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Close, but no cigar: No. 12 Oklahoma holds off Texas comeback bid, 29-24

Posted October 14th, 2017

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DALLAS — Another Red River rivalry game is in the books. Oklahoma has beaten Texas 29-24, the Sooners’ third win over the Longhorns in the last four years.

And yes, there was a flag planting. Oklahoma linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo stuck an OU flag right in the middle of the big Cotton Bowl emblem at midfield.

Why Texas (3-3, 2-1 Big 12) lost: The Horns aren’t quite there just yet. Down 20-0, it looked like Saturday was going to be a Red River Blowout but the Longhorns fought to make it a game at halftime, then came close to winning the whole thing in the fourth quarter. Sam Ehlinger started slowly but heated up. The running was non-existent again. Collin Johnson was a virtual no show — save for a costly holding penalty on an OU punt in the final minute that backed up the Horns to their own 3. Big plays tend to play significant roles in this series, and OU burned Texas with a few of them.

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Why No. 12 Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1) won: Big plays. There was the game-winning 59-yard play to Mark Andrews and a 54-yard score to Jeff Badet. CeeDee Lamb had a 44-yard catch and there also was a 42-yard halfback pass trick play. Still, this was a close one and the Sooners had to hold off Texas in the final minutes.

Next up: Texas hosts No. Oklahoma State next Saturday. Oklahoma is at Kansas State.

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) calls for the fourth quarter against Oklahoma in the NCAA college football game at the AT&T Red River Showdown Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas Texas Saturday, Oct 14, 2017. This game makes up the112th rivalry match up. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

How it all went down:

FIRST QUARTER

Oklahoma 10, Texas 0. The Sooners scored on their first two possessions and were at Texas’ 17 to end the quarter. Baker Mayfield was 8 of 9 for 179 yards; Sam Ehlinger, starting for the second straight week, was 1 of 5 for 15 yards. Texas found little success on offense; the Longhorns gained 15 yards on the first play of the game — a screen pass to Kyle Porter, who got the start —  but failed to pick up another first down (OU had eight). Texas finished the quarter with 19 yards of total offense.

OU: Jeff Badet 54-yard pass from Baker Mayfield (Austin Seibert kick, 12:13)

OU: Seibert 25-yard field goal (3:49)

SECOND QUARTER

Halftime — Oklahoma 20, Texas 10. Rodney Anderson scored on the second play of the quarter to help OU take a commanding 17-0 lead. On the play before, OU fullback Dimitri Flowers took a direct snap and converted a fourth-and-1 attempt; it was the first fourth down conversion Texas has allowed all season in eight attempts. A 41-yard kickoff return by Porter and two costly 15-yard penalties helped the Longhorns finally get on the board with 3:14 left, and John Bonney picked off Mayfield to set up Joshua Rowland’s 34-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

OU: Rodney Anderson 15-yard run (Seibert kick, 13:11)

OU: Seibert 28-yard field goal (4:32)

Texas: Kyle Porter 16-yard pass from Sam Ehlinger (Joshua Rowland kick, 3:14)

Texas: Rowland 34-yard field goal (:00)

THIRD QUARTER

Oklahoma 23, Texas 17. The Longhorns had only two possessions but made the most of them — a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with four third down conversions (a Chris Warren III scoring run, helped/pushed forward by Ehlinger himself). The Sooners stumbled over themselves for most of the quarter; a holding penalty negated a 17-yard touchdown pass and UT’s scoring drive was extended by a defensive holding penalty on third-and-8.

OU: Seibert 36-yard field goal (9:10)

Texas: Chris Warren III 1-yard run (Rowland kick, 4:27)

FOURTH QUARTER

Final — Oklahoma 29, Texas 24. Down 23-17 with 11 minutes left, Tom Herman opted to go for it on fourth-and-8 from OU’s 27 rather than try a 44-yarder from Rowland. But the defense held and Ehlinger scored to give Texas a 24-23 lead. It was a short-lived lead, though; Mayfield found Mark Andrews for a 59-yard touchdown with 6:53 left. That proved to be the game winner. Texas’ last two drives came up short though the Longhorns did come close, getting to OU’s 35 with 2:04 left before its second-to-last drive stalled on downs.

Texas: Ehlinger 8-yard run (Rowland kick, 8:01)

OU: Mark Andrews 59-yard pass from Mayfield (2-point pass failed)

The last five Texas-OU results:

2013: Texas, 36-20

2014: OU, 31-26

2015: Texas, 24-17

2016: OU, 45-40

2017: OU, 29-24

The post Close, but no cigar: No. 12 Oklahoma holds off Texas comeback bid, 29-24 appeared first on Hook ‘Em.

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