Against Texas, Sooners lose their way as Venables, Lebby lose theirs
They were never winning this game.
The Sooners hadn’t lost three in a whole season since 2014, hadn’t lost three straight since ’98 and hadn’t been shut out in just as long.
But they were never winning it.
Still, though it ended 49-0 Longhorns Saturday afternoon inside the Cotton Bowl, consider the different game it might have been and the silliness that kept it being the game it was.
Second quarter, down 21-0, Oklahoma showed up defensively with its second three-and-out, and for the third time head coach Brent Venables and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby proved they’d worked overtime in the week approaching the game.
Quarterback Davis Beville, subbing for the unavailable Dillon Gabriel, was removed in favor of direct snaps to Brayden Davis and Eric Gray, while Jalil Farooq became a running back and it was working.
They’d unveiled the strategy two series earlier and moved the ball 48 yards, setting OU up first-and-10 at the Texas 27 … before Beville returned, went nowhere; the Sooners kept the drive going with a converted fake field goal; went nowhere again and lost the ball on downs.
One series earlier, they crossed midfield before punting from the Texas 41.
But here they were again:
Willis gained 4 yards.
Farooq gained 24.
Other effective plays followed, leading the Sooners to travel 50 yards to the Texas 20 … when Lebby dialed up the worst play call since the Seahawks blew the Super Bowl throwing a goal-line interception: a first-down jump pass from Gray.
Texas’ Jahdae Barron picked it off, the ’Horns had just enough time to score again and it was 28-0 at the half.
Getting the ball first after the half, OU soon faced fourth-and-2 from its own 44 and rightfully chose to go for it.
Beville took the snap and was sacked.
In case you missed it, I’ll repeat.
BEVILLE TOOK THE SNAP?
No, the Sooners weren’t winning this game but did their coaches have to sabotage it, too?
Though there will continue to be free content at Oklahoma Columnist, it now costs about what it costs to order a good bear at a cool place to get all of the month’s offerings. Come on, the price of a one beer, are you kidding? Thanks for reading — Clay
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