RECAP: Best and worst of Texas-Oklahoma game

By Jake Meltzer, Sports Contributor
Cheddar

The Golden Hat will travel back to Norman with the Sooners, as Oklahoma was able to take down Tom Herman's Longhorns by a score of 34-27. 

The highly anticipated Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl did not go in Texas' favor, and now they will have to regroup as they will try to put this loss behind them.

As expected, both teams came out the gates heated. A little too heated, perhaps, as the intensity could be felt before the game kicked off. Every single player on each team was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a large confrontation between nearly half of both team's players occurred at midfield.  

As for the game, it seemed that the Texas defense had no answer for Jalen Hurts. Oklahoma dominated the first half, holding Texas to only 83 total yards, 48 of which came on the final drive of the half. Jalen Hurts had 107 yards just on the ground in the first two quarters. Oklahoma only won this game by seven points, but this was a truly dominant performance by one of the best teams in college football.

Texas was able to keep the game close early, thanks to a couple of turnovers by Hurts in the first half, but this tough Oklahoma offense prevailed and took down their rivals. Here are some highs and lows from today's Red River Showdown.

Player of the game:

Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb became the only player in the history of the Texas/OU rivalry with three receiving touchdowns in a game. He had 171 receiving yards and hauled in a career-high 10 catches. His third touchdown, a ball in which he caught in triple coverage, broke two tackles and scored, was one of the most impressive touchdowns I have ever seen. While the tackling (or lack of) on the play was sloppy, Lamb showed his pure dominance on this game-sealing touchdown. He is this week's player of the game.

Here is a look at that third touchdown:

Momentum shift:

As I said earlier, Texas was able to keep this game close, for the most part. However, their defense again showed a lack of discipline. Senior Malcolm Roach, a guy who players and coaches look at as the leader of this team, was ejected for targeting with a little less than nine minutes remaining in the third quarter. This seemed to take the life out of the Texas defense. Within a minute of that, CeeDee Lamb caught a touchdown to put the Sooners up two possessions.

Defensive concerns:

While Sam Ehlinger certainly struggled to get the ball moving more than usual, this defense's lack of discipline and inability to tackle is what lost them the game. On multiple occasions, Texas defenders failed to wrap-up on plays that turned from small to big gains. It seemed like every time a defender got close to Jalen Hurts, the quarterback found a way to make them miss. It was a rarity to see an Oklahoma running back stuffed at the line, and two of CeeDee Lamb's touchdowns were solely a result of missed tackles. If this Longhorn team wants to even be mentioned in the College Football Playoff picture, this defense must avoid performances like the one Saturday.

Here is just one example of Texas' inability to make tackles in this game:

Offensive Line Play:

The Texas offensive line was non-existent Saturday, as the Sooners sacked Sam Ehlinger nine times. It seemed as if the Texas quarterback was pressured on nearly every play and took enough hits to feel it Sunday. For only the second time this year, Texas lost this battle in the trenches. Ehlinger had little time to find his receivers and although he found the end-zone twice on the ground, he finished with -9 rushing yards. The space and time were just not there Saturday for Sam.

Looking Ahead:

While the score may not show it, Oklahoma dominated this game on both sides of the ball. Texas added nine more penalties Saturday, their leader was ejected, they missed tackles and never really got the ball moving on offense. This loss is definitely going to hurt Texas and their playoff chances, but this team is far from done. Collin Johnson certainly showed a bit of rust, however, it was clear that his presence had been missed on offense.

The Texas defensive backs forced a couple of big turnovers that kept them in this game. The defense will continue to heal and grow back to full force, and the ‘Horns are still led by one of the best quarterbacks in college football. 

Texas will have to put this loss behind them and continue to grind through their conference schedule. They will take on Kansas at home next week, which should be an easy way to get some of their confidence back after a rough loss to their biggest rival.

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