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Texas' Defense Folds Under Pressure in Loss vs Oklahoma

In a game filled with huge plays from both offenses, the Longhorn's defense found themselves on the wrong side of one too many

The No. 21 Texas Longhorns (4-2) lost in disappointing fashion on Saturday afternoon, as the burnt orange fell 55-48 to the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (6-0) at the Red River Showdown in Dallas. 

The game was an instant classic. Both teams made a flurry of big-time plays throughout the game, but it was Oklahoma who got the last laugh as Kennedy Brooks ran for a 33-yard touchdown with three seconds left to complete the comeback victory. 

For Texas fans, it's hard to ignore what was an overall subpar performance from the defense in the loss. A determined defensive effort in the first half seemed to slowly sputter away as the game progressed. 

So, what happened? How could the Longhorns manage to blow a 21-point lead in one of the biggest games of the year? Let's recap the collapse and take a look at some of the individual and team stats for the Texas defense in the loss. 

LB Luke Brockermeyer - 12 total tackles, six solo, one pass deflection

DB BJ Foster - eight total tackles, six solo, one tackle for loss, one interception

LB DeMarvion Overshown - eight total tackles, five solo, one sack, two tackles for loss, one blocked punt, one fumble recovery

DB D'Shawn Jamison - seven total tackles, five solo, one pass deflection

DL Alfred Collins - three total tackles, one solo, one sack, one tackle for loss

Oklahoma's Offense 

662 total yards, 339 rushing yards, 323 passing yards

Sooners dominated time of possession 35:31 to 24:29

9 of 19 on third down

It was a perfect start for the Longhorn's defense after Xavier Worthy took the opening play all the way to the house for the early 7-0 lead. Momentum was at their backs and it showed. 

DeMarvion Overshown wrecked havoc on Oklahoma's opening possession and was a constant presence on the football. 

READ MORE: Mavs Owner Mark Cuban: Bold Prediction for Texas vs. OU

He blitzed through a huge hole on third down to sack Spencer Rattler to force a  three-and-out for the Sooners. And the very next play? Overshown blocked the punt, setting up the Texas offense for another score to build the lead to 14-0. 

The defense's superb start was everything defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski could've asked for, but a response from the OU offense was inevitable. 

Rattler put together a 10-play, 75-yard drive on the next possession to quiet the burnt orange side of the Cotton Bowl for a brief moment. 

From that point on, it was a definitive "up-and-down" performance from the Longhorn's defense. 

B.J Foster intercepted an overthrown pass from Rattler that set up another touchdown for Texas to extend the lead to 21-7. The next OU possession was more of the same, resulting in a three-and-out and a quick Longhorns score to ballon the lead to 28-7 with only a minute left in the first quarter. 

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Despite the deficit, Lincoln Riley and the Sooners wasted no time pulling a big play out of their pockets. Back-up QB Caleb Williams entered the game due to his running ability on a short fourth-and-one. 

Instead of settling for the first down, Williams rumbled his way for 66 yards for a touchdown to bring the game a bit closer at 28-14. The Texas defense failed to fill the gap as Williams burst into the secondary in the blink of an eye. 

Two possessions later, Oklahoma got the ball back with a prime opportunity to make it a one-score game trailing 28-17. Brooks continued to pound the rock, but a fumble from Rattler shifted momentum as Ben Davis forced the turnover with eight minutes left in the first half. 

Williams officially took over for Rattler after the fumble and led a drive that resulted in three points for OU before half. At halftime, the score was 38-20. 

With Williams now in full control under center, the Texas defense was facing a true two-headed running threat from him and Brooks. 

After an OU punt on the first drive to begin the second half, Brooks proceeded to gash the Texas front-seven. 

Trailing 41-23, Brooks pulled off a 65-yard run through the heart of Texas' defense all the way down to the 13-yard line Three plays later, Williams evaded the Texas pass-rush and zipped a touchdown to Marvin Mims in the right corner of the end zone despite being surrounded by the Longhorn's secondary. 

After that, it was three-straight scoring drives from Williams the OU offense to take the lead 48-41. Worthy didn't do the defense any favors by fumbling the kickoff with the game tied at 41. Brooks went untouched into the end zone one play later. 

READ MORE: Meltdown in Dallas: Oklahoma Storms Back To Take Down Texas 55-48

The Longhorn's true freshman receiver made up for it though, as he tied the game with a 31-yard touchdown catch with about a minute and a half remaining in the quarter. 

Despite allowing OU's backup QB to take over the game, Texas' defense now needed just one stop to give the Horns a chance. 

Yet, it was more of the same from the tandem of Williams and Brooks. 

Williams calmly led the Sooners into field goal position with about 10 seconds left. It was at this moment that everyone in the Cotton Bowl thought that a field goal try for OU would decide the winner in the closing seconds. 

Instead, Brooks put the finishing touches on a dominant performance. He took the direct snap and went untouched 33 yards into the end zone once again. OU had retaken the lead for good this time, as the score was now 55-48 with only three seconds left. 

Overall, Williams was masterful against the Texas defense in the second half as Kwiatkowski's unit was never able to respond. The freshman QB orchestrated six scoring drives in the second half for the Sooners to complete the 21-point comeback. 

Longhorn Nation might blame the refs or defensive scheme in the loss, but it really came down to one fact: Texas' defense could not bring down OU's skill players on initial contact, leading to big gains time and time again. 

Plenty of opportunities to stop the bleeding were there in the second half, but to no avail. It's clear this defense has some adjustments to make between the ears if they want to set up a potential rematch with OU in the Big 12 championship game later this season. 

The Longhorns will now head back home to Austin, as they take on the undefeated Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-0) next Saturday at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. 


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