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Jorge Luis Borges called the Falklands War “Two bald men fighting over a comb” and that’s what it felt like watching Texas battle Oklahoma this Saturday. Somehow, the low stakes made it feel all the more desperate.
53 points on the scoreboard suggests that the Oklahoma offense ran up and down the field like it was a classic Mack Brown era OU butt-kicking, but the Texas defense actually held Oklahoma to under 5 yards per play (97 plays-469 yards-4.8 yards per play) and did a fine job of holding down the downfield threat of the Sooner passing game. The Longhorns also forced three turnovers, resulting in 10 Texas points.
Sooner QB Spencer Rattler, who would have been the Faceman for the 1986 Celtics, was benched for ineffectiveness, returned in the second half, and finished the game with a modest 23 of 35 for 209 yards passing stat line. He ran effectively on some key downs and regained his composure enough to manage a hyper-conservative Sooner ball control attack that evoked the 1990 Bill Parcells Giants. Lincoln Riley was clearly leery of his QB play, pulled in the reins, and still found his points with a newly revived Oklahoma running game and a variety of low risk passing game targets.
It also helped Riley that our defense is frequently stupid and undisciplined, now a defining characteristic of the Longhorn program as whole.
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Photo via Caten Hyde/OU Athletics