For the first time in 2010, Texas was outgained by its opponent, but for the sixth time, the opponent scored more points.
“They’re all trying so hard,” Texas head coach Mack Brown said of his team. “But just absolutely nothing has worked.”
No. 10 Oklahoma State (9-1, 5-1) walked into Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and gave unranked Texas (4-6, 2-5) no hope and no chance of winning in the 33-16 final. Texas suffered its fourth consecutive loss, and this one was a lot uglier than the score might indicate.
The Cowboys entered the game ranked third in offense and third in passing offense. But optimistic members of the Longhorn faithful stood behind Texas’ one and only strength, a second-ranked pass defense that had allowed only 132.4 yards per game. That ranking won’t hold up for much longer after Saturday night.
Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden methodically picked apart Texas’ hyped secondary, throwing 29 of 43 for 409 yards and one touchdown. The nation’s leading receiver entering the game, Justin Blackmon, will keep the title after catching nine passes for 145 yards and one touchdown, including one 67-yard bomb over Texas cornerback Aaron Williams.
“Weeden was unbelievable and made throws not many college quarterbacks can make,” Brown said. “The throw to Blackmon was incredible. He’s Michael Crabtree but stronger – just unbelievable.”
Texas’ secondary finally slowed Weeden and Blackmon in the second half by default. Like many games have gone for Texas this season, the last two quarters were defined by the running game. Cowboys running back Kendall Hunter, who ranked third in the country in rushing yards coming into the game, padded his statistics to the tune of 23 carries for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
After throwing five interceptions in last week’s loss to Kansas State, Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert’s line was again less than impressive but not entirely detrimental to the Longhorns’ efforts. But drive after drive, Gilbert overthrew deep passes or launched rockets to receivers within 10 yards, which were typically dropped. Backup quarterback Case McCoy remained on the sideline and never appeared to prepare for a substitution.
“You have to have a short memory no matter what,” Gilbert said. “I still feel very confident in myself and my teammates. We all kept fighting throughout the game.”