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Tom Herman addresses tackling issues

Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (2) runs past Texas defensive back B.J. Foster (25) and linebacker Joseph Ossai (46) on his way to the end zone Saturday in the Cotton Bowl. Lamb helped the Sooners beat the Longhorns, 34-27. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]
Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (2) runs past Texas defensive back B.J. Foster (25) and linebacker Joseph Ossai (46) on his way to the end zone Saturday in the Cotton Bowl. Lamb helped the Sooners beat the Longhorns, 34-27. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

The 2018 OU-Texas game was notable for the Sooners’ inability to tackle UT receiver Lil’ Jordan Humphrey. The Longhorns won 48-45. The 2019 OU-Texas game was notable for the ‘Horns’ inability to tackle OU receiver CeeDee Lamb. The Sooners won 34-27.

Lamb scored three touchdowns, two of them by running away from or through a pack of defenders. Five Longhorns surrounded Lamb on what became his second touchdown; three surrounded Lamb on what became his third TD.

“We have definitely already addressed the tackling,” Texas coach Tom Herman said Monday on the Big 12 teleconference. Herman said UT didn’t work out in pads Sunday but still went through tackling drills, and he said Texas will “tackle live tomorrow. It was obviously really bad and we got exposed by some really good athletes, but we’ve got some good athletes ourselves that we need to teach how to tackle better.”

The Longhorns are 4-2, having also lost to LSU, and Herman said, “We’re extremely close. We’ve lost two games to two top-five teams and each of those was seven-point games. When you’re playing really good people, really good teams like Oklahoma, the details and tiny minute’ things really matter and become magnified. We’re learning that. We understand it. Now it’s a matter of putting that understanding into execution.”

Big 12 admits error

Texas Tech officials say they have been informed by the Big 12 that the officiating crew in the Tech-Baylor game Saturday missed a call in overtime that played a huge role in Baylor’s victory.

The Big 12 confirmed to Texas Tech on Sunday that the officiating crew missed a call in overtime that perhaps allowed Baylor to survive the Red Raiders. The Bears won 33-30 in two overtimes, but in the first overtime, Baylor center Jake Fruhmorgen snapped the ball off his butt, and the loose ball was recovered by Tech’s Jaylon Hutchings. But officials whistled the play dead and penalized Baylor with a false start. The Bears scored a touchdown two plays later.

“It is important to state that we have been in constant communication with the Big 12 Conference office from the immediate end of the game and throughout Sunday regarding the illegal snap call in the first overtime,” Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said in a statement.

“It has been confirmed that the ruling on the field of an illegal snap was incorrect. The play is not reviewable by rule because it is a dead ball judgment call by the official. I am confident that the Big 12 Conference will deal with the matter internally as they complete the review of the game in its entirety. While this is a very unfortunate circumstance, I could not be more proud of our team and the competitive fight and effort with which they competed.”

On the Big 12 teleconference Monday, Tech coach Matt Wells was diplomatic. “Nothing that can be done now,” Wells said. “We’re a no-excuse program. That won’t define us. That was obviously at a critical point in the game. We’ve got to atone for our errors. You gotta move on to the next play. You can’t let your emotions get too high or too low.”

Delton returns to KSU

First-year Kansas State coach Chris Klieman didn’t get the chance to talk to transferring quarterback Alex Delton. When Klieman was hired, Delton already had made the decision to leave K-State, and he ended up at TCU.

Saturday, the Horned Frogs play at Kansas State, and though Delton isn’t starting for the Frogs, he figures to play against his former team.

“He’ll be in the ballgame,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said Monday on the Big 12 teleconference. “He’s played in every ballgame. He’s a TCU Horned Frog right now, so I don’t know in terms of issues. He’s been great here. Been the consummate teammate. One of my captains. Even when he hasn’t been the starter, he’s been great for us as far as how he’s handled things. I see no issues.”

Freshman Max Duggan has settled in as the TCU starter, and in Manhattan, junior Skylar Thompson is the KSU quarterback. Delton, who platooned with Thompson each of the past two seasons, is from Hays, Kansas, so this game is a return to both his home state and his alma mater.

Delton this season has rushed 17 times for 100 yards and completed 25 of 48 passes for 312 yards, with one interception.

Tech dangerous

Not that many weeks ago, Texas Tech was 2-2 and floundering with backup quarterback Jett Duffey, who had replaced the injured Alan Bowman.

Since then, the Red Raiders beat Oklahoma State 45-35 and took Baylor to double overtime in Waco. Now Tech hosts Iowa State, and suddenly the Red Raiders don’t seem like such a pushover.

Iowa State coach Matt Campbell complimented new Tech coach Matt Wells.

“I have a lot of respect for Matt, coming into the conference, watching what he did at Utah State,” Campbell said. “Their kids play really hard. Defensively, they run to the football. They obviously have a veteran defense coming back, then putting a really good scheme around it. You can tell the culture’s growing and the kids believe in Coach Wells.”

Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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