The Oklahoma Sooners are back to back to back to back Big 12 Champions!
It was a fiery fight to the finish, but in the end, OU avenged its loss to Texas earlier this season with a 39-27 victory over the Longhorns to claim the school’s 12th Big 12 title.
Kyler Murray was sensational in a redemptive performance against Texas, completing 25-34 passes for 379 yards, three TDs and no turnovers. He also added 39 rushing yards on 10 carries. CeeDee Lamb stepped up in a big way for the Sooners with a championship performance of his own, hauling in six catches for 167 yards and a score.
As for how the game went, Oklahoma won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, giving Sam Ehlinger and the Texas offense the ball to start the game. The Sooners forced the Longhorns into a couple third and longs, but couldn’t finish the job and get off the field. A methodical, marching drive down the field resulted in a QB run to give UT an early 7-0 lead.
The Sooners received the ball next, and a mixture of Kyler Murray’s arm and Trey Sermon’s legs led the offense to the Texas one-yard line, but were unable to punch it into the end zone. Austin Seibert stepped up to make the 20-yard field goal, getting Oklahoma on the board. OU recorded a defensive stop and turned in another long drive that also resulted in a field goal, making the score 7-6, Longhorns.
Texas moved the ball with relative ease on its first possession of the second quarter. On the first play of the drive, Ehlinger found Collin Johnson down the sideline for a 31-yard gain. Eight plays later, UT pummeled its way into the end zone with another Ehlinger run. Texas would extend its lead to 14-6.
Oklahoma and Texas would then trade punts in the middle of the quarter. On the Sooners’ next possession, Murray found CeeDee Lamb on a beautifully designed QB run fake.
Later, those same two connected on this 28-yard play, resulting in Oklahoma’s first touchdown of the day. Sooners trailed 14-13.
Although the Sooners’ defense gave up a few long third down conversions in the first half, the unit was visibly inspired all day. Oklahoma forced another Texas punt and reclaimed possession with under a minute left. A quick, 41-second drive ended with Murray finding Grant Calcaterra to give OU its first lead of the game just before the half, 20-14.
Because the Sooners deferred to open the game, Lincoln Riley’s offense took the field to begin the second half. Kyler Murray looked as cool and comfortable as ever, effectively moving the ball on the ground behind Oklahoma’s vaunted offensive line. Trey Sermon capped off the drive with a 6-yard TD run. With the score, OU extended its lead to 27-14.
Sam Ehlinger would have answer, marching UT 75 yards down the field in seven plays. Johnson caught a 27-yard pass to the corner to cut the Longhorns’ deficit to 27-21.
Oklahoma went three-and-out quickly with its next possession, giving Texas the ball back with a chance to take the lead. Tom Herman’s offense continued to move the chains at a regular clip, eventually leading to a TD pass from Ehlinger to Lil’Jordan Humphrey. However, the ensuing extra-point attempt would be blocked, leaving the game tied at 27-27 through the third.
Sooners would have a chance to break the tie on the next drive that crossed into the fourth quarter. Once again, the offense would stall out in the red zone, bringing Seibert on to kick. The 31-yard field goal was good, giving the lead back to Oklahoma, 30-27.
A couple drives later, Murray connected with Lamb once again for a weaving run after the catch, but as he was tackled near the goal line he fumbled the ball just before going down. Texas would take over.
A few plays later, Tre Brown used a mixture of lightning and thunder to make the play of the game.
TRE BROWN BRINGS THE BOOM pic.twitter.com/KZBJs1G9ee— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) December 1, 2018
By safety rule, Texas was forced to kick the ball back to Oklahoma. Riley drew up and Murray executed a masterful drive to eat up over six minutes, culminating in a sweet one-handed catch by Calcaterra, and pushing the Sooners’ lead to 39-27.
One stop left to seal the deal, and Oklahoma’s defense stepped up once again as Tre Norwood picked off Ehlinger in the red zone.
Ball game. Horns. Down.
THAT BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP MOOD. pic.twitter.com/qddrHCHREI— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) December 1, 2018
The most unfortunate part of this day of celebration for the Sooners happened late in the second half when Marquise Brown went down and eventually into the locker room with an apparent lower leg injury. ‘Hollywood’ returned the sideline, and was visibly emotional while on the sideline before the end of the game. The status of his health going forward in the immediate future is currently unknown.
Marquise Brown is part of the celebration down here. Appears to be in pretty good spirits if that counts for anything. #Sooners— Tyler Palmateer (@Tpalmateer83) December 1, 2018
The College Football Playoff Selection Show airs Sunday, December 2nd, at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN. During the program, the playoff committee will reveal its final rankings of the season, including the top four seeds who will participate in the CFP semifinals later this month. Oklahoma should be a virtual lock to make the top four should Georgia lose to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
Follow Crimson & Cream Machine on Twitter!