Every play matters but some end up giving you a better idea of the game than others. Either for what they represented in the contest or as a look to what could be coming in the future.
Sooners Illustrated looks at the five plays that told the story of Oklahoma’s victory.
OU 45, Texas 40
No. 1: Quick gets chopped
Boy oh boy. Where to start on this one? The Sooners had just taken a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter when D’Onta Foreman lost a yard on a first down run.
No biggie until you realize OU’s Michiah Quick was in a great deal of pain because of a chop block done by Texas wide receiver Jake Oliver.
With Quick already engaged with one Texas receiver, Oliver came over and took out Quick’s knees. Head coach Bob Stoops later said it is a sprained MCL and Quick will miss at least six weeks, essentially the rest of the season.
Make no bones about it, dirty play. It took Quick out of the equation, who was having a solid first quarter and brought in Jordan Parker. The true freshman did play well.
What it really did, though, was seemingly fire up the entire OU team. The Sooners were going to let that slide the rest of the game and imposed their will the rest of the way.
No. 2: Westbrook sets single play record
But they needed a big play to get it done. A record-setting play. OU trailed 10-7 and had already turned the ball over three times in the first half when one play appeared to get quarterback Baker Mayfield rolling and spurred Dede Westbrook toward setting records.
Mayfield found Westbrook wide open for a 71-yard touchdown on a beautiful throw and catch. It’s the longest reception for OU in the history of the Red River Showdown.
And then, well, Westbrook had himself a day. Ten catches for 232 yards and three touchdowns when it was all said and done.
Coaches talked all week about Westbrook being 100 percent healthy. The last two weeks are great indicators that it is indeed the case.
No. 3: Green comes up big
The usual suspects delivered for OU in this one. Baker Mayfield, Samaje Perine on offense. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Jordan Evans on defense.
To win games like this, however, you need special efforts by unlikely sources. OU got just that in the third quarter with Dahu Green’s first career reception.
It went for 51 yards and set up a Mayfield rushing score to give OU a 28-27 lead that turned out to be an advantage the Sooners would never give up again the rest of the way.
Green was slowed down by a concussion for several weeks, but that’s one heck of a way to show what he can do moving forward.
No. 4: Sunderland introduces himself to country
Perhaps the craziest stat among all the crazy stats Saturday was the fact OU had four turnovers and only allowed three points.
It was the rare off game for running back Joe Mixon, who fumbled once and muffed a punt with less than five minutes left in the third quarter.
Instead of sulking about it, the OU defense did something about it. Sophomore Will Sunderland, seeing his first real significant time, made an outstanding play on the ball and intercepted Shane Buechele inside the 10 yard line.
These have been the type of plays missing from OU throughout this season. But OU was able to get a huge one to negate one turnover, negate points and get a turnover of its own.
No. 5: Mayfield magic one more time
It absolutely felt like déjà vu with Mayfield making one more big play to cement an OU win. This time around it was OU 42-34 with 10 minutes remaining and OU facing a third-and-8.
Mayfield was scrambling around with not much room to do anything when he found Dimitri Flowers wide open for a 15-yard gain and first down.
Mayfield would connect with Geno Lewis and Flowers again on separate third down conversions as OU used nearly eight minutes of clock that culminated in an Austin Seibert field goal.
After two interceptions in the first quarter, Mayfield was magnificent in throwing for 390 yards and three scores and rushing for another to make sure the Golden Hat returns to Norman.null