WHY TEXAS (1-3, 0-1) LOST: Because, for the second straight week, the opportunity to play for overtime was taken away thanks to the kicking game. This time it was a botched punt, not a missed extra point. Because Oklahoma State did a nice job of corralling Texas’ biggest playmakers — Jerrod Heard was 9 of 17 through the air, Daje Johnson had 15 combined yards on three offensive touches, and John Burt had only one catch for 4 yards. Because of the penalties. And there were a lot of them (16, for 128 yards). And because third downs were an adventure again; Texas was only 4 of 16, while Oklahoma State was 9 of 16.
WHY OKLAHOMA STATE (4-0, 1-0) WON: Because sometimes, an opponent gives you a last-minute gift — literally. In this case, a 10-yard punt from a kicker’s left foot, setting you up at the 18-yard line with 36 seconds left. Because the breaks, mostly in the form of timely penalties, went Oklahoma State’s way. Penalties wiped away two Texas touchdowns and an interception. The Longhorns’ defense was the bigger story because of its two touchdowns, but don’t forget that the Cowboys’ defense held the Texas offense to 13 points — one touchdown and two field goals. And the defense held Texas scoreless in the fourth quarter while the offense had the ball for twice as long as the Longhorns in the second half.
THE EYES OF TEXAS: … were on three specific Cowboys — quarterback Mason Rudolph, who’s now 6-1 as a starter and had a 400-yard game two weeks ago; defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, last year’s Big 12 defensive lineman of the year who had 3.5 sacks in the first three games; and wide receiver David Glidden, who was averaging 23 yards a reception. How’d they do? Rudolph was 22 of 34 for 290 yards and one touchdown, but also committed three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble). He was sacked three times. Ogbah had five tackles, two of them for loss, and 1.5 sacks. And Glidden had a quiet game — three catches, 41 yards.
Offense — Tyrone Swoopes — and it’s been awhile since he’s earned a game ball — was on the field for only three snaps, but he made the most of them. The Longhorns, wanting to protect Jerrod Heard, unveiled a new package for Swoopes on short yardage plays. And he was effective. A 16-yard run on third-and-1, a 12-yard run on third-and-1, and a 7-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-2.
Defense — Hassan Ridgeway, in his best performance of the season, helped shore up the middle against the run and was in on several key plays. He finished with six tackles, 1.5 for loss, one sack, one hurry and the big 34-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
THIS AND THAT:
(1) Texas’ D: Three turnovers, two touchdowns. A much needed strong performance.
(2) Marcus Johnson: Back on the field for the first time since Notre Dame, and had a 47-yard catch.
(3) Nick Rose: Best way to shrug off the missed PAT? Booting 46- and 41-yard field goals. No prob.
(1) Sixteen penalties: It was so bad, even Charlie Strong got flagged one time.
(2) Michael Dickson: Think the Horns will devote some more practice time on punt snaps?
(3) Quiet stars: Heard was average, Malik Jefferson had two tackles, John Burt had one catch (4 yards).
Texcetera: Guess who handled the coin toss? Former deep snapper Nate Boyer. Oklahoma State won the toss. … Texas’ lead in the all-time series is 24-6, and the road team has won the last seven times. … The 97-yard touchdown drive ending with Swoopes’ 7-yard run was Texas’ longest since a 99-yard drive in 2011 against Rice. … It was a game of several firsts — Marcus Johnson made his first catch of the season, Ridgeway recovered his first career fumble and Holton Hill scored his first career touchdown. … Attendance: 87,073. That’s about 4,500 fewer than last week. … It had been 74 games since Texas produced two defensive touchdowns. The last time was Halloween 2009 against Oklahoma State, when Earl Thomas and Curtis Brown each returned interceptions for touchdowns.
On deck: No. 3 TCU (11 a.m. Saturday, Amon Carter Stadium). The Horned Frogs had an adventure of their own on Saturday, beating Texas Tech on the final play of the game. TCU is 4-0 and ranked third in the country. The defense has had some problems, but Trevone Boykin is still running the offense. Texas leads the all-time series, 62-22-1, but is 1-3 and will be a big underdog in Fort Worth. Last year: TCU 48, Texas 10.