Fourth down the difference: Defenses dominated on third down. The Sooners converted just 2 of 15. The Cowboys turned just 2 of 13 into first downs. The difference was OU converting 3 of 3 fourth downs. The Cowboys were 0 for 1 with their only attempt coming on OU’s goal-line stand in the first quarter.
“I think the thing about the goal line stop is with the extra two weeks we had extra time to work and we really overloaded the run and we’re going to force them to throw the fade out there with our defense,” OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “We had 10 guys up there and it’s hard to block all 10. We really committed to the goal line run when they got in their big sets.”
Perfectly placed: OU won because of special teams points, but punter Jed Barnett also came up big. He put three punts inside the 12 -yard line and two were downed by Trey Franks at the Cowboys’ 1.
“I like to think it was huge. I try to just think about it for our defense,” Barnett said. “Trying to give our guys … you know, 99 yards to deal with, that’s tough for any offense to do that, no matter how good you are. I think our defense played lights out. You know, punting’s not a glorified position, but to be able to do that for my defense, drop it down, I’ve gotta give it to my guys on the punt team, though, they were the ones who pinned it down there.”