7 Takeaways From The Oklahoma Sooners Thrilling Win Over The Texas Longhorns

<7 Takeaways From The Oklahoma Sooners Thrilling Win Over The Texas Longhorns>

That was one thrilling ride. Much like the Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas, this game had so many ups and downs, twists and turns, that it left your body tense and your head aching from the ride.

The Oklahoma Sooners came back from a 38-17 first-half deficit to outscore the Texas Longhorns 38-10 in the second half to complete the improbable comeback. This game will go down as one of the best in the history of the rivalry.

As we continue to go over some of the great moments from the Sooners 55-48 win over the Texas Longhorns, here are 7 takeaways from Oklahoma’s win in the Red River Showdown that will live on as an instant classic.

Caleb Williams is that Dude

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

When Caleb Williams was inserted into the lineup for good, the Oklahoma Sooners were down 35-17 with under eight minutes to go in the second quarter.

From the midway point of the second quarter, Caleb Williams and the Oklahoma Sooners outscored the Texas Longhorns 38-13 to win a thrilling contest that could very well go down as one of the best in the 117 game history of the Red River Rivalry.

Williams was poised and in control throughout his nearly two and a half quarters of play, providing a dynamic that the Texas Longhorns certainly weren’t ready for.

Not only was he dynamic as a runner, but his arm strength also jumped off the screen as he hit Marvin Mims down the field a couple of times to help get the Sooners back into the game. On the touchdown throw to Mims, Williams was moving forward, throwing on the run and launched it 55 yards in the air without much difficulty.

Though Lincoln Riley wasn’t ready to name a starter in his post-game press conference, after five-plus games of Spencer Rattler in 2021, Caleb Williams earned a shot to start next week against TCU.

Marvin Mims was Marvelous

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight game, and the third time on the season, “Marvelous” Marvin Mims led the Oklahoma Sooners in receiving. It’s not just the stat line that stands out though, it was the high degree of difficulty catches at crucial points of the game that helped the Sooners win this game.

Mims was spectacular on his way to 136 yards receiving on five catches for two touchdowns. Mims averaged 27.2 yards per reception on the day and helped us remember just what a dynamic player he is in the passing game.

Defense Held it Down in the Second Half

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The first half for the Oklahoma Sooners was abysmal. They allowed 38 points, 345 yards of total offense, and just over 10 yards per play. Texas Longhorns quarterback Casey Thompson was 10 of 16 for 244 yards and four touchdowns while Bijan Robinson ran for 102 yards on 11 carries.

The tackling and the pursuit were off. As Texas ran wide with Robinson and attacked Oklahoma deep in the passing game, the Sooners just couldn’t figure out a way to keep up.

In the second half that all changed as Oklahoma held them to 10 points and just 171 yards of total offense as the defense stepped up and made enough stops to help the Sooners complete the epic comeback.

The Sooners had three total sacks, led by Nik Bonitto’s 1.5 as they harassed and hit Casey Thompson seemingly at will in the second half.

While much of the conversation will be about the way the offense responded in the second half, the defense deserves a ton of credit for their rebound in helping the Oklahoma Sooners win the Red River Showdown for the third straight year.

Wide Receiver Run Blocking

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of a dominating rushing effort from Kennedy Brooks and the offensive line, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention how great the Sooners’ wide receiver corps was in the run game.

In particular, Jadon Haselwood and Drake Stoops were fantastic on Kennedy Brooks’ two fourth-quarter touchdown runs, including the game-winner.

On both scores, the Sooners ran the same direct snap to Brooks with Stoops coming in motion to lead the way. From the clip below, you can see help clear his guy and Haselwood control his defensive back down the field as Brooks raced to the end zone to win the game for the Oklahoma Sooners.

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Drake Stoops mentioned earlier in the week that the Sooners’ wide receiver group takes pride in its blocking. It’s evident as the Sooners wide receivers were clutch in parting the seas for Kennedy Brooks on the Oklahoma Sooners final two touchdowns.

Kennedy Brooks the Nation's RB1?

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of the Oklahoma Sooners running game. Kennedy Brooks and the Sooners’ offensive line was fantastic in OU’s win over the Longhorns. He racked up 217 yards rushing on 25 carries.

Brooks is regularly one of the more underrated running backs in the country but reminded everyone on the big stage just how good he is.

He was a huge factor in the Sooners’ offensive attack. Even before his big second half, he looked like he was getting tripped up by shoe string tackles regularly.

As Rattler struggled and Williams got his feet wet, Brooks was the engine that made the Oklahoma offense go.

Spencer Rattler's clutch 2-point conversion

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t a good game from Spencer Rattler. Two first-half turnovers led to Caleb Williams coming in. Lincoln Riley mentioned in his post-game press conference that he considered going back to Rattler throughout the game but because of the way the offense was performing with Williams on the field, he decided to stay with the true freshman.

And it was the right call. Rattler, to his credit, came in for a pivotal 2-point conversion attempt for the Oklahoma Sooners.

Trailing 41-33, Caleb Williams had just Marvin Mims for a 52-yard touchdown with the Sooners facing a 3rd and 19. Now with the score 41-39, it was time for Oklahoma to go for two.

Riley sent out his starting quarterback to convert on what Riley called, “the most important play of the game.”

Rattler was poised as he rolled to his right and after Drake Stoops broke on his out route, Rattler found Stoops at the front of the end zone for the game-tying 2-point conversion.

While Rattler didn’t have the best game, he showed a ton of mental fortitude to make a play in that moment. A moment that was a huge point of the game.

Once the Oklahoma Sooners got the score tied, it just felt like they were going to win the football game. They had all the momentum on their side in the second half. However, if Rattler and Stoops don’t connect for the two-point conversion, that momentum potentially ceases.

Riley was non-commital in the post-game about who would be his starting quarterback when the team faces TCU next Saturday but made a point to emphasize how important Rattler delivering at that moment was.

Lincoln Riley's teams Show Resolve

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley celebrates after the Red River Showdown college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas (UT) Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Oklahoma won 55-48.

Ou Vs Texas

After going down 28-7 and 38-17, it would have been really easy for the Oklahoma Sooners to pack it in and coast to the end of the game. Instead, they dug deep and fought their way out of the big holes they were in.

Both sides of the football were bad in the first half. In the second half, the offense and the defense turned it around to complete one of the greatest comebacks in school history in one of the greatest games in college football history.

For as much grief as we give Lincoln Riley for his somewhat conservative nature in the second half when his team has a big lead, they also take on a “never say die” attitude when his team finds itself in a big hole.

They don’t always come out on top, but they always keep fighting. And that’s what this win was all about for the Oklahoma Sooners. Fight.

They showed a resolve to keep playing their best and grinding away with the hope that eventually they’d work themselves back into the game. Much like the Baylor game from two years ago when the Sooners found themselves down 28-3, this time led by Caleb Williams, the Oklahoma Sooners kept fighting and found a way to win the game.

It isn’t always how you start something, but how you finished it. And the Sooners finished the Red River Showdown outscoring the Texas Longhorns 35-10 in the second half to win the game.

Lincoln Riley’s team showed a ton of heart in this one and a lot of credit has to go to Riley and his coaching staff for keeping the guys in the game, focused, and believing they could complete the comeback.

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Source : https://news.yahoo.com/7-takeaways-oklahoma-sooners-thrilling-004026432.html

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