The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 5, 2013

Gap between Sooners, greatness put on display

(Continued)

ARLINGTON, Texas —

Maybe it took the world’s largest hi-def screen to prove it replay after replay Friday night, but that’s exactly what it did.

Manziel may never be an NFL quarterback, or he might, but that doesn’t mean he can’t own the college game as long he’s in College Station like nobody before him on any campus ever has.

Meanwhile, the Sooner Nation should hope that every time Bob Stoops interrupted a question daring to question the talent of his defensive line and linebackers, he was merely blowing smoke in their great defense. Because if the talent can’t be upgraded, then what’s OU to do?

Really, Manziel may be the best anybody’s ever seen, but he wasn’t alone the second half of the season.

Between Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and A&M, four of the season’s last five games, the Sooners allowed almost 600 yards per Saturday and more than 250 on the ground.

Everybody was pulling their hair out last year over what happened in Waco and Stillwater, yet by the end of this one the defense was no better and, pretty clearly, worse.

So bad, in fact, what happened Friday night at Cowboys Stadium, while disappointing and laying OU’s deficiencies bare, it was nonetheless an odd reverse-tribute to a regular season that included 10 wins, two losses that might have gone the other way and a shared conference championship.

Against Baylor, West Virginia and OSU, the Sooners remained their limited selves, just as they were against A&M.

OU won those games on grit and character and the finest moments of the artist formerly known as Landry Jones; at least for Sooner fans who never fell in love with him, but might only have been on the good side of six or seven games this season, nowhere near 10, without him.

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