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Texas had déjà vu at OSU then lost 41-34

Quinn Ewers against OSU

photo Texas Athletics

Texas at OSU coin toss
photo Texas Athletics

Two years ago in 2020 when Texas played OSU in Stillwater, OK, the final score was Texas 41 OSU 34 in overtime. Sam Ehlinger completed 18 passes for 169 yards that included three touchdowns, no interceptions, and was sacked six times. Joseph Ossai had 12 tackles that included seven solo. Texas committed 13 penalties for 142 yards and OSU eight penalties for 70 yards. Texas scored one rushing touchdown and three receiving.

In 2022, Texas returned to Stillwater, OK and the final score was OSU 41 Texas 34. Quinn Ewers completed 19 passes for 319 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions, and was sacked once. Jahdae Barron had 12 tackles that included six solo. Texas committed 14 penalties for 119 yards and OSU had no penalties. Texas scored two touchdowns rushing and two receiving.

Of the 11 players on offense and 11 on defense, many of the players did not have their best game in 2020 when Texas won and in 2022 when Texas lost.

Certainly, Texas did not look like the team that played Alabama or Oklahoma in the 2022 Red River Showdown.

It seems easy to look at the quarterback, however Ewers, by all accounts, played better than Ehlinger in 2020. Focusing on Texas receiving seems appropriate, though they caught 19 passes for 319 yards compared to only 18 receptions for 169 in 2020. The one glaring difference was Ewers missed 30 times and Ehlinger missed 16.

Then you have to ask, did the quarterback miss the throw or was the throw catchable and not caught? Good question.

Another great question is how about the Texas defense? In 2022, they had 91 tackles (45 solo) compared to 2020 when Texas had 74 tackles (59 solo). 

By most statistics, Texas played substantially better in their loss to OSU in 2022 then they did in their win over OSU in 2020 at the same place, Stillwater, OK. Maybe it was the OSU crowd that was a factor. In 2020, because of COVID, there were 14,672 in attendance compared to 2022 when OSU packed Boone Pickens Stadium with 55,509.

There is one glaringly obvious, flashing red neon sign, reason Texas got beat this year, last year and just about the year prior.

Penalties!

Any penalty before the snap is generally looked at as a coaching problem, after the snap it is seen as a player’s responsibility; dropped pass, missed tackle, missed coverage, etc.

Of Texas’ 14 penalties (6 offense, 8 defense), all six on offense were before the snap (illegal formation and false starts). Three of the eight on defense were offsides. Nine of the 14 penalties (64%) for Texas can be attributed to coaching.

OSU had no penalties in the game.

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