4 plays made Texas Red River winners

4 plays made Texas Red River winners

Football

4 plays made Texas Red River winners

There were too many big plays to count in No. 17 Texas’ 48-45 win over seventh-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday in Dallas.

A rapid rewind from what could prove a playoff-fortifying resume-builder at the Cotton Bowl revealed four plays that proved especially important for the Longhorns.

1. Cameron Dicker’s game-winning 40-yard field goal with 9 seconds to play. We had to, right?

Dicker had hit earlier in the game from 44 yards and Texas coach Tom Herman said afterward that he was extremely confident that Dicker, a freshman, would convert his deciding kick. The Longhorns practiced the two-minute drill at the start of practice on Tuesdays for the past three weeks, and Dicker never missed. “Honestly, it came off my foot really well, and I saw it going through the uprights,” Dicker said. “And I kind of turned away because I knew it was going through.”

Maybe Sam’s prayer helped push it through (h/t @alexaphilippou).

2. Lil’Jordan Humphrey’s 19-yard gain on a bubble screen in the third quarter on third-down-and 20 from the Texas 46.

Texas was backed up after Ehlinger was sacked for a 12-yard loss the previous snap. Ehlinger got the ball to Humphrey, who had a career-high 133 yards receiving on a career-most nine catches in the win, and the Humphrey did the rest, using his blockers and then moving the pile to close to first-down yardage.

The Longhorns then converted on fourth-down-and 2 and went on the score a TD on the drive. “I told the coaches and Sam on the headset afterward that ‘that was a culture play,’” Herman said. “To me that was the play of the game. LJ is one of the toughest guys on the team and that was an example of how hard we are willing to play.”

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3. Brandon Jones’ first-quarter interception of Kyler Murray.

Murray, OU’s mercurial, dual-threat quarterback, was having his way with Texas in the early going, using his speed to get out of the pocket and draw the Longhorn defenders off the receivers they were covering long enough to get the ball to his playmakers in space. That was stymied, at least for a spell, by Jones’ pick, after which Murray was buried by a Texas blocker.

“That B. Jones, he’s a real ballhawk of a guy,” Texas defensive end Breckyn Hager said afterward. “We needed a turnover there to set the tone and he gave us that.”

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4. Murray’s third-quarter fumble that led to a Texas touchdown.

Murray slipped down as he was being chased in the pocket and literally put the ball on the ground, where Hager fell on it.

It was one of just two turnovers in the game, both committed by the Sooners and each resulted in points. After the play was reviewed Hager, who was wearing the retired No. 60 jersey in tribute to both deceased Longhorn legend Tommy Nobis and Hager’s father, Britt, who wore the number from 1984-87 during his All-America career, held the ball aloft like it was Simba from The Lion King. “That was for Tommy Nobis,” Hager said.

“That was for all the football gods.”

–Field Level Media

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