The Texas offense shook off two turnovers and a cold streak in the 3rd quarter and the staff pressing on two first half 4th down attempts to rescue multiple possessions on 3rd and long (Texas was 9 of 14 on 3rd down conversions and amassed an amazing 33 first downs) and destroy an outmatched Kansas defense late to power Texas to the 50-48 win.
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.
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.
Collectively, the first effort of the year that resembled some of the lowlights of last year's offense: a second half descent into why-is-everything-is-so-hard grind, way too many 3rd and longs, overall poor play (penalties, Ehlinger's bad INT, bad routes, a couple of OL defeats) in the 3rd quarter, and some struggles with Mountaineer defensive adjustments out of halftime.
If you're feeling pretty confident in the Texas offense (I am) and you think the Texas defense can stop conventional running attacks (probably), then assessing opponent QB play is paramount in reasonably predicting the rest of the season. It's very early with a lot of football yet to be played, but I've got a pretty decent sense of the landscape.
Both Texas and West Virginia come out of the bye week at 3-1, but both programs look very different under the hood. Holgo didn't flee the mountains just because he hated the night life. He knows what left the program (5 NFL draft picks, the offense) and what was coming back. Of course, Major Applewhite didn't exactly set the table for him in Houston, but let's explore that tangent elsewhere.