ARLINGTON, Texas — Oklahoma State came to JerryWorld to play for a Big 12 title.
Texas came to play for a title and more.
That much was quickly clear Saturday morning as the Longhorns played like a team set on making a statement. A statement to the Big 12 on their way out the door. But more importantly than that, a statement to the College Football Playoff selection committee.
And make a statement, Texas did.
Texas 49, OSU 21.
The Sellout Crowd crew weighs in on the Cowboys’ loss.
The difference was stark
Berry Tramel: Sark and Stark. That’s how I describe the Big 12 Championship Game. Sark and Stark.
Texas coach Steve Sarkisian outschemed the Cowboy defense, getting receivers to run free consistently, and OSU’s offense had no such fortune. And stark was the difference in talent between these Big 12 finalists.
Sark’s ingenuity was not necessary. The Longhorns had a massive talent edge, particularly in open space. The Cowboys weren’t great in the trenches, but they at least put up a fight. But on the perimeter, or in the open spaces of JerryWorld, the Longhorns were dang near unstoppable. Make this a touch football game and the margin would have been even wider.
This game made you appreciate the Cowboys even getting here. They scrapped and scratched their way to Arlington, which made for a memorable season.
This was a bad matchup for OSU — the Cowboys rely on their running game, but Texas excels at run defense. Wouldn’t have mattered, not on a day when the Longhorns had sark, and stark was the difference in talent.
The Cowboys lacked most everything except grit
Jenni Carlson: A tough Saturday for the Cowboys. Their schemes weren’t as good. Their athletes weren’t as good. Their breaks weren’t as numerous as they needed to be to make up for either of those things.
Hard to have anything other than a blowout in that scenario.
It’s cold comfort, but even as the Longhorns were piling on the points, the Cowboys kept playing. No giving up. No laying down. That was this team’s calling card this season. OSU’s pregame video inside JerryWorld even referenced it. “ALL GRIT,” it said at one point. “NO QUIT” flashed a few moments later.
Even though it suffered tough losses to South Alabama and UCF, OSU pulled itself out of the hole each time. Saturday, the hole was too deep, but the Cowboys kept at it.
Mike Gundy loves to talk about culture, and while it sounds goofy sometimes, there’s evidence that it’s actually a real thing. Even on a really bad day for the Cowboys.
OSU was pretty bad, but man was Texas good
Guerin Emig: Alan Bowman wasn’t consistent enough to even approach Quinn Ewers’ level of quarterback play Saturday, a day OSU needed Bowman to be better than his Texas counterpart.
The offensive line wasn’t strong enough to move T’Vondre Sweat, Byron Murphy and the rest of Texas’ defensive front on a day the O-line needed to help get Ollie Gordon going.
The defense was overmatched from Texas’ four-play touchdown drive to open the scoring on a day… Well… We figured the defense might be overmatched in this one.
The Big 12 Championship Game didn’t get OSU’s best effort. That helped explain the lopsided result.
This explained more: Texas was terrific.
Scratch that. Texas IS terrific.
If you’re waiting for the boot to drop and for the Longhorns to blow this season like they have past ones since 2009, stop. These guys are 12-1 and the most clear-cut Big 12 champs since the 2005 Longhorns destroyed Colorado 70-3 in Houston.
This is an offense where a dazzling playcaller maximizes his array of talent, and a defense starring a front seven already fit for the SEC.
The Cowboys never stood a chance in Arlington, and that was Texas’ fault more than their own.
No second-half comeback this time
Ed Murray: Oklahoma State made it to the Big 12 championship game with a string of amazing second-half comebacks. But in Arlington, the hole was too deep and the opponent too good.
The Cowboys could not stop Ewers who completed his first 12 passes. Three of those were touchdowns. One play after he misfired, he connected again on a 63-yard play on the Horns fourth touchdown drive in four possessions and a 28-7 lead. Texas generated huge chunk plays from start to finish. Ewers broke the title game’s yardage record and tied for most TD passes.
The Texas defense on the other hand had no problems with any aspect of the OSU offense. The Horns shutdown the nation’s leading rusher, Ollie Gordon, and won the turnover battle.
OSU played hard and never quit, scoring on a nice drive in the 4th quarter. But Texas left no doubt. The better team won this title game.
OSU got down too much, too quick.
Sam Hutchens: Oklahoma State’s best second-half offense all season has come from the rushing game. Hand it to Ollie Gordon and let him go to work against a weary defensive front.
Texas took that card out of the deck.
By getting up 14-0 less than halfway through the first quarter and 28-7 in the blink of an eye, the Cowboys had nowhere to turn. OSU needed big plays, and fast. The Cowboys aren’t a good enough team to play outside of their wheelhouse and win a Big 12 Championship. That showed.