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Gored: Longhorns Dominate Sooners In Dallas

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DALLAS, Texas -

Saturday's 108th edition of the Red River Rivalry had a fairly concrete script, agreed upon by pretty much everyone in the world of college football. That script was flipped entirely in the Cotton Bowl Saturday, as Texas stunned No. 12 Oklahoma, dominating the Sooners, 36-20.

The Longhorns never trailed, taking a 3-0 lead on their first drive of the game and never looking back. It was the first win in the series for Texas since a 16-13 win over the Sooners in 2009.

The Longhorns team everyone expected never showed up in Dallas. Instead, it was more the team many expected to see all year in the preseason. Texas dominated both sides of the ball, rolling up 445 total yards, including 255 on the ground, while holding the Sooners to just 263 yards, including a paltry 108 in the first half.

Texas quarterback Case McCoy won't be confused for Joe Montana anytime soon, but was plenty efficient against the Sooners, hitting 13-of-21 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. His second touchdown, a beautiful 38-yard pass to Mike Davis, made the score 36-13 in favor of the Longhorns with 21 seconds left in the third quarter and sent Oklahoma fans streaming for the exits.

McCoy did what he had to do for Texas to have a chance to win, but it was a punishing Texas ground game that helped the Horns run roughshod over the Sooners. Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown showed off the running ability many expected from both when they first arrived in Austin. Gray finished the game with 123 yards on 29 carries, while Brown added 120 yards on 23 carries. It's the first time in series history Texas has had multiple running backs go over 100 yards.

OU quarterback Blake Bell struggled the entire game, never looking comfortable in the pocket and consistently missing open receivers. He finished the game just 12-of-26 passes for 133 yards and two interceptions. His first interception was a tone-setting play for Texas. On 3rd-and-4 from the Oklahoma 26, Bell threw behind Jaz Reynolds and was picked off by defensive tackle Chris Whaley, who returned it 31 yards for a touchdown. It was Bell's first interception of the season.

The interception negated what appeared to be a huge turnover for the Sooners, as the OU defense recovered a Joe Bergeron fumble just three plays before.

One of the biggest factors in the game was third down conversions. Texas, aided by their great rushing attack converted 13-of-20 third down conversions, while the Sooners struggled, making just 2-of-13 on third down.

Texas added to their lead in the second quarter when Marcus Johnson ran right by OU corner Kass Everett and McCoy hit him in stride for a 59-yard touchdown to take a 17-3 lead. The Sooners were completely stifled on offense, unable to generate any rhythm and refusing to test the Longhorns with the quarterback run game, something Texas had struggled with mightily coming into the game. In fact, Bell didn't have a designed run called for him until the third quarter.

The Sooners finally punched into the end zone with just over a minute remaining in the half to cut the lead to 20-10, courtesy of a Damien Williams three-yard touchdown run and a 73-yard kickoff return from Roy Finch that put the Sooners in business at the Texas 27-yard line.

Texas then proceeded to take all the Sooners momentum away going into halftime, driving 41 yards in 1:06 to get a 43-yard field goal from Anthony Fera at the halftime gun.

The Sooners got a field goal to start the second half to cut the lead to 23-13, but after a stop by the defense, went three-and-out on the next offensive possession. Texas' Daje Johnson fielded the OU punt on his own 15-yard line and went untouched, 85 yards to the house to extend the Texas lead to 29-13. The Sooners blocked the extra point.

OU showed a bit of life late in the game, with defensive end Geneo Grissom picking off a McCoy screen pass and taking it 55 yards for a touchdown to pull OU within 36-20. After a defensive stop, OU drove to the Texas 9-yard line, but a delay of game and a sack on fourth down with 5:14 to play sealed the deal for Texas.

The win may not be enough for Mack Brown to keep his job in Austin, but it certainly gives the Longhorns a lot of life going forward. For the Sooners, questions abound, questions that have to be answered in the weeks ahead.

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