"I can't be more proud of my team than this team, just the way we went out and competed. We've heard all week how the pride has been lost and how they don't play hard, and I don't have an answer to last week. We go out and kinda just lay an egg, and then this week we come out and we wanted to impose our will. We wanted to play physical, which we did, and just watch our team just go to work."- Charlie Strong after yesterday's win.
That one felt good.
Heading into the Red River Showdown, people thought that the Texas Longhorns were dead; Charlie Strong was on his way out, the team had been lost, and it was time to start looking at the 2016 team.
Well that all changed yesterday.
Texas came swarming into the Cotton Bowl at the Texas State Fair with a clear chip on their shoulder. After continuously stopping the #10 Oklahoma Sooners, the Longhorns jumped out to an early 14-0 lead.
Oklahoma QB and Austin native, Baker Mayfield turned it around in the second half to give all of Longhorn Nation a lump in their stomach. They were able to move the ball with relative ease in the 4th quarter, but were continuously getting beat by a great Texas defensive line, led by true freshman Malik Jefferson with 2 sacks, which ultimately won them the game. Sophomore Poona Ford and junior Hassan Ridgeway also made great individual plays to snuff the Sooner attack. Duke Thomas also made a couple great plays in the secondary to stop big passing plays.
On the offensive side of the ball, redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard was able to get out of the pocket often and break away for a few great runs. One thing to keep in mind, however, is the amount of hits that he is taking at the end of his runs. While it is great to gain that extra yard or two, Heard has continuously gotten up slow and missed a few plays after getting knocked around. Oh yeah, this D'Onta Foreman kid is pretty good too.
While the offense rolled, they were very vanilla throughout the entire game. Aside from draw plays from Heard and the occasional long run from Foreman, the Longhorns had trouble moving the ball. Heard and company will need to get the wide receivers more involved. Being 8-11 for 53 yards is efficient, but somewhat predictable and a prepared team will capitalize on that.
Nonetheless, this team deserved this. After all of the scrutiny, player only meetings and stupid tweets, you can tell that the Texas Longhorn players wanted this. Check out the emotion that they displayed on the first touchdown of the game.
And could it happen to a better guy? Time to party deep in the heart of Texas!
Next up, Kansas State after the Bye Week.
By Pete Packowski