transfer portal but, at the season’s midway point, Riley has to throw caution into the wind and let the cards fall where they may in December.
Ride The Wave Of Momentum
The Red River Rivalry changed the trajectory of Oklahoma’s 2020 season. Winning in Dallas propelled the Sooners on to the conference championship and then a Cotton Bowl win over Florida.
OU was a two-loss team going into last year’s Texas game. This year they entered the contest with a 5-0 record and a national ranking at #6, yet once again they seemed to have discovered themselves and hit their stride in the second half. Is this the year that the wave of momentum rides them to an undefeated regular season?
Will There Be A Recruiting Fallout?
As the home team, Texas had 90 recruits on their sideline for the game. That’s 90 recruits that saw Lincoln Riley turn to a freshman to guide his team back from the brink of disaster. That’s 90 recruits that saw Texas throw haymaker after haymaker and still not be able to knockout the six-time reigning conference champs. That’s 90 recruits who have some thinking to do.
The Problem Child
Bijan Robinson didn’t disappoint on Saturday but the star in burnt orange was Xavier Worthy. Yes, he had a crucial fumble late in the game but the freshman receiver caught nine passes for 261 yards and scored twice in an unbelievable performance.
There was a ton of talk about Texas running back Bijan Robinson coming into this game and very little talk about Kennedy Brooks. Not only did Brooks outgain the Big 12’s leading rusher in total yards he also had a higher yards per carry average. Brooks carried the ball 25 times for 217 yards (8.7 YPC) and scored Oklahoma’s final two touchdowns of the game (On the exact same play) to walk-off with the win. Brooks’ 217 yards were a career high.
Defensively it was Brian Asamoah who led the team with 7 total tackles but the disruptive play of Nik Bonitto helped flip the advantage to Oklahoma in the second half. Bonitto finished with five total tackles but also had 1.5 quarterback sacks. As a team OU had six tackles for loss on the day.
The Sooners return to Norman next weekend to host TCU.
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