DALLAS — The game lasted nearly three and a half hours Saturday, but there was a 30-second scenario that defined Oklahoma’s afternoon at the Cotton Bowl.
Down 16 with a little less than 6 minutes remaining and facing third-and-goal from the 9-yard line, quarterback Blake Bell threw a slant to Jaz Reynolds that was dropped. OU followed it up with a delay of game penalty and Bell being sacked on fourth down.
“Overall, we just didn’t execute,” Bell said. Most of the 12th-ranked Sooners’ 36-20 loss to Texas played out that way. The Longhorns (4-2, 3-0 Big 12) made the big plays in what will be remembered as one of the more memorable upsets in the 108 Red River Rivalry games. Texas entered wounded by two early season losses and had the embattled coach to go along with a three-game losing streak to the Sooners.
Most were hard-pressed for rationale for how OU — a two-touchdown favorite — could lose this one. However, the Sooners (5-1, 2-1) found a way. Quarterback Blake Bell threw for just 133 yards to go along with two interceptions in one the least effective passing days OU has had in Dallas in years.
More puzzling: Bell had just three true rushing attempts on the day. Texas’ season was on the brink because it had struggled to stop the run — especially quarterbacks who could run. Opposing quarterbacks had averaged 104.5 rushing yards in the five games leading up to Saturday.
OU coach Bob Stoops didn’t really have an answer for that one and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel struggled for one as well.
“That’s just the way Coach Heupel and all of our offensive coaches wanted to go into the football game,” Stoops said. “Again, there were just some things we don’t feel so comfortable with in some areas with Blake.”