Five Quick Thoughts: Out-foxed by Riley once again

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For the second time in a row, Lincoln Riley successfully out-coached Tom Herman in this series and in particular caught him with his defensive staff’s gameplan. Texas understandably went into this game intending to work over Oklahoma on the perimeter with the screen game early before circling back to the run game later. That didn’t work out, for reasons we’ll come back to later in this post, and the Longhorns were easily turned into a one-dimensional team that Oklahoma teed off against with pressures that resulted in 9 sacks over the course of the game.

The Texas defense didn’t really cover themselves with glory either, capitalizing on a couple of Jalen Hurts’ errors to kill otherwise dominant Sooner drives. Oklahoma’s starting tackles managed to make it on the field and not only picked up pressure well but paired up with some double tight end sets and Hurts’ own special running ability to power the Sooner run game for 268 rushing yards.

Herman is going to have to make some tough evaluations about how they have been getting out-coached in this contest. On the one hand, the main goal for the Longhorns this season is well within sight. They can still win the Big 12 championship, which has been the key step for this team to take for a decade now, but they’ve wasted the potential of this season. In a year when the Longhorns leave the state of Texas twice and face what may prove to the most limited passer that Oklahoma fields in the Riley era, they are a near lock to miss the playoffs now and will need to battle to get the elusive Big 12 championship.

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History major, football theorist.