Sooners state their case — for the playoff and the Heisman
Caitlin Riley fell in step with her husband as soon as he walked off the stage after his postgame press conference.
“Alabama's on the 1,” she said.
All of Sooner Nation was paying close attention to the other games Saturday involving playoff contenders.
Why would the Oklahoma coach's wife be any different?
It's impossible to know what Sunday will bring. OU may well make the cut when the College Football Playoff selections are announced a little before noon — how many clerics in Oklahoma will be cutting short morning services this week? — but the variables are many. Yet this much we know: the Sooners did everything in their power Saturday in the Big 12 title game to make a strong and compelling closing argument.
OU 39, Texas 27.
“One thing I've learned through college is you really can't worry about the things you can't control,” sage Sooner senior Dru Samia said. “We did what we could today. We've just got to see what happens.”
True and true.
Sunday morning will be stressful for Sooners everywhere, but when it comes to what OU did Saturday, it's impossible to find fault in their performance at JerryWorld. The Sooners not only avenged their only loss of the season but also played as complete a game as we've seen. They did so against the best team on their schedule, a squad that also happens to be their biggest rival.
The degree of difficulty in doing all that is high, but the Sooners pulled it off.
It starts, as everything does with this team, with the offense. More than 500 total yards. A big day for Heisman Trophy contender (and sudden frontrunner?) Kyler Murray, who threw for 379 yards and three touchdowns. A huge touchdown from Murray to Grant Calcaterra with 2 minutes left that will be part of highlight videos for years to come.
Calcaterra caught it with one hand.
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Glad he spiked it to celebrate afterward, even with the celebration penalty. The only thing he did wrong was not throw up Horns down. If you're going to draw a penalty, might as well go all in.
But the best part of the Sooners' best-case scenario was their defense.
Even though everyone will be talking about Tre Brown's blitz that resulted in a sack and a safety, that was only one of several highlights. The defense forced four punts, an interception and a safety. Six of the Longhorns' possessions that weren't stopped by the end of a half were stopped by the Sooners.
And when the game was on the line, the OU defense outscored the Texas offense in the fourth quarter, 2-0.
“I feel like we dominated them,” Sooner linebacker Curtis Bolton said.
After what we've seen out of this defense, this did feel like domination.
“We've taken care of everything we can,” Sooner receiver and Norman native Nick Basquine said. “We played well on both sides. We showed that we're a complete team.”
Will it be enough?
“I feel like we did enough and even more,” running back Kennedy Brooks said.
But that wasn't going to keep him from watching games the rest of the day. Ditto for every other Sooner. On the bus leaving the stadium. On the plane flying home. Back in Norman. They were watching and waiting.
Their work, after all, was done.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 405-475-4125 or email@example.com. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.