Sooners Survive Longhorn Scare, 31-26

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Oklahoma's offense was inept for most of the game, and the Sooner defense gave up unexpected yards and points to Texas, but the Sooners survived an upset bid to beat the Longhorns 31-26 in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday.

OU had just 29 yards of total offense to Texas' 278 in the first half,  but Longhorn mistakes, plus Sooner touchdowns on special teams and defense have been the difference.

The Longhorns outgained Oklahoma 482-232 in total offense, but Texas had 11 penalties to just three for Oklahoma.

The Sooners were just 1 for 11 on third down conversions.

Texas got the ball to start the game and Quentin Hayes returned a Malcolm Brown fumble 47 yards for a touchdown.

The play was reviewed and it was ruled Brown's knee was down before the ball came out.

The Longhorns them marched to get a 28-yard field goal from Nick Rose to take a 3-0 lead with 8:16 to play in the first quarter.

Oklahoma's Alex Ross returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to put the Sooners on top 7-3.

After the two teams exchanged punts, it looked like Texas had put themselves in position to score again when Tyrone Swoopes ran for a gain of 73 yards.

UT was called for holding on the play, though and Texas eventually had to punt.

Oklahoma gained just one yard on offense in the first quarter on just six plays.

Texas penalties hurt the Longhorns early in the game, and a fair catch interference penalty gave OU a 15-yard boost early in the second quarter.

The Sooners drove to a 44-yard field goal by Michael Hunnicutt to put OU on top 10-3 early in the second quarter.

On UT's ensuing possession, Swoopes was intercepted by Zack Sanchez, who returned it 43 yards for a touchdown and the Sooner lead was 17-3 with 11:18 to play in the first half.

The Longhorn offense then put together the first scoring drive that resulted in a touchdown in the game, with Swoopes passing over the  middle to John Harris, who raced to the left corner of the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown, cutting the Sooner lead in half to 17-10 with 8:17 to play in the second quarter.

Oklahoma's offense once again couldn't respond, and had to punt after not being able to pick up a first down.

The Longhorns appeared as if they'd tie the game before the half ended, but on 3rd and goal from the OU 3-yard line, the shotgun snap went off the facemask of Swoopes, and Texas averted disaster by recovering the loose ball.

Rose kicked a 20-yard field goal to cut the Sooner lead to 17-13 with 48 seconds left in the first half.

Defense took over early in the second half.

Neither team could score on their first three possessions of the second half, with OU getting just two first downs and Texas one.

On the Sooners' fourth possession of the second half, the offense awakened, with OU gaining almost as many yards in one possession as they had the entire game.

OU went 63 yards in five plays, with Trevor Knight passing to a wide open Sterling Shepard for a 24-yard touchdown to put the Sooners up 24-13 with 4:17 to play in the third quarter.

Knight was 12 of 20 passing for 129 yards.

Oklahoma's first possession of the fourth quarter extended the lead, with OU going 47 yards in five plays, capped by a 13-yard touchdown run by Samaje Perine to make it 31-13 Sooners with 12:50 to play in the fourth quarter.

Perine finished with 62 yards rushing on 18 carries.

Texas then went on the most sustained drive of the game for either team, with Swoopes passing to Harris in the back left corner of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown, cutting OU's lead to 11, 31-20, with 8:24 to play.

Swoopes was 27 of 44 passing for 334 yards and two touchdowns.

Oklahoma's offense went three downs and punted, and Texas then drew closer.

The Longhorns went 48 yards in six plays, with Swoopes scoring on a 12-yard run.

Texas 2-point conversion play failed, with Swoopes tackled by Jordan Evans and Torrea Peterson for no gain, keeping the Sooners up five, 31-26, with 4:57 to play in the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma got a first down on their enusing possession, but couldn't quite run out the clock, punting the ball to Texas with 18 seconds left.

With 75 yards to go and no timeouts, UT got backed up by a holding call, and on the final play of the game, Swoopes completed a pass to Shipley, who lateraled the ball off, but OU made the tackle as time ran out and the Sooners had survived to beat Texas for the fourth time in the last five years.

OU head coach Bob Stoops earned his 10th win over Texas, breaking a tie with Barry Switzer and Bud Wilkinson for the most career wins over the Longhorns by a Sooner head coach.

Stoops is now 32-0 in regular season games after a loss since 2000.

Oklahoma improves to 5-1, 2-1 in the Big 12, while Texas drops to 2-4, their worst six-game start since 1956, and are 1-2 in conference play.

OU hosts Kansas State at 11:00 am next Saturday.







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