Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) fights for yardage against Oklahoma Sooners defense in an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Football

Oklahoma 53, Texas 45: Our five questions for the Longhorns — answered

Posted October 10th, 2020

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Revisiting our five pregame questions that were facing the Longhorns ahead of Saturday’s 53-45 overtime loss to Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl.

How they played out:

 

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1. Did the offensive line keep the Sooners away from Sam Ehlinger? 

Absolutely not.

Last year, Oklahoma sacked Ehlinger nine times in a 34-27 win, tying a school record. Texas hadn’t allowed that many sacks since 2009. The Sooners got to Ehlinger six more times on Saturday, resulting in 34 yards of losses. Sophomore rush end Nik Bonitto had two of them. The Horns have given up eight sacks in four games. Texas, meanwhile, got to OU quarterbacks only once in 36 passing plays and has only four sacks on the season.

2. Did a Sooners freshman have a big Red River Showdown debut?

Yes.

Marvin Mims, a four-star wide receiver recruit that Oklahoma signed out of the Dallas area, had four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. He’s averaging 13 yards a catch this season. Seth McGowan, another Dallas-area four-star, didn’t make it into the final stats after leading the team in rushing this season. Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler is a freshman, but not a true freshman.

3. Who led the Longhorns linebackers?

DeMarvion Overshown.

The converted safety looked like one when he picked off Rattler’s third-and-9 effort on the final play of the first quarter, returning it into the red zone. He was also second on the team with 11 tackles. Juwan Mitchell, who was ejected for a targeting penalty last week, finished with 10 tackles and a hurry and also recovered a fumble.

4. Did Texas limit the big plays?

No.

There wasn’t a huge scoring play, just big chunk gains. There was a 36-yard punt return, 30- and 25-yard pass plays and runs that went for 26, 23 and 21 yards. Oklahoma has now taken four of the last five meetings, and there’s been a common thread in those defeats. In its now four one-score wins in that span, OU scored four times on a play that covered more than 50 yards — 51-, 54-, 59- and 71-yard scoring plays, and Dede Westbrook added 42- and 47-yard catches to his 232-yard day in 2016. Even in its 2018 regular-season victory, Texas surrendered a 77-yard touchdown pass and a 67-yard touchdown run.

5. Did either Cameron Dicker or Gabe Brkic have a say in Saturday’s final score?

Yes.

But not in the way either would have wanted.

In the third overtime, both kickers traded game-on-the-line disappointments. Dicker’s 33-yard field goal try was blocked on Texas’ possession, keeping it a 45-45 game and setting up the Sooners for a win, as they needed only a field goal to win it. But Brkic’s 31-yard effort to win it veered off to the left, forcing a fourth overtime. Back in 2018, of course, Dicker’s 40-yard field goal with nine seconds left beat OU, 48-45. Brkic was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist last year. He’s 4-for-6 to start this season.

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