DALLAS – Like TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin before him, Texas quarterback Jerrod Heard face an Oklahoma defense Saturday that couldn’t stop him when the play broke down – or even when it didn’t – and he used his legs.
During the last two seasons, Oklahoma has struggled against mobile quarterbacks. Heard, who owns the single-game record for total yards at Texas, helped the Longhorns to a field day against No. 10 Oklahoma.
Texas’ 313 rushing yards were the most allowed by the Sooners (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) this season and the highest total since a 2013 game against Texas A&M. Texas had a pair of 100-yard rushers, the first time since the 2013 Red River Showdown.
Heard finished with 115 yards on the ground.
“The quarterback run game kept us at bay, kept us off balance really all right,” Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “. . .We tried to make some adjustments to the run game.”
Heard converted Texas’ first four first downs with his legs – giving Texas (2-4, 1-2) a 14-0 lead in the process. Oklahoma pinned it on itself.
“Nobody should have 300 rushing yards on us on any day,” Oklahoma linebacker Dominique Alexander said. “It’s not him. It’s us. It’s us. He’s a great player, but it’s us.”
Behind the eight ball early
Oklahoma didn’t help itself much Saturday, and it actually did more harm than good in the first quarter.
Just nine minutes into the game Texas was already ahead by 14 points.
Oklahoma, which had the look of a team that wasn’t quite ready for kick-off, put the Longhorns there.
“We didn’t start great,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “In the end, I do feel like we were ready.”
Through three drives, Texas had a 115-5 advantage in total yards.
Oklahoma’s self-inflicted issues were obvious.
Jarvis Baxter dropped a pass that would have likely converted a first down, and Sterling Shepard slipped in open field.
Alex Ross fumbled away a kick return following the Longhorns’ first touchdown, and the Sooners tried – and failed – with a reverse wide receiver pass.
“We gave them some confidence by not getting off to a fast start, and it became a barn-burner from there,” Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said. “There were definitely some big holes out there and some opportunities.”
Flowers finds the end zone
Most of what Oklahoma fullback Dimitri Flowers does for the Sooners goes unappreciated. On Saturday, he scored the first touchdown of his career.
Although, it didn’t take away from the sting of the loss.
“As soon as it happened, I was ecstatic,” said Flowers, who had just one touch before Saturday. “I knew we were still losing the ballgame, but I was hoping it could be a spark to this offense. It looked like it for a little bit. It’s not important anymore since we lost.”
Playing two-hand touch – not tackle
Racing across the formation, receiver Marcus Johnson took a quick forward pitch from Heard and raced toward the sideline.
Linebacker PL Lindley was caught crashing into the middle of the formation, and Johnson put a stiff arm on safety Ahmad Thomas.
Jordan Evans barely got a hand on Johnson before Dominique Alexander, who raced from the opposite side of the field, pushed Johnson toward the sideline but strong not enough.
Johnson split Jordan Thomas and Hatari Byrd before racing toward the end zone – five broken tackles in one play.
It was a microcosm of the Sooners’ tackling woes all game.
“We didn't tackle well I didn't think all night in space and they did a good job getting their athletes in space and again, they played awfully hard (Saturday),” Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “We didn't make the plays we've been making.”
Lindley steps in for Bond
Oklahoma linebacker PL Lindley prepared all week like he’d get a chance in place of injured linebacker Devante Bond, who was in a walking boot Saturday. He made the start at outside linebacker for Oklahoma – the first start of his career.
The uncertainty of Bond’s status hurt Oklahoma defending the run.
“The unknown going into this game was probably the biggest X-factor and how much those quarterback runs, a lot of them were different but we tried to make adjustments within our defense to handle them,” Mike Stoops said. “We should've been better.”