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Sunday Armchair QB: Oklahoma Edition

Key Takeaways from a Red River beatdown of historic proportions


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather round, and give me your ears. There’s been a murder at the Dallas State Fairgrounds, witnessed by over ninety-two thousand.

The victim? The 2022 Oklahoma Sooners season.

Yesterday marked the 118th meeting of the Red River Showdown, but beyond the matchup on paper and televised on tv there wasn’t much of a game between the two schools, with Texas demolishing the Sooners 49-0. It marked one of the most lopsided contests in the history of the rivalry - so lopsided that it brought plenty of opinions and commentary out to air on social media.

In short - it’s always a great day to be a Longhorn. But yesterday was especially great.

Here are some other key things I noticed in yesterday’s romp.

This was a win of epic proportions

Emotionally speaking, of course, it’s always a great day to thoroughly kick your rival’s butt. And when it comes to the Red River Showdown, yesterday’s butt kicking was unlike any other that many UT fans have seen. Entering the game, both Texas and OU had disappointing starts to the year - both schools entered the game with identical 3-2 records and both unranked for this game for the first time since 1998. To put that in perspective, none of the athletes who played yesterday were even alive the last time that was true.

However close the two schools’ resumes on paper may have looked (though, being honest, Texas’ 3-2 was arguably a much better 3-2 than OU’s) those similarities were not made apparent in the game, with Texas steamrolling the Sooners to the tune of a 49 point loss. On top of the final score, some truly damning statistical records were made yesterday.

But lets not stop there, shall we?

  • Texas scored more points (49) than Oklahoma had passing yards (39).
  • Five different Sooners attempted at least one pass yesterday. Only one had a QBR over 10.8. That was the punter, Michael Turk, who went 1/1 for 3 yards. (Average QBR is 50.0).
  • Oklahoma has allowed an average of 48 points per game and has allowed an average of 587 yards per game in Big 12 Conference play this year. Currently, the Sooners are 0-3 in conference, good for last in the Big 12.

Of course, as good as this win was in real time, and still is more than 24 hours removed, the kicker was one of the bigger narratives to come out of this game: a question that hasn’t been asked in quite some time.

What if OU really does just flat-out suck?

If they do, not everyone has quite caught on yet. Naturally, following a 49 point loss, Oklahoma is a nine point favorite against Kansas next week.

Quinn Ewers’ return makes this team a legitimate Big 12 Title Contender

Though Hudson Card played admirably in three games while Ewers was out with a shoulder injury, the jump from Card to Ewers was noticeable yesterday. Ewers was masterful in the rout, throwing for 289 yards on 21/31 passing with four touchdowns and one interception. His ability to stretch the field and dial up deep throws in tight windows kept the Oklahoma defense on their heels.

On top of the arm talent, Ewers had a great handle on the flow of the game. The offensive play calling was superb, but Ewers dissected the defense with precision early on in the game, dotting throws across the field while also creating space and time for himself by moving or escaping the pocket when needed.

Wide receiver Jordan Whittington raved on his quarterback’s play.

“His poise in any situation is unmatched. He just looks calm, relaxed the whole time...He’s a really good quarterback, his arm talent is crazy...Being the leader he is, you want to play hard for him.”

There were a few plays Ewers and Longhorns would probably like back - he threw one interception on the day and probably could/should have had at least one more. But with the way this offense can call up a run play to either Bijan Robinson or Roschon Johnson, or with an incredible cast of weapons such as Xavier Worthy and Ja’Tavion Sanders along with Whittington, Ewers doesn’t have to be a perfect passer for the Longhorns to put up points.

Ewers’ talent stretches the field and forces the defense to cover all grass from sideline to sideline, all with the danger of giving up the deep ball to Worthy while focusing on a Bijan run up the gut still a dangerous possibility. The best part is - we haven’t even seen the ceiling yet for this offense. Ewers has just wrapped up his ninth quarter in Sarkisian’s offense. We saw what the Longhorns were capable of yesterday - it’s such an exciting thing to wonder where they could be by season’s end.

The Longhorns Defense was lights-out

This section was a given what with the giant goose egg hung up on Oklahoma’s side of the scoreboard. But hats off to the defense, which utterly shut down any semblance of a passing game by forcing pressure (11 tackles for loss and three sacks) and providing tight coverage in the backfield (two interceptions on the day and allowed just a 53% completion percentage). The one weak spot from the Longhorns on the defensive front came when the Sooners ran plays out of a wildcat formation, but even with that success baked in OU only averaged 3.7 yards per carry and failed to reach 200 total yards of offense on the day.

The play of the defense this year has been a noted improvement over last year. Halfway through the year, Texas is allowing 4.52 yards per play; a big jump from the 6 yards per play the Longhorns allowed last year. Save for one bad 2nd half collapse against Texas Tech, Coach Sarkisian is happy with the progress the unit has made this season.

“They’ve been playing really good defense all year,” Sarkisian said. “I hate it that one half of a game all of a sudden defines who we were a couple weeks ago. … We’ll continue to play good defense.”

Oklahoma may not be the lightning-in-a-bottle offense as they have been in recent years. But the results the Texas defense has notched this season should make any Longhorn fan pleased with their improvement.

It sucks to be yOU

Anyone have the time?