There’s bad, there’s really bad, and then there’s Oklahoma. The Sooners aren’t just one of the biggest games of the season in the Bowl Subdivision – they’re a disaster on both sides of the ball heading into the end of the worst program this century.
Saturday was down to earth. Texas destroyed Oklahoma 49-0 handing the Sooners their third straight loss for the first time since 1998, the year before Bob Stoops arrived and returned the program to national prominence.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers threw for 289 yards in his first game back under center after an early season injury, star running back Bijan Robinson added 130 yards and the Longhorns’ defense allowed only 195 yards, holding off a Big 12 opponent. under 200 yards for the first time since 2014.
With quarterback Dillon Gabriel out with an injury, five Oklahoma players combined for 17 attempts for just 39 yards and two touchdowns.
The 49-point loss is the Sooners’ longest in the Red River Rivalry, trailing losses of 33 points in 1941 and 2005, and it stands as the program’s worst loss since a 62-point loss to Nebraska in 1997. The shutout was Oklahoma’s first since 1998, capturing an FBS-best performance. 167 with one offensive touchdown.
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What stands out is the lack of competition. No. 18 TCU embarrassed OU last week in a 55-27 rout. The loss to the Longhorns is one of the lowest moments in modern program history. Dating last month’s loss to No.
After three wins to open the year and climb to No. 5 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Pollthe Sooners have dropped two straight by 30 or more points for the first time in program history.
This rapid fall from grace has already entered coach Brent Venables’ first season and threatens to define the length of his reign. Inheriting a team from a successful run under Lincoln Riley but diminished by transfers and regressions, Venables could be lucky to pull off bowl eligibility given the remainder of Big 12 play.
The Sooners are likely underdogs in next Saturday’s must-win game against No. 17 Kansas – an absolutely crazy idea and a lineup that would have been unbelievable a few weeks ago.
In addition to the Jayhawks, OU still takes on Iowa State, No. 22 Baylor and No. 7 Oklahoma State. Considering how the past three weeks have gone, the games against West Virginia and Texas Tech are more tossed up than clear wins; add all this together to get the Sooners in a position where anything from four to seven wins seems possible.
That’s where we’re at in the middle of Venables’ first season: OU might be lucky enough to make it to the postseason. That puts the Sooners ahead of the curve for Saturday’s biggest winners and losers.
All accessories need to be mounted: No. 19 UCLA is true in Chip Kelly’s fifth season. The latest evidence, joining last week’s impressive win against No. 24 Washington, a 42-32 win over No. Playoffs. Unbeaten at halftime for the first time since 2005, the Bruins are led by a strong running game — they’ve passed for 200 yards on the ground four times, including against the Utes — and another breakout year from quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. , who had four touchdowns Saturday and set a new career record.
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A shocking start was reversed by a convincing win over West Virginia and OU. Now 4-2 and climbing in the Big 12 standings, the Longhorns moved past two painful losses – to Alabama and Texas Tech by a combined four points – and became a legitimate contender for the conference championship and a New Year’s Six bowl bid. With Ewers healthy after an injury on the Crimson Tide, Texas could make a big move in Steve Sarkisian’s second year.
The No. 23 Bulldogs are building a case to be considered the second-best team in the SEC West after capturing No. 25 Arkansas 40-17 loss, the Razorbacks’ third in a row. While not expected to be the latest in a long line of Mike Leach quarterbacks to put up big numbers, Will Rogers continued his streak on the SEC single-season and rushing record book with another 330 yards and three scores, giving him more than 2,000 and 22 yards. touchdowns during the middle of the regular season.
That TCU quickly found a groove in Sonny Dykes’ program has a plan to get back into contention for the Big 12 crown after the disappointing end of former coach Gary Patterson’s tenure. After defeating OU last week, TCU’s offense rallied in the second half for a 38-31 win against Kansas that leaves the Horned Frogs as one of a small group of unbeaten teams still in the Power Five. Former rival SMU, Dykes’ style is seen more in the play of quarterback Max Duggan, who started the year in the role of backup but threw at least three touchdowns in each of his three starts.
He cannot be stopped. Hooker had 239 passing yards, 56 yards on the ground, two touchdowns and no interceptions as the No. 8 Tennessee put on a clinic with a 40-13 romp over LSU. The current Heisman Trophy leader with CJ Stroud, Hooker hasn’t taken a step since last year’s loss to Georgia. His growth into one of the most inspirational players reflects the growth of the Volunteers in College Football Playoff contention in coach Josh Heupel’s second year.
Wisconsin coach Jim Leonhard took the first step toward making the title permanent after the Badgers buried Northwestern on both sides of the ball in a 42-7 victory. After being shut out by Illinois last week, leading to the surprising sacking of Paul Chryst, the running game rebounded with 193 yards on 5.1 yards per carry. The increased power and improved offensive production bode well for Leonard’s already significant chances of landing the full-time position. And he wasn’t the only interim coach in the win column: Georgia Tech’s Brent Key moved to 2-0 after going 23-20 against Duke and Arizona State’s Shaun Aguano got his first win after the Sun Devils upset Washington 45-38. On Friday, Nebraska interim coach Mickey Joseph improved his record to 2-1 after the Cornhuskers beat Rutgers 14-13.
They are defeated
The Spartans are not good. Not just worse than expected. The Spartans are bad: bad on offense, bad on defense, bad across the board. No. 3 Ohio State scored 35 points, gained 429 yards of offense and picked up 18 first downs in the first half alone and moved to a 49-20 victory that should send MSU to one of the bottom spots in the Big Ten power rankings. After a good 2021, the first half of the 2022 season showed a team that does very little to go with major concerns about personnel and the program.
In limited detail, Arkansas’ season followed Oklahoma’s model: strong start, national attention, top and top spots in the Coaches Poll, three straight losses. The first loss, 23-21 to Texas A&M, was easily avoidable as the Razorbacks put their foot down as they went up 14-0 in the first half. Last week’s loss, 49-26 to Alabama, was a 28-23 game before the Crimson Tide rallied. Saturday was different: Mississippi State dominated from the kickoff, possibly ending Arkansas’ big bowl streak.
The close loss to TCU doesn’t raise any red flags, though there are some concerns about the status of quarterback Jalon Daniels, who left the game with an upper-body injury. (His replacement, Jason Bean, was as formidable as Daniels’ absence.) But the loss highlighted the shaky nature of the Jayhawks’ defense, which allowed five shutouts that lasted six games or less. Needing one win to clinch a playoff spot, KU will have a good shot to get there against Oklahoma.