Rapid reaction from Oklahoma's 31-26 win over Texas in the Red River Showdown on Saturday.
The Good: The Sooners won and Alex Ross is really fast. Those are about the only two definitive good things Oklahoma can get out of this game. This was the definition of an ugly win for the Sooners. On the other hand, the way the Sooners bounced back after an abysmal first half was a good thing to see, especially for the offense. Down the stretch, the defense faltered once again, but fatigue was definitely a factor.
The Bad: Where to start? The defense was gashed repeatedly up the middle by Tyrone Swoopes. The offense was completely out of sync for the majority of the game. The biggest issue was how easily Swoopes was able to find open receivers against the Oklahoma secondary, especially in the first half. The Texas offense has a couple of playmakers, but to allow a very young, inexperienced quarterback like Swoopes pick you apart is pretty rough. Surprisingly, the Texas offensive line did a pretty nice job against the Sooners' defensive front. Meanwhile the offense gained just 29 yards in the first half and recorded a single first down on 14 plays. Trevor Knight was again off on some of his passes, but his receivers didn't do him a lot of favors. A massive and experienced offensive line was handled pretty well by Texas' defensive front.
What It Means: Oklahoma still controls its own destiny for a Big 12 title and possibly a spot in the College Football Playoff. An ugly win doesn't help the eye test in any way, so OU should probably root for Texas to continue to show improvement the rest of the season.
MVP: Halftime. Oklahoma struggled mightily in the first half on both sides of the ball. Texas out-gained the Sooners, 278-29 and had the ball for 22:28 of the 30 first half minutes. The only reason Oklahoma was ahead at the break was due to a 91-yard kickoff return from Alex Ross and a 43-yard interception return from Zach Sanchez. But after the break, the defense stepped up and allowed Texas just 59 yards in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the offense adjusted and got the ball in space to its playmakers and it paid off in a big way. The Sooners scored once in the third quarter and added another moments into the fourth quarter. As much flak as Josh Heupel takes for his play calls, he was on his game in the second half.
Game-Changing Moment: Trevor Knight hit Sterling Shepard on a 24-yard scoring strike late in the third quarter, pushing the Oklahoma lead to 24-13. With the OU defense bottling up the Texas offense at the time, the touchdown was a huge boost to the offense and the Sooners as a whole.
What's Next: Oklahoma finally returns to Norman next week to take on Kansas State at 11 a.m. The Sooners haven't had a home game since Sept. 13 against Tennessee. The Wildcats are coming off a bye week and beat the Sooners, 24-19 the last time the two teams faced off in Norman in 2012. KSU will be ready to go again. Oklahoma needs to improve a lot this week to be able to win.