Before we move on to Baylor, I want to offer some final thoughts on the Oklahoma game, touching on some of the things we've yet to discuss. First, the defense, and then some final thoughts on what the victory meant for Texas.
It's pretty hard to fault the group for much of anything on Saturday afternoon. The unit was 100% committed to stopping Adrian Peterson, and they were as successful as you're going to be against someone of his caliber - especially in the second half, when he was limited to just 38 yards.
Texas was bit on two play action passes that got over the top of the safeties, but it was a price we were willing to pay in our efforts to stop Peterson. Other than those bites, the secondary was outstanding, especially in run support, where they helped keep Peterson from getting going on anything.
The linebackers were, to put it mildly, excellent. Bobino, Kelson, and yes, even Scott Derry, were just terrific flying around the field, laying huge hits, containing the run, helping in pass support - everything you'd like your linebackers to do. We shouldn't be that surprised at this group's development - the linebackers are Coach Chizik's specialty, and he's proving his excellence once again.
As for the line, well, you saw it. Brian Robison was a possessed man out there Saturday. He helped set the tone for a day of high energy and huge hitting. It was just a total reversal from the days when it was Oklahoma setting the tone defensively. The Longhorns proved themselves to be the better, more physical defense for the second straight season, and even managed to produce a stunning five turnovers.
The Sooners had six offensive possessions on Saturday afternoon: Punt, Punt, Fumble, Fumble, Interception, Interception.
Longhorn fans were foaming at the mouth for another win in this rivalry, and the implications of the victory extend well beyond helping Texas along its 2006 season.
The win established that the Horns could whip the Sooners without Vince Young.
Mack Brown and Greg Davis outcoached Bob Stoops and his minions.
The win sent a very loud message to recruits about who the Big 12's top team is.
The win silenced all the annoying critics that were waiting to write stories about what this team, and Mack Brown, couldn't be.
I could go on and on about how big this win was for us, but I think most of us on this site understand already. It's not that the program wasn't going to keep rolling along if we lost. It's that the head of steam is that much stronger with this victories, for all the reasons listed above.
In some ways, Vince Young's decision to leave early to pursue his professional career was the best thing for the Texas Longhorns, as well. If Vince returns to this team, the team could never really win. Capture the title and they only "met expectations." But lose a game and the season's a failure. Without Vince, Texas has had a chance to establish an identity as a force to be reckoned with - VY or not. That we've succeeded just affirms what most of us knew all along anyway.
There ain't no better time to be a Longhorn fan.