Oklahoma Sooners put up failing numbers against Texas Longhorns

Not all units failed Saturday but most earned pretty low marks

Every week Sooners Illustrated will break down a few players and a few units and assign them grades based on their performance.

Here are the Game 5 grades:

Run defense – D: The porous tackling all over the field led to the worst defensive performance in the past three seasons – since Texas A&M rushed for 326 yards in 2013. Allowing 313 yards to a Texas team that had gained more than 200 yards on the ground only once in the first five games of the season is anything but acceptable.

To make matters even worse, Texas didn’t pass (but we’ll get to that a little bit later).

Texas had two players run for more than 100 yards – quarterback Jerrod Heard and running back D’Onta Foreman. Jonathan Gray chipped in 76 yards, and back-up quarterback Tyrone Swoopes ran for a touchdown and passed for one in the red zone.

Most colleges don’t record broken tackles, and right now, Oklahoma is probably happy that number wasn’t totaled at the Cotton Bowl.

Baker Mayfield – C:  Eventually the other shoe had to drop for Mayfield, and in the Cotton Bowl, he had his worst game of the season. He had fewer passing yards against Tennessee, but Mayfield threw just one touchdown Saturday – compared to three against the Volunteers. Oklahoma also lost.

A lot of the issues came because Mayfield spent most of the day running from Texas. But his ability to scramble and keep plays alive, which is one of his best attributes, turned into a nightmare Saturday. Mayfield didn’t check down to his safety valve at all against Texas and tried to force big plays with his legs instead of making easy plays with his arm.

Mayfield wasn’t put in good situations, though. Oklahoma didn’t run a single screen pass and completed just two passes to running backs leaking out of the backfield.

Mike Stoops – F: Stoops said he knew Tyrone Swoopes’ pop pass was coming. It sure didn’t look like it on the wide-open touchdown reception that basically sealed the game.

After the loss, it almost seemed like Stoops was caught off guard that Texas threw the ball only 12 times. After all, Stoops has said consistently that he can stop the run whenever he wants just by using numbers. That didn’t happen Saturday.

Safeties were backed off the line of scrimmage for much of the game. Oklahoma’s defenders didn’t do much to help Stoops stop Texas’ run game, but he didn’t put them in good positions for much of the day.

This was a worse effort from the defensive coaching staff than the Tulsa air raid fiasco.

Austin Seibert – B: Seibert had the worst game of his young career, but it was still above average. He didn’t miss a kick but only took one.

His punting average number was down. For the first time all season, Seibert averaged less than 40 yards per punt. Still, four of the seven punts were downed inside the 16-yard line.

Seibert helped Oklahoma win the field position battle. Even though it was his worst game, it was still a pretty good game.

Running backs – B+: Remember when everyone was pulling their hair out after Samaje Perine got just six carries against Baylor? That should be the same reaction to the lack of use for Perine and Joe Mixon – and even Daniel Brooks – against Texas.

No screens. One swing pass. And only one play-action flare route – to fullback Dimitri Flowers. There were just 18 runs between the three of them, and this came behind an offensive line that couldn’t stop much in pass protection.

The three running backs averaged more than four yards per carry but weren’t given a chance. Oh yeah, and Perine’s blitz pick-up just before Oklahoma’s third-quarter touchdown kept the Sooners in the game. The numbers aren’t there, but the running backs were the Sooners’ best unit on the field.

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