Dallas — Travis Lewis took the Golden Hat trophy and treated it like a real hat, holding it to his head as he trotted along the field, waving to the thousands of Oklahoma fans still in their seats. When he got to the section where friends and family were sitting, Lewis walked alongside the railing, holding out the trophy for folks to touch.
So many people starred in this resounding victory that it only made sense for plenty of people to take part in the celebration.
Landry Jones threw three touchdown passes, Dominique Whaley ran 64 yards for a touchdown and three defensive players found their way into the end zone, too, powering No. 3 Oklahoma to a 55-17 victory over No. 11 Texas on Saturday — the kind of whipping that could help the Sooners return to the top of the Associated Press poll.
OU was No. 1 from the preseason until two weeks ago. The Sooners slipped to second after struggling at home against Missouri, then to third even after whipping lowly Ball State. Voters were more impressed by what they saw from SEC heavyweights LSU and Alabama.
This performance, however, showed that Oklahoma is as good as folks originally thought.
The Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) were precise on offense and swarming on defense. They scored the first four times they had the ball and cruised to leads of 24 at halftime and 45 midway through the fourth quarter. Texas’ only touchdown on offense came in the final minutes, long after Oklahoma was on its way to the most lopsided win over its Red River rival since 2003, when it won by a series-record 52 points.
“It was an excellent day,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “To come down in here in this situation and win like that is really pretty special.”
Jones was 31-of-50 for 367 yards and no turnovers. He improved to 2-0 against the Longhorns, and gave Oklahoma its third victory over Texas (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) in five years.
Oklahoma’s most impressive feat was the three defensive touchdowns: an interception returned 55 yards from Demontre Hurst, a sack-fumble returned 19 yards by David King and a vicious strip of a receiver taken 56 yards by Jamell Fleming. It was the first time in the school’s long, proud history that its defense has scored three times in one game, and only the second time a pair of fumbles were returned for TDs. Oklahoma matched another school record with eight sacks.
“To me there is nothing more fun than a defensive touchdown when you’re on that side of it,” Stoops said.
Here’s yet another nice bit of history for Sooners to savor: this win pushed Oklahoma ahead of Texas for the fourth-best winning percentage among major colleges. Only Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State are better. The Longhorns actually slipped from third to fifth.
Texas was trying to figure out how far it’s come since being 5-7 last season. Now coach Mack Brown knows his squad still has a ways to go.