NORMAN — Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel had been vilified after Oklahoma’s loss to Kansas State. It was a 180-degree switch on Saturday. Statistically, OU’s had better games. The offense, however, was balanced throughout, scoring four touchdowns and a field goal in a six-possession span.
“In the first half, you saw success because the guys played the next play, whether the previous one was good or bad and most of them were good. They executed at a high level,” Heupel said. “The difference between success and failure is an extremely fine line. Our guys were on the right side today. They were emotionally and physically at their peak. They invested in the process and trusted each other and went out there and competed hard.”
The picks finally came: OU had only forced one turnover prior to Saturday’s game. Getting three turned out to be the difference in the game.
“(Defensive coordinator) Mike Stoops has been in our ear, especially this past week, as far as getting turnovers,” said cornerback Aaron Colvin, who had an interception and tipped another pass that safety Javon Harris returned for a touchdown. “Personally, I know I wanted to go throughout and try to make a play. That’s what happened.”
McFarland, Kasitati hurt: Defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland and guard Nila Kasitati limped off the field and did not return on Saturday. McFarland appeared to injure an ankle when he intercepted Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege in the first quarter. McFarland picked off the pass at the Red Raiders’ 17-yard line, but fumbled at the 3.
“I guess he twisted his ankle. I don’t know. I don’t know what his status is,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said.
Kasitati had to be helped off the field after injuring his right knee. No update was given on his status, but he left the locker room on crutches with ice wrapped around his right knee.
Moving up: Landry Jones did more than restore some confidence with his two-touchdown, no-interception effort on Saturday. He matched former OU quarterback Steve Davis (1973-75) for most career wins with 32. Davis went 32-1-1. Jones is now 32-9.
Jones also threw his 99th and 100th career touchdown passes, tying him for 13th on the NCAA’s all-time list.
Setting the table: The Sooners scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time this season. Against UTEP, Florida A&M and Kansas State, OU’s opening possession ended with two punts and a field goal.
“It just started the game off right. We wanted to start fast and whenever we got the ball, we wanted to go down and score,” center Gabe Ikard said. “We had a lot of good plays on that first drive that helped us out, for sure. The offensive line did a good job and the run game loosened everything up and that helped for the entire game.”
Different day: Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege threw for 452 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions against the Sooners last season. Saturday, he threw for 203 yards, no TDs and was picked off twice.
“They started bringing pressure on certain downs,” Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said of OU’s defense. “We didn’t protect him as well. When he started making some plays and getting the ball down field, they’re going to change things up, too. We’ve got to be able to pick it up, and we didn’t do it.”
John ShinnFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org