OU football: CeeDee Lamb's touchdown heroics boost Sooners to 34-27 win over Texas
DALLAS — CeeDee Lamb was so wide open he had a chance to set up his post-catch run.
In a split-second, Lamb adjusted to Jalen Hurts’ throw to not only catch it but to also make the biggest play he could.
He saw a pair of Texas defenders out of the corner of his right eye and timed them up.
“I just felt like if I could make one miss, then why not two,” Lamb said after his three-touchdown performance helped lift Oklahoma to a 34-27 win over Texas on Saturday in the Cotton Bowl. “I didn’t really know there was four. Coach (Lincoln) Riley would’ve killed me if I’d have got tackled.”
Turns out, there were five Texas defenders closing in on Lamb. It didn’t matter how many there were, there was no bringing down Lamb, who ran it in from the 30 with a stop-and-start stutter move and straight-line speed. The score put the Sooners ahead for good.
On a day Hurts struggled with a pair of red-zone turnovers and didn’t always show the poise that has become characteristic of the Sooners’ quarterback, Lamb bailed him and the Sooners out with a pair of second-half touchdowns that largely relied on Lamb’s playmaking.
Lamb finished with 10 catches for 171 yards and three touchdowns, a career-high for catches and second only in yardage to the 185 yards he had two weeks ago against Texas Tech.
“No doubt we’ve been able to coach some great wideouts over the years,” Riley said. “We still got some time together. I’m not going to anoint him yet. He knows that.”
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Before the season, Lamb and Riley talked about the key to Lamb’s growth was his need to make plays after the catch.
“I wouldn’t consider really saying that I would’ve done that last year because I didn’t,” Lamb said.
There was plenty of time left in the game when Lamb scored his final touchdown — a 27-yard touchdown in traffic that started with Lamb shaking his way out of a headlock-style tackle try from Texas’ Brandon Jones and ended with a tightrope walk down the sideline to the end zone — but without Lamb’s heroics, the finish could’ve been much different.
Oklahoma safety Pat Fields marveled at Lamb's final touchdown, saying he thought Lamb would step out of bounds.
“And then he breaks a tackle and makes a play,” Fields said. “It’s crazy. It just speaks volumes to the player that he is and the game-changing ability he has.”
Lamb summarized his improvement simply.
“When you have confidence, nothing else can defeat you,” Lamb said.