Were things as bad as they appeared in the Sooners' 36-20 loss to Texas in the Red River Rivalry? It wasn't pretty. Time for grades.
No other way to say it than Bell's worst game at Oklahoma. OU coach Bob Stoops has been quick to say it was a team thing, but it starts at quarterback. Bell was 12-of-26 for 133 yards with two interceptions and was sacked four times. He looked lost at times, got happy feet on occasion and held onto the ball too long. It was a forgetful Saturday for Bell, but no changes appear to be on the horizon.
Every time Ford runs the ball you start to wonder if the future is now, and if OU should just roll the dice with Ford and see what happens. Ford rushed six times for 34 yards and was the team's leading rusher. Four of his six runs resulted in first downs. Stoops said Ford has earned his way into more playing time but must hold onto the football. Ford fumbled it out of bounds Saturday. Ford also had a huge hit on special teams.
He's not showing any signs of injury, but the Sooners have failed to get the ball into Shepard and Jalen Saunders' hands in the last two weeks. Saunders had three grabs for a paltry 18 yards. Shepard didn't get on the board in that department. He had a 24-yard run on the first play from scrimmage of the game for OU and never touched the ball again. He was targeted but every pass was either overthrown or defended well.
Ndulue didn't care to talk about his fine performance Saturday, saying it's a team game so it doesn't matter how well he played. But for the second game in a row, Ndulue was a presence and is showing some versatility at defensive tackle or defensive end. Ndulue finished the game with 15 tackles and will no doubt play a bigger role in the defense with Jordan Phillips out for the season.
The worst outing of the year for the secondary. Kass Everett and Zack Sanchez both got beat deep for long touchdowns. Aaron Colvin had trouble with double moves. There were missed tackles all over the place. Texas wasn't expected to win the passing battle, but Case McCoy had a big day for the Longhorns, and OU's defensive backs were not able to slow down Texas on numerous third-and-long situations.
Overall it was a game to forget for OU. The Sooners will look to get back on the right track Saturday afternoon at Kansas.