In one sense, Texas took Oklahoma pretty seriously in this contest. They didn't really run the base offense that had vaulted them up to a no. 4 ranking in the SP+ offensive ratings and had them looking like the best offense the 40 Acres had seen since 2008 or earlier. Instead, they tried to pick at the obvious Oklahoma weaknesses from unexpected looks and didn't seem to have much confidence in some of the sets that had served them so well in previous weeks.
The Texas defense forced two first half turnovers (forced fumble by Cook, interception by Brandon Jones) in the deep red zone and held Oklahoma and Jalen Hurts to 3 of 12 on 3rd down conversions. In combination with those turnovers, Jalen's third down struggles highlighted his weaknesses as a QB and were largely responsible for OU's 10 point halftime total.
I laughed when I heard that Tom Herman had Greg Davis in the building last week consulting on the game plan and made the expected jokes, but damned if I didn't see Texas rolling out a classic Longhorn circa 2000-2004 GD game plan on offense this Saturday. 3 points at halftime, 3.5 yards per play, and no ability to game plan pressure defense told the tale. The opposite of deceptive is apparent. We ran apparent offense.
Obviously Vegas thinks rather highly of Oklahoma given the -10.5 opening line. Vegas hasn’t had a great feel for this game in a while though, as you can see from the lines and outcomes of this game since the 63-21 thrashing in 2012 that led to the famous “When you write a piece like this” column from Scipio Tex regarding Mack Brown’s tenure.
The Sooners routed their first five opponents (UH, South Dakota, UCLA, Texas Tech, Kansas) by an average score of 53-19. Those five teams currently combine for a 10-17 overall record and the only Sooner opponent with a winning record - 3-2 Texas Tech - lost starting QB Alan Bowman the week prior and chose to start a grad transfer from Rice in Norman before hastily inserting Jett Duffey.
Texas didn't throw all that much at West Virginia offensively. The arsenal of 3x2 empty formation plays has expanded somewhat as they are obviously looking to keep opponents from keying Devin Duvernay so strongly in those sets, but those issues will largely resolve themselves when Collin Johnson returns to the fold.