Cotton Bowl collapse

Austin Laymance

DALLAS — The Longhorns had more than just the eyes of Texas watching them.

But against Oklahoma before a national television audience, with ESPN College GameDay on hand and 94,000 fans packed into the Cotton Bowl, UT wilted in a 55-17 blowout.

And it wasn’t pretty. Everything that could go wrong did.

The Longhorns turned the ball over five times, including three fumbles and two interceptions. OU made the most of Texas’ mistakes, returning two fumbles and an interception for touchdowns.

Heck, the Sooners’ defense scored more points than Texas.

“It just wasn’t our day,” said sophomore cornerback Adrian Phillips.

That pretty much sums it up.

What was supposed to be a measuring stick game for the Longhorns turned out to be a slaughter.

Midway through the third quarter, many Texas fans began heading for the exits. The loss was unbearable to some and painful to others. To head coach Mack Brown, it was disheartening.

“I was disappointed that we didn’t live up to our side of the match,” Brown said.

You can say that again.

The Longhorns rode into the Cotton Bowl with high hopes of challenging No. 3 Oklahoma. The weekend’s only match-up of undefeated, ranked teams quickly became a lopsided affair usually reserved for the season opener.

Texas didn’t play like the nation’s No. 10 team and was exposed in every facet of the game.

The offensive line had more holes than Swiss cheese. The pass defense was a step slow. The tackling was poor. The execution? Even worse.

The ugly loss dropped Texas to No. 22 in the AP poll.

And the Longhorns don’t have much time to iron things out. Sixth-ranked Oklahoma State and its high-octane offense pay a visit to Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

“We’ve go to go back to work,” Brown said. “We play a top team again next week, so we don’t have any time to sit back and feel sorry for ourselves.”

After a surprising 4-0 start to the year, the Longhorns’ magic finally ran out in Dallas at the State Fair grounds.

Co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin was supposed to be Texas’ biggest weapon against the Sooners. He’d called one of the best games in college football history during Boise State’s upset of OU in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, highlighted by the infamous Statue of Liberty play. He was supposed to save the day in his first Red River Rivalry.

Oklahoma didn’t get the memo.

Harsin’s trick plays fizzled as the Sooners pass rush disrupted any chance for the slow-developing plays to pan out. There were no miracles in this game.

“They were just out there flying to the ball, playing faster than us,” said senior tailback Fozzy Whittaker.

The Longhorns wanted to see how they stacked up against a team with National Championship aspirations. Now they know. They can’t be happy with the results.

Printed on October 10, 2011 as: Young offense denied by Sooners