Game Grades: Oklahoma Sooners 31, Texas Longhorns 26

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The Defense and Special Teams

Defensive Line: B

Jordan Phillips was dominant in this game despite a lack of numbers to prove it. He required a double team all day long and when they failed to double team him he was in the backfield causing havoc.

The Texas running game was held somewhat in check except for Tyrone Swoops who was able to pick up 50 yards on the ground. He also rushed for a big touchdown that put Texas back in the game.

The defensive line was far from being the biggest issues for Oklahoma on the defensive side of the ball on Saturday.

Linebackers: C

Eric Striker was great as usual with a sack and his terrorizing of the Texas offense. Striker proved once again he is one of the best defensive ends in the country.

The middle linebackers were another story. In the first half Swoops found most of his success throwing short passes over the middle. Jordan Evans and Dominique Alexander were out of position way too many times. By the second half Mike Stoops was able to make some adjustments, but those issues reared their ugly heads again late in the fourth quarter as Texas rallied to make things interesting.

At one point things were so going so bad for the linebackers that Stoops made some personnel changes and allowed freshmen like Ogbonnia Okoronkwo to get some playing time. It paid off too. Okoronkwo assisted Geneo Grissom with a sack at the end of the first quarter.

Secondary: C

At TCU the secondary was the weakness of the defense. Against Texas they weren’t as bad, but definitely weren’t great either. The cornerbacks didn’t have the big busts in the secondary that killed them a week ago, but the safeties gave up too many pass plays over the middle.

Zack Sanchez had his fifth interception of the year and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. He looked much healthier with that sore shoulder and was better tackling then he had been for several weeks.

Most of the issues with the secondary didn’t seem to have as much with being out matched as it did just some confusion and being out of position.

Special Teams: A

The only really bright spot of the game for Oklahoma was the special teams. Alex Ross’ kickoff return 91 yards for a touchdown gave Oklahoma the lead after Texas had just kicked a field goal. It was Ross’ second touchdown return of the season and is leading the nation in kickoff return average at 45.7 yards per attempt.

Michael Hunnicutt was good again. He made his only attempt of the game, a 44-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Jed Barnett had a busy day with nine punts. Three of them landed inside the 20-yard line and he averaged a solid 43.8 yards per punt.

Coverage teams on both kicks and punts were really good and kept the Texas return game from being a factor.