A statement game.
That’s what the Texas Longhorns needed, and that’s what they delivered, beating the Oklahoma State Cowboys 41-14, with two touchdowns coming from the defense. Texas moves to 8-0 on the season, and remains in the driver seat to go to Pasadena for the National Championship game.
After the game, head coach Mack Brown said:
I’m really, really pleased with the team – the way they played, the attitude they played with. They rose to the challenge against an outstanding Oklahoma State football team. Mike’s done a great job. They’ve got great players. They’ve got tremendous speed, and this is the first time we’d ever come up here and not been behind. We didn’t know what to do at halftime. We were sitting in there, we’re usually in bad shape, two touchdowns down. We kind of laughed about it and said we’re not sure how to handle this halftime because it has not been this way.
Will Muschamp’s defense game up 277 yards, but only two touchdowns, one of which came long after the outcome was decided. The Longhorns recorded five takeaways, against arguably the best offense we’ve faced all year.
The pair of pick sixes means we now have nine non-offensive touchdowns on the year. That translates directly into wins.
Aaron Williams hurt his knee early in the game, but was seen walking around the sideline without much trouble. Hopefully, the injury is not serious, and he has a couple of weeks to recover.
The Texas offense had 275 yards offense, but only gave the ball away once. Although a couple of drives stalled and resulted in field goals, they were generally effective whenever they had the ball.
Colt McCoy threw for 171 yards and a touchdown, and ran for another 34 yards. He also needed a statement game to propel him to the front of the Heisman race. I’m not sure this was it, but it should keep him in the conversation.
After the game, McCoy said:
Well, we feel much better as opposed to last year. This was big for us. We focused all week. Hats off to our defense, they played tremendous. Oklahoma State’s goal was to keep us off the field, and they did a really good job of that in the first half. Honestly it felt like we only had like three or four drives probably, and we scored on three of them so that was good. Our defense came to play tonight and played well and put our offense in some good situations.
Although the special teams didn’t score, they played a great game (other than Jordan Shipley’s muffed punt). Kick and punt coverage pinned Oklahoma State inside the twenty four times. Kenny Vacarro was a monster in kick coverage.
The worst part of the game was announcers Sean McDonough and Matt Millen. They spent an incredible amount of time bitching about decisions by the officials that were at worst judgment calls. And they spent most of the second half talking about anything but the game.
C’mon, ABC, we’ve turned you on to watch the game. The least you could do is have you announcers actually cover it.
All doubt that this is a championship-caliber team is now over. They could still drop one of the final four games or the Big 12 Championship, and they’re in no way guaranteed to win if they make it to the Championship Game, but I like our odds.
Defense really does win championships, and Muschamp’s defense gives us a real good chance of bringing home the hardware.