With its starting quarterback sidelined, Oklahoma turned in another miserable performance on Saturday. And this time it came against its most-heated rival, Texas.
The Sooners were trounced 49-0 by the Longhorns on Saturday in the Red River Rivalry. With the loss, Oklahoma dropped to 3-3 for the first time since 2009 and saw its four-game winning streak over Texas come to an end. Additionally, the 49-point margin is the biggest ever in a loss to Texas. The loss also marks the first time that Oklahoma is 0-3 in Big 12 play since 1998.
It was ugly all around for Brent Venables’ team.
With Dillon Gabriel out due to an injury he suffered in last week’s loss to TCU, the Sooners were completely lost offensively. Pitt transfer Davis Beville got the start at quarterback and struggled mightily, completing only six of his 12 attempts for 38 yards and an interception. Oklahoma’s only success on offense came via a wildcat package, but even that resulted in disaster.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s defense got torched for the third consecutive week. Texas had Quinn Ewers back in the lineup at quarterback for the first time since he was injured vs. Alabama. He was locked in.
Ewers threw for 289 yards and four touchdowns on the day. Three of those scores came in the second quarter to help the Longhorns jump out to a 28-0 halftime lead.
The UT rushing attack with Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson also thrived. Robinson led the way with 130 yards and two scores while Johnson pitched in 57 yards.
It was a strong and efficient performance from the Longhorns against an opponent that was completely overmatched.
In all, Texas racked up 585 yards of offense, 354 of which came in the first half. With Saturday’s result, Oklahoma has given up a combined 1,762 yards in its first three Big 12 games. That's an average of 587.3 yards in those three games.
Texas is now 4-2 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 so far this year. Iowa State will visit Austin next weekend before what could be a pivotal road trip to Oklahoma State in a tight Big 12 race.
An embarrassment for Oklahoma
Oklahoma was going to struggle without Gabriel in the lineup, but losing 49-0 is an unacceptable outcome for Venables’ program.
Venables is in his first year on the job after Lincoln Riley bolted for USC. Following his long and successful run as Clemson’s defensive coordinator, an infusion of toughness and discipline on that side of the ball was expected to come with Venables’ arrival.
Instead, Oklahoma has one of the worst defenses in the country.
And as bad as the defense played, it was jarring to see Oklahoma so lifeless on offense. The Sooners finished the day with just 195 yards and were a miserable 3-of-15 on third down. It was Oklahoma's first shutout loss since 1998 and its worst shutout loss ever.
The Sooners have long had one of the top offenses in the country, so it’s pretty baffling that OU had no options at quarterback beyond Beville — who was no higher than third on the depth chart at Pitt during his three seasons with the Panthers.
The Sooners saw a significant exodus of players from the program after Riley’s departure and subsequently were forced to add plenty of players of their own from the transfer portal. As a result, there are a lot of new and inexperienced players getting significant action for Oklahoma this year.
But that’s no excuse for the product that has shown up on the field in losses to Kansas State, TCU and now Texas.
The Sooners won four Big 12 titles in Riley's five seasons and made three trips to the College Football Playoff. In Year 1 under Venables, the Sooners could struggle to reach a bowl game.
Once Gabriel returns, the offense should be much better and keep the Sooners competitive. But it’s hard to win games with a defense that is playing this poorly.