Golden Day in D-Town
LB Travis Lewis wears the Golden Hat
LB Travis Lewis wears the Golden Hat
SoonersIllustrated.com Publisher
Posted Oct 8, 2011
Joey Helmer


DALLAS — Go ahead and call it the Red River Romp, because the Sooners worked the Longhorns all over the field Saturday en route to a 55-17 blowout victory in front of 96,009 at the Cotton Bowl.

“I’m very pleased with the overall play and preparation,” said OU head coach Bob Stoops. “I want to compliment the players. They’re the ones that got it done and made the plays when they had the opportunities, and they made a bunch of big plays today.”

The Sooners hassled the ‘Horns into five turnovers.

They turned those into 24 points.

Twenty-one of those came on three defensive scores, including a 55-yard interception return by field cornerback Demontre Hurst, a 19-yard fumble recovery by defensive end David King and a 56-yard strip and score by boundary corner Jamell Fleming.

“Defensively we adjusted with them and tackled well,” Stoops said. “[We] did a good job of being strong and taking away the run game, got pressure, got turnovers.”

In fact, OU held UT to just 259 yards of total offense.

Most of those were in the fourth quarter during mop-up time, as the ‘Horns had just 133 yards after the third quarter.

The defense harassed Texas quarterbacks Case McCoy and David Ash for 17 tackles for loss, including eight sacks, and seven quarterback hurries, really pressuring from the get-go.

“Our guys again were just getting off of blocks,” said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. “It’s really pretty simple to be honest. Our guys just did a good job of being physical and using their face and hands and disengaging and staying on their feet, just executed things really well.”

On the other side of the ball, it was the same story.

The offense moved at will, in large part because of quarterback Landry Jones’ performance in the passing game.

Jones was able to gash the UT defense for 367 passing yards and three touchdowns, going 31-for-50 on the day.

“I felt like in that first half we played pretty well,” Jones said. “The second half kind of slowed down a little bit, but all-in-all, a pretty good game. No turnovers, which is huge for a quarterback.”

He find wide open targets, receivers Ryan Broyles, Jaz Reynolds and Kenny Stills for 122, 92 and 51 yards, respectively.

Broyles, who led the team in both yards and receptions (nine), had a touchdown, and Stills had two.

“It just takes a lot of pressure off me knowing that I have receivers that I can put the ball up to in tight coverage and they’re going to make a play,” Jones said.

OU struck first when place kicker Mike Hunnicutt converted a 26-yard field goal on the game’s opening drive.

He made another one moments later to make it 6-0.

Texas place kicker Justin Tucker cut the early lead in half when he booted through a 46-yard field goal of his own late in the first quarter.

But the Sooners responded with three unanswered touchdowns.

First, it was a 19-yard scoring reception from Jones to Stills.

Then, Jones found Broyles for a 5-yard touchdown.

That was set up by a 30-yard third-and-26 conversion to Reynolds.

“Jaz just made a really good play right there--got past the corner,” Jones said. “I put the ball out there for him, and he made a pretty good catch.”

That set the stage for Hurst’s pick-six, which extended OU’s advantage to 27-3 at the time.

Texas return specialist Fozzy Whittaker returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to pay dirt.

But OU quickly marched back 83 yards on seven plays in 2:03 to score the final points of the first half, as a 14-yard pass from Jones to Stills in the front left corner of the South end zone made it 34-10 at intermission.

OU picked up the second half right where it left off the first.

Defensive end Frank Alexander crushed McCoy, forcing a fumble, which King ran back 19 yard house.

“I felt like the biggest thing this week was preparation and not getting caught up in all the shifts and trades that they do,” Alexander said.

Midway through the third quarter, running back Dominique Whaley got in on the scoring action when he busted loose for a 64-yard burst around the right side, and the lead swelled to 48-10.

“It was exciting,” Whaley said of playing in the Red River Shootout. “I enjoyed it. The rivalry--I can’t wait until the next one.”

The Sooners weren’t done scoring yet.

Early in the fourth, Fleming virtually took the ball out of Texas receiver Mike Davis’ hands, stripping it and dashed 56 yards for the 55-10 lead.

Texas got a late touchdown when Ash hit wide receiver Jaxon Shipley for a 4-yard score, but it was well in the books by that point.

In addition to OU’s passing total, it also won the rushing battle with just 86 yards, continuing the streak of games between Stoops and Texas head coach Mack Brown in which the team who’s run for the most yards wins the football game.

Texas finished with just 36.

For the Longhorns, Ash was 11-for-20 with 107 yards and a touchdown, but two interceptions.

McCoy finished 9-of-16 for 116 yards.

Shipley had nine receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown, while stellar freshman running back Malcolm Brown finished with just 54 yards.

The Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) now head to Lawrence, Kan. for an 8:15 p.m. kickoff next Saturday, while Texas (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) returns to Austin to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.



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