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College Sports: 5 thoughts on Oklahoma’s Big 12 Championship win: Tre Brown, Kyler Murray make the big plays

Here are five thoughts from Oklahoma’s 39-27 Big 12 Championship win over Texas at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium:

One sequence decided the game

Oklahoma experienced a roller coaster of emotions midway through the fourth quarter. First, it was Kyler Murray hitting CeeDee Lamb down the left sideline on an out route. Lamb made a man miss, then made a couple more Texas defenders miss, but ultimately fumbled after getting blindsided. However, two plays later, Sam Ehlinger dropped back to pass and was drilled in the end zone by a blitzing Tre Brown. That play gave OU a 32-27 lead and the ball back. OU eventually scored on the next drive with a beautiful one-handed grab by Grant Calcaterra.

Third downs

Texas was nearly unstoppable on third down vs. the Sooners. UT converted 7 of 11 attempts and added a fourth-down conversion for good measure. This was an area Oklahoma struggled in back in October, and the Longhorns were able to take advantage again Saturday. Overall, Texas averaged 10.9 yards per attempt on third down. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger was especially efficient, completing 5 of 7 attempts in those situations for 86 yards. Ultimately, it didn’t matter, but it gave the Longhorns a chance. Perhaps more importantly, it should be a focus for the Sooners in their bowl prep.

Texas’ defense made Oklahoma work

Oklahoma’s offense still got its points for the most part, but Texas made the Sooners work for every inch. OU entered the game with a streak of 300-yard rushing games that was unceremoniously snapped in Arlington. Oklahoma finished with just 129 rushing yards and had only one attempt go for more than 10 yards. Through the air, the Longhorns were solid when they needed to be, earning a couple key pass breakups on would-be Marquise Brown touchdowns.

Marquise Brown woes

Speaking of Brown, he played poorly for arguably the first time in his Oklahoma career. The All-Big 12 receiver dropped four passes, including two that would have gone for touchdowns. Texas defenders made things difficult for him, but those are plays Brown has made during his time in Norman. Brown suffered a foot injury on the final play of the third quarter, so he wasn’t able to redeem his earlier play with any late-game heroics. He finished with five catches for 54 yards on 10 targets.

Kyler Murray and the
O-line dominated

Despite the Sooners’ struggling to run the ball, OU’s offensive line was generally excellent in pass protection. Heisman Trophy contender Kyler Murray had all day in the pocket, and he used it. He finished 25 of 34 for 379 yards and three touchdowns, including the clincher to Grant Calcaterra. He avoided turning the ball over, which had been an issue in big games this season. Murray also rushed for a few key first downs, totaling 39 yards on 10 carries.

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