Studs and duds from Texas’ Red River Shootout loss to Oklahoma

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New year, same Red River letdown.

Steve Sarkisian’s first season as the Texas head coach sure has shown him about the ups and downs. One week, 70 points wins you a game by 35, the next, a two-touchdown lead less than two minutes in leads to a loss.

From the beginning of the second half, it was a total letdown from the Longhorns. In every facet of the game, Oklahoma was the better side, especially the offensive end.

Both coaches will have positive and negative to address when resetting on Sunday. But Lincoln Riley won’t feel as bad, even with a newfound quarterback controversy on his hands.

Sarkisian, on the other hand, has some problems to address. Whether it’s the total shut down of the offense or the lack of shut down from the defense. Even special teams will be in Texas fan’s nightmares for years to come.

Here are the studs and duds from Texas’ shocking 52-45 loss to Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl.

STUD: Caleb Williams

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Credit to the Oklahoma fans against West Virginia. They got what they wanted and boy, did it work.

Once Williams was inserted as the quarterback, the Sooners were down 35-17, staring a huge halftime deficit in the face. From there, Williams led the offense to 38 points and only punted twice. Texas had no answers for the true freshman.

To be honest, I’m not sure where to begin with the wild plays. The 52-yard touchdown to Marvin Mims on 3rd and 19. The 66-yard rushing touchdown on 4th and 1. Play after play Williams came up in the clutch.

QB1.

DUD: Texas' offensive line

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Even with the injury to Denzel Okafor at left guard, there was some hope Texas’ offensive line was going to improve. Derek Kerstetter was going to move inside, while sophomore Andrej Karic took over at right tackles. In the end, it was a rough day for Kyle Flood’s group.

Oklahoma finished with three sacks and six tackles for a loss. Even worse, if you take out Bijan Robinson’s run of 50 yards, he only averaged 4.5 yards per carry. Well below what we are used to seeing.

Dog on Casey Thompson all you want but when a force of white jerseys is crashing your way, there is nothing you can do. The offensive line has a lot of soul searching to do on the road trip back to Austin.

STUD: Xavier Worthy

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Here’s the only positive Texas has coming out of the Cotton Bowl. The true freshman receiver is going to be one of the best to come out of Austin in a long time.

Worthy began the game with a screen pass house call. His second touchdown came late in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 45 and making a mense for his kickoff return touchdown. With Jordan Whittington suffering an injury, it’s now clear who the top receiver is.

Nine receptions for 261 yards was Worthy’s final stat line. Only Jordan Shipley vs. UCF in 2009 has put up more yards in one game. The future of the wide receiver room is bright.

DUD: Spencer Rattler

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Two seasons in a row Spencer Rattler has been benched in Dallas. Last season, he was quickly put back into the game and led the Sooners to a win in the fourth overtime. This time, he stayed on the bench and watched Williams complete the comeback.

Oklahoma’s offense had no chance of moving the ball with Rattler under center. Of the seven drives No. 7 started, there were two turnovers, two punts, a field goal, and two touchdowns — and the second score was from a 4th and 1 run from Williams.

Lincoln Riley will have questions to answer heading into TCU. Rattler has a ton of improving to do before he can seriously be considered “the guy” for Oklahoma going forward.

STUD: Kennedy Brooks

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If anyone is going to rival Bijan Robinson for the title of best running back in the Big 12, it’s going to be Kennedy Brooks. Lincoln Riley relied on his redshirt junior back for 217 yards and two touchdowns.

The trust was evident as well, sending multiple direct snaps to Brooks, including the game-winning touchdown. With a true freshman quarterback getting his first real experience in college football, Riley stuck to what he knows best.

DUD: Pete Kwiatkowski

AP Photo/David Goldman

Texas was up 14-0 before the game even really started with Worthy’s long touchdown combined and a blocked punt. With a defensive coordinator like Pete Kwiatkowski, a two-touchdown lead should have been enough.

Unless Oklahoma is on the other sideline.

The original game plan on Spencer Rattler was a phenomenal one. Once Williams was in the game, there was no response from Kwiatkowski. 55 points for the Sooners. Too many open lanes for Brooks to run through to count.

Not many words can be said. Everything was bad. Multiple times Texas was scrambling, attempting to get lined up. Nothing gets easier with Oklahoma State coming to town next weekend either. Hopefully, Kwiatkowski is able to fix problems quickly.

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