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January 6, 2013

Field goals weren’t going to get job done

ARLINGTON, Texas —  If Oklahoma was going to have any chance to win the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, it was going to need to score touchdowns. It didn’t in the 41-13 loss to Texas A&M.

Having to settle for field goals on its first two possessions after long drives kept the Sooners from seizing the early momentum. Both times, they drove inside the Aggies’ 10-yard line, but settled for two field goals.

“The two drives early, certainly against an explosive team like this, you want to be able to put up seven points instead of three. Threes all night aren’t going to be good enough,” OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said.

OU’s opening drive told the story of the night. It had two shots with Blake Bell’s short-yardage package from the Texas A&M 3-yard line. Bell was stuffed for no gain and threw away a pass when fullback Jaydan Bird was covered on third down.

“They kind of outplayed us up in there, didn’t allow us to score,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “How much that would have helped, who knows. Still, only gives you a few more points at half.”

The only success OU had in the red zone was at the end of the first half. Quarterback Landry Jones hit Justin Brown for a 7-yard touchdown on a third-down scramble.

The Sooners never reached the red zone in the second half.

Stadium issues: Friday night’s game was the third for OU in Cowboys Stadium and it is now 1-2 following a 14-13 loss to BYU (Sept. 5, 2009) and a 23-20 victory over Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship Game (Dec. 4, 2010).

The win was the Aggies’ first in Cowboys Stadium. They’d lost their previous four games there.

Going out with a boot: Punter Tress Way played his last collegiate game on Friday. The senior did leave a very strong impression with NFL scouts.

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