DALLAS — This was supposed to be David Ash’s redemption.
Instead, the Texas sophomore quarterback left the field with a swollen left wrist the size of an apple and a second-consecutive “unacceptable” loss to rival Oklahoma.
The No. 13 Sooners manhandled an “inept” Longhorns offense and Ash turned the ball over three times as Oklahoma routed the No. 15 Longhorns 63-21 Saturday in the 107th Red River Rivalry on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl.
“It’s just unacceptable for Texas to lose like that,” head coach Mack Brown said. “I’m disappointed for our coaches, our fans and our players. That’s not who we are.”
Entering the weekend with the nation’s third-best passing efficiency mark, the former Belton standout seemed primed to avenge last season’s embarrassing 55-17 loss to Oklahoma, especially after several career-best performances this season.
Only, that never materialized as the Sooners more than doubled up the Longhorns offensively, racking up 677 total yards on 90 offensive plays to beat Texas for a third straight year. Meanwhile, Texas managed just 289 yards — 148 through the first 53 minutes — on 60 plays.
“We were shocked,” Longhorns junior receiver Mike Davis admitted afterward.
Things got out of hand early, too, as the Longhorns went 3-and-out on their first four possessions, all the while Oklahoma was pulling away. The Sooners led 27-2 before the Longhorns registered a first down when Ash hit Davis down the sideline for a 31-yard gain with 9 minutes left in the second quarter.
“We just needed to get some mojo early, and we didn’t do that,” Longhorns co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said. “You need to have that in these types of games when you’re playing a good football team, you have to have something go positive for you early in the game.”
Oklahoma’s 254-pound bruiser Blake Bell contributed touchdown runs of 8, 1, 1, 1 in the first half to plate the Sooners a 36-2 advantage at halftime. At the midpoint break, Oklahoma had outgained Texas 407-to-65 with 52 total plays compared to just 23 for Texas.
Oklahoma tailback Damien Williams added a 95-yard run down the home sideline on the second play of the Sooners’ third offensive series after Bell’s 8-yard touchdown run capped a 14-play, 73-yard opening drive that lasted most than six minutes.
While its offense was eating up yardage, the Sooners defense continually caused Ash and the Texas offense fits with pressure and tight coverage. Cornerback Aaron Colvin intercepted Ash for just the second time all season on the play immediately following the 31-yard completion to Davis for the first first down.
“I think we got to him a little bit and he got uncomfortable back there, and that’s what you want, you want to make a quarterback uncomfortable,” Sooners defensive end David King said. “That’s when they start making bad decisions with the football.”
Becoming Oklahoma’s all-time winningest quarterback, Oklahoma senior Landry Jones threw for 321 yards on 21-of-37 passing and two touchdowns, often finding tailback Trey Millard (5 catches for 119) wide open for big chunks of yardage.
“We were just playing loose, it’s just kind of the deal where you’re not thinking and just reacting and cutting it loose,” Jones said. “That’s the way this game is meant to be played, and that’s how we played tonight.”
Texas’ offense didn’t find the end zone until backup quarterback Case McCoy found Davis for a 44-yard touchdown with 4:43 to play in the fourth on his first series after replacing the injured Ash (13-of-29, 113 yards, 2 INTs). By that point, the game was already well out of reach with Oklahoma leading 56-8 — with those points coming courtesy of a point-after return for a touchdown by Quandre Diggs and a 28-yard interception return by Carring Byndom early in the third quarter.
McCoy, the brother of former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy who guided the Horns to their last win over Oklahoma in 2009, finished 5-of-8 for 102 yards and two touchdowns. The younger McCoy lead the Longhorns on back-to-back scoring drives, including a 19-yard touchdown throw to John Harris on the final play of the game.
“He knew what to do, where to go, he saw the right things look-wise, and when we had the opportunity to get guys open, he took advantage of it,” Harsin said of McCoy.
Ash, who beat out McCoy for the starting job after a much-publicized preseason competition, went into the locker room with a visibly swollen left wrist with nine minutes left in the fourth after landing awkwardly on it.
“We’re not where we need to be by any means,” Harsin said. “We are a work in progress.”
Contact Alex Byington at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7566