DALLAS — They picked off two passes and got a fumble and when they weren’t forcing turnovers, OU’s defense was getting stop after stop after stop.
The Longhorns had two first downs and 65 total yards at the half. Their first nine drives led to six punts, a safety and the two picks.
Bob Stoops lives inside the little picture, so when he talked about it, he offered praise to this unit and that unit, to every grouping of players, from both lines to each of his special teams, two observations became clear.
One, in a long-winded way, he was getting across a very direct point, as though all he was really saying was “this is what it’s supposed to look like.”
Two, you couldn’t help but think back 12 years ago, to his second season, to, really, the starting gun to his tenure, a 63-14 Cotton Bowl massacre. In retrospect, Stoops would later say, it was the victory that told him what might be possible.
Because, as he talked about his latest triumph, it seemed like it too, in retrospect, might tell him the same thing.
“It was a complete game,” Stoops said.
It was the game Damien Williams was not only yet again the first ground option, but an option that accounted for 167 yards. And it was a game that not only included Millard in the game plan yet again, but explored how much of the offense the junior fullback can be, as rolled for 119 in the air and 45 on the ground.
It was the game Jalen Saunders caught his first two passes for 54 yards, and there’s no reason to think that’s anything but a starting point for the former Fresno State receiver.
It was the game the defense wasn’t simply terrific, but good in a way defenses just aren’t good anymore, everywhere but Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge.