The nation’s best offense and potential Heisman winner Kyler Murray were too much for the Texas Longhorns on Saturday. Mistakes were made, the officiating was questionable, and the offense wasn’t able to do enough in this one. Oklahoma earned this victory and proved themselves as a College Football Playoff caliber team.
Whether Texas is a year away or not, they showed up and proved themselves against the Big 12’s best team twice this season. The future is indeed bright, especially for this freshman class.
With the new NCAA redshirt rule, which allows players to play up to four games without burning a redshirt, expect the Longhorns to manage those numbers carefully. To keep track of the new redshirt rule, the number of games that each player has appeared in will be listed next to their position. This will be updated game-by-game. If there is no number listed next to their position, this means they’ve already exceeded the four-game limit and can no longer redshirt. 11 true freshmen have surpassed that mark so far.
Caden Sterns left Saturday’s game late in the first half and was held out with a knee injury. He had an MRI on his knee on Sunday.
The sure-handed Lil’Jordan Humphrey returned kicks and punts instead of D’Shawn Jamison.
Keaontay Ingram (RB): Tim Beck and the Longhorns offense were unable to get anything going with Ingram. He rushed for eight yards on four carries. Although he sparingly touched the ball, credit Oklahoma’s defense for clogging the middle and holding Ingram in check. The Sooners run defense held the offense to just 88 total rushing yards for the game.
Ingram did succeed on check downs and screen passes with three receptions for 23 yards (7.7 YPC). He returns as the clear-cut No. 1 running back with Tre Watson graduating.
Season Stats: 133 carries for 684 yards (5.1 YPC) — 3 TDs, 24 receptions for 146 yards — 2 TDs (6.3 YPC)
Brennan Eagles (WR): Eagles surprisingly played more snaps than he usually does in Texas’ biggest game of the season. The big-body freshman wide receiver was targeted twice near the sideline, but Ehlinger wasn’t able to connect with him in time.
Season Stats: 1 reception for 35 yards
Moro Ojomo (DT-2): Ojomo got a couple of reps at defensive tackle in his second appearance.
Joseph Ossai (LB): Ossai played a couple snaps at linebacker as a backup and on special teams. With Charles Omenihu, Breckyn Hager, and Gary Johnson all graduating after this season — Ossai becomes one of the most important returning players at B-backer.
Season Stats: 11 tackles (5 solo), sack, FF
DeMarvion Overshown (LB/S): Overshown appeared on special teams but did not record any statistics.
Season Stats: 1 tackle
Anthony Cook (CB): The freshman cornerback played on special teams but did not record any statistics. One more final game for Kris Boyd and Davante Davis until Cook becomes the No. 1 cornerback.
Season Stats: 18 tackles (13 solo), PBU, sack
Jalen Green (CB): Green saw more action on special teams but did not record any statistics.
Season Stats: 1 tackle (solo)
B.J. Foster (S): Foster totaled seven tackles (four solo). He had a standout game as a run blitzer and made some quality tackles.
Foster had pretty solid coverage on Grant Calcaterra’s one-handed touchdown. The tight end just made an amazing catch.
Season Stats: 43 tackles (30 solo), 7 TFL, 2.5 sack, INT, FF, 2 PBUs
Caden Sterns (S): On Wednesday, Sterns became the seventh Longhorn to win the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year award.
The conferences best defensive freshman left the Big 12 championship game with a knee injury. The diagnosis of his injury was unknown, but it was enough to hold Sterns out of the second half. He had three solo tackles before leaving the game late in the first half.
After making a tremendous interception on a tipped pass breakup by Brandon Jones, the turnover was negated due to a 15-yard facemask penalty on Kris Boyd. Up 7-0, this turnover would have been huge, as it would have set the tone for the Texas defense and gave the offense a chance to make it a 14-point game right away.
Sterns also got beat for a 41-yard gain on a perfectly designed run-pass option by Oklahoma. Murray sucked Sterns in just enough and made an easy touch pass over the top of Sterns to CeeDee Lamb. This was simply better offense against the freshman.
Sterns’ impact at safety was missed in the second half as Murray started to heat up. The defense desperately needed a game-changing interception to turn things around.
Season Stats: 62 tackles (44 solo), 3 TFL, sack, 4 INTs, blocked FG, 4 PBUs
Cameron Dicker (K): Dicker’s first career missed extra-point was blocked with the game tied at 27 in the third quarter. In the end, it did not matter after all.
Season Stats: 16-22 FG (72.7%) — 4-5 20-29 yards, 4-5 30-39 yards, 7-10 40-49 yards, 1-2 50+ yards, 38-39 XPs (97.4%), 2 tackles (1 solo)
Ryan Bujcevski (P): In terms of starting field possession, Bujcevski really hurt the Longhorns in this category. His first punt was shanked for 23 yards and he later failed to pin the Sooners inside their own 20-yard-line with a touchback. After the touchback, Oklahoma’s offense stormed down the field in 41 seconds and scored a touchdown to put them ahead 20-14 at halftime, an outcome-defining turn of events right before the half.
Bujcevski’s best punt of the day was nearly pinned inside the Oklahoma 5-yard line, but Lamb smartly drew Josh Thompson into a kick-catch interference penalty. The Aussie averaged 37.2 yards on four punts.
Season Stats: 54 punts — 40.5 YPP, 13 downed inside-the-20, 8 50+ yards, 1 tackle
Other true freshmen that have played this season:
D’Shawn Jamison (WR/KR/PR)
Season Stats: 4 carries for 8 yards (2 YPC), 3 receptions for 2 yards, 10 kick returns — 20.2 YPR, 9 punt returns — 13.1 YPR - TD
Joshua Moore (WR)*
Season Stats: 7 receptions for 53 yards — TD
Malcolm Epps (TE-1)
Season Stats: 1 reception for 18 yards
Keondre Coburn (DT-2):
Season Stats: 1 tackle (solo)
Ayodele Adeoye (LB-3)
* - Injured