Texas defensive back Kris Boyd (2) celebrates a stop with defensive back P.J. Locke III (11) during an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

BEVO BEAT

It’s halftime, and No. 19 Texas is leading No. 7 Oklahoma, 24-17

Posted October 6th, 2018

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It’s halftime at the Cotton Bowl. No. 19 Texas, a 7 1/2-point underdog today, is leading No. 7 Oklahoma 24-17.

First, the Longhorns impressed by standing toe to toe with the undefeated Sooners. Then they impressed even more by taking control in the second quarter, establishing a running game, the offensive line beginning to push around Oklahoma’s defensive front, and Sam Ehlinger making plays. The Sooners trailed 24-10 but converted a couple of fourth downs and scored just before halftime.

The pre-game storylines are all playing out for us:

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  • Kyler Murray is as electric as advertised. He’s made plays with his feet and with his arm. He’s 11 of 15 for 135 yards and a couple of touchdowns, and has 31 yards on the ground.
  • Sam Ehlinger has been steady. He connected with Collin Johnson for 36 yards and 29 yards to Lil’Jordan Humphrey on Texas’ first drive. He’s making good decisions, he’s stepping into his throws and is 10 of 12 for 161 yards and a touchdown, along with 36 rushing yards and another touchdown.
He’s 16 passes away from breaking Major Applewhite’s UT record for consecutive throws without an interception. The last pick Ehlinger has thrown was on the final play of the season opener at Maryland.
  • Texas’ defense has stood toe to toe with Oklahoma’s explosive offense. The Sooners have picked up some chunk plays but haven’t gotten a big one yet. And what a half for UT’s defensive backs:
Kris Boyd broke up a long touchdown pass at the goal line on the Sooners’ opening drive with a big hit. And he’s had a nice solo tackle on another big hit.
Brandon Jones picked off Murray by playing center field; the interception led to a Texas field goal and 10-7 lead. He later had a nice solo stop on a pass out of the backfield, holding that to a 1-yard gain.
B.J. Foster popped Marcelias Sutton behind the line on a third-and-1 play at Texas’ 14 on the final play of the first quarter. It forced OU to settle for a field goal.
Oddly enough, Caden Sterns has had a quiet first half.
  • Charles Omenihu, who produced a sack and a safety on back-to-back plays last week in Manhattan, got a sack and a tackle for loss in the second quarter today. The Sooners, trailing by a touchdown, had to punt.
A key play to this game that won’t show up in the boxscore came on third-and-20 for Texas in the second quarter. Ehlinger found Andrew Beck for 19 yards down to Oklahoma’s 31. Texas went for it — the Sooners entered this game 0 for 6 in trying to stop opposing teams on fourth-and-short this season — and got it on a short pass to Tre Watson out of the backfield, and then scored on an Ehinger-to-Watson pass from 28 yards out on the very next play.
The 28-yard touchdown pass will get the headline, but it was that 19-yard pass to Beck that made it happen.

First-half scoring:

FIRST QUARTER

Oklahoma: Marquise Brown 4-yard pass from Kyler Murray (Austin Siebert kick, 12:20)

Texas: Collin Johnson 2-yard pass from Lil’Jordan Humphrey (Cameron Dicker kick, 10:14)

Texas: Dicker 44-yard field goal, 5:58

SECOND QUARTER

Oklahoma: Seibert 32-yard field goal, 14:56

Texas: Tre Watson 28-yard pass from Ehlinger (Dicker kick, 10:18)

Texas: Ehlinger 9-yard run (Dicker kick, 5:12)

Oklahoma: CeeDee Lamb 5-yard pass from Murray (Siebert kick, :28)

Texas’ offensive drives:

First quarter: TD, FG

Second quarter: TD, TD

Oklahoma’s offensive drives:

First quarter: TD, INT

Second quarter: FG, Punt, TD

Texas is 10-1 in the Tom Herman era when leading at halftime. The Longhorns will get the ball to start the second half.

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