DALLAS (AP) – Landry Jones and the Oklahoma Sooners made a strong case Saturday to return to the top of the college football poll.
Having slipped from first to second to third over successive weeks, the Sooners showed they deserve to be considered the best in the land with a 55-17 thrashing of No. 11 Texas.
Oklahoma stomped its top rival almost as easily as it did lowly Ball State the previous week, getting three touchdown passes from Jones, a 64-yard touchdown run by Dominique Whaley and three defensive touchdowns.
The Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) scored the first four times they had the ball. They were up by 24 points at halftime and by 45 midway through the fourth quarter on the way to their most lopsided win in this series since 2003, when they won by a series-record 52 points.
The Longhorns (4-1, 1-1) were trying to figure out how far they’ve come since being 5-7 last season. Now coach Mack Brown’s knows just how far his squad still has to go, especially on offense.
Sophomore Case McCoy and freshman David Ash had their share of rookie mistakes at quarterback, such as McCoy fumbling twice (one returned 19 yards for a touchdown by David King) and Ash throwing two interceptions (one returned 55 yards for a touchdown by Demontre Hurst).
McCoy and Ash couldn’t keep drives going. The Sooners swarmed running plays and the youngsters were only able to complete short passes. The longest completions before the game turned into a joke were a screen for 15 yards and an 18-yarder along the sideline against a prevent defense in the final seconds of the first half.
How silly did it become? Late in the third quarter, Texas let a first-and-10 at the Oklahoma 15 turn into a fourth-and-49 from its own 47. The ensuing punt didn’t even reach the first-down marker.
Texas’ only touchdowns came on a kickoff return late in the first half, and a pass in the final minutes. The Longhorns also had an early field goal that had gotten them to 6-3.
The Sooners were so ready for the Longhorns that they let them know it before kickoff. Oklahoma players lined up between the 30s and hollered at Texas players as they ran onto the field. Coaches and officials scrambled to maintain peace.
OU drove inside the Texas 10 on its first two series, but settled for field goals of 26 and 24 yards, seemingly bothered by the noise at the end of the field occupied by Texas fans. The Sooners moved into the friendly end for the start of the second quarter and, on the first play, Jones threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills.
An interception by Tony Jefferson — a linebacker who picked off passes on three consecutive series against Ball State — gave Jones another series. After threading a 30-yard pass between two defenders on a third-and-25, Jones hit Ryan Broyles with a 5-yard pass just inside the right front corner of the end zone.
The play had to be reviewed, and Oklahoma fans used the break to start chanting “Boomer! Sooner!” Longhorns fans answered with their chant “Texas! Fight!” Their cries lasted longer and were louder than their foe’s, only to end with the news that the touchdown stood.
Texas fans were hardly heard from again. Once Oklahoma got its third defensive score — a 56-yard return of a fumble by Jamell Fleming with 11:22 left — most folks in burnt orange headed out to drown their sorrows at the State Fair going on all around the Cotton Bowl.
Jones was 31 of 50 for 367 yards and no turnovers. He improved to 2-0 against the Longhorns, and gave Oklahoma its third win in five years against its Red River rival.
Broyles caught nine passes for 122 yards, leaving him four receptions shy of the NCAA career record. Stills caught five passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
Whaley ran for 83 yards on 13 carries.
McCoy was 9 of 16 for 116 yards with three sacks. Ash was 11 of 20 for 107 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions and four sacks.
Jaxon Shipley caught nine passes for 89 yards, including a 4-yard TD pass from Ash with 2:31 left.
Fozzy Whitaker had the 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, tying the school record set by Johnny “Lam” Jones in 1978. He also ran for 43 yards and caught a pass for 15.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)