It was all about a mindset for the Texas Longhorns on Saturday.
They wanted to be the more physical team at the Cotton Bowl and dominate the point of attack.
That’s exactly what they were able to do.
UT rushed for 313 net rushing yards – OU had just 67, gained 15 first downs by way of the rush – OU had just 6, and averaged 5.4 yards per rush as opposed to OU’s 1.8.
“We just wanted to gas them, to just run at them,” D'Onta Foreman said. “I told the coaches let’s just keep running at them, keep running at them. For some reason, I just have a lot of success running that play. They called it, and I felt like I was going to do good, and I did.”
That plan he’s talking about was a sprint draw from Jerrod Heard that he took over the left side and through the heart of OU’s secondary for 81 yards in the final minute of the third quarter. A couple of plays later, Tyrone Swoopes found Caleb Bluiett in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to put Texas up 24-10 with 13:52 left.
“It was just like, everyone’s eyes were so wide,” Heard said of the long run. “We were just staring at each other like ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’”
Oh, but it was, and that play was indicative of just how dominant the Longhorns were at the point of attack. This was easily the best UT’s offensive line had looked all season.
“Yeah, the offensive line worked hard this week,” UT RB Johnathan Gray said. “To come out here, they knew what kind of [defensive] line OU was: physical, and they just strapped on their pads and went to work.”
The Longhorns had some success with the sprint draw against TCU, but it really paid off for UT on Saturday.
“It has been in our repertoire, we just never used it,” left guard Sedrick Flowers said. “We hit it hard today. We came out hard and we were blowing guys up and they realized that the sprint draw would be a great play to run. D’Onta hit that seam and was gone.”
Longhorns offensive play caller Jay Norvell said that the sprint draw was effective today in part because of what Heard was able to do on the perimeter.
“We wanted to get our quarterback on the perimeter, and we had several perimeter runs for [Heard],” he said. “He’s a real threat out there, and [the sprint draw] was a great complement to that. We could get the defense running with the threat of him on the sprint and then hand it off. In offensive football, it’s just about complementing, and we did a good job today with that.”
Added Charlie Strong: “When we ran the sprint draw, they had us backed up, and D'Onta breaks out of there. And the thing about him, it's hard to tackle him. The first guy is not going to tackle him. He's going to make them miss and just run through them. So then he gets to the second level, and we knew once he got in open field -- you haven't had a chance to see him run like that, but he can run.”
That run, which tied for the 11th longest run in UT history, went a long way toward helping Foreman eclipse the 100-yard mark in a game for the second straight week. He finished with 117 yards on nine carries.
Heard had 115 yards on 21 carries to become the first freshmen with two 100-yard rushing games since Gray in 2012. Speaking of Gray, he had 22 carries for 76 yards.