Oklahoma 14 – Texas 7
October 12, 1985 ▪ at Dallas ▪ Attendance 75,587
Second-ranked Oklahoma (2-0) would face their first ranked opponent in #17 Texas (3-0), albeit their lowest coming into this storied game in 11 years. The Longhorns were also a team that the Sooners had beaten just once in the previous six meetings, and that was in '82 when Switzer and company were not even ranked. It marked the first time since '78 that the game would not be televised nationally on ABC, instead being offered on regional pay-per-view.
A lot has changed though. The Sooners played it a little close to the vest on offense, under the direction of sophomore quarterback Troy Aikman, and they could afford to because they have college football's top-ranked defense. Going into the Texas game, the Sooners were first nationally in total defense (146.5 yards allowed per game), first against the rush (39 yards), third against the pass and second in points surrendered (6.5).
It featured the irrepressible and brilliant linebacker, Brian Bosworth. As a freshman a year earlier, he had said he hated everything in Texas, including the color burnt orange, which reminded him of vomit. Switzer nicknamed Bosworth "Bulletin Board", but also suggested that the 6'2", 234-pound Texan, a second-team AP All-America in '84, should curtail his public speaking.
One day during the week in Norman, where he was briefly touched by the flu, Bosworth found himself surrounded by the press. "I haven't been very vocal yet," he said with a wide grin. "I've been sick." Just then Switzer came down the hallway, shook his head and said, "Hey, what did you just tell me?" "Huh?" said Bosworth, trying to back through a concrete wall.
"I just talked to him, and he told me he isn't giving any interviews," said Switzer. "And now look at him." Switzer left smiling. Bosworth smiled, too, and limited himself to a few mild comments about the Longhorns. Then he went outside and told a Dallas TV interviewer, "I'd kill to beat Texas."
On the game's third play, Oklahoma's All-American nose guard Tony Casillas went down with a sprained right knee.
Late in the first quarter, while Oklahoma was playing its flip-and-fly wishbone with uncharacteristic caution at their 12-yard line, disaster struck. Aikman handed off to sophomore fullback Lydell Carr, but just as he took it, he was hammered by Texas defensive end Thomas Aldridge and coughed up the ball. The other defensive end, Kip Cooper picked the ball out of the air at the seven and ran into the end zone.
After the score, Switzer held his young offensive charges in check for one more possession, which consisted of three downs and a punt. Then, just as the game edged into the second quarter, he turned his kids loose. With the ball on the Oklahoma 20, Aikman called the Texas Special Pass. It was designed to catch the Longhorn strong safety coming up to support against the run, with tight end Keith Jackson acting like he would block. Taking Aikman's perfect pass on the dead run at the Sooner 40, Jackson wasn't hauled down until he hit the Texas 37. From there, Oklahoma marched towards the goal line mostly behind the power running of Carr, carrying five times for 24 yards behind the blocking of 274-pound freshman guard Anthony Phillips. Carr capped the 80-yard drive by bulling over from the one, and the game was tied, 7-7, with 10:18 to go in the half.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Sooners started from their 40-yard line. Aikman threw to Derrick Sheppard for 13 yards. Aikman then ran for five on a sneak for another first down. On second down-and-nine from the Texas 45, Aikman faked to Carr up the middle and rolled to the weak left side for the first time in the game, and when cornerback Stephen Braggs went for Aikman, he flipped a pretty pitch to trailing halfback Patrick Collins, who was left unguarded by Texas cornerback Eric Jeffries. Collins took the ball and was gone, streaking down the sidelines for a touchdown, and Oklahoma had the lead with 12:25 left in the game.
The Sooners missed the chance to go up 17-7 when Lashar missed a 46-yard field goal attempt with 2:06 left to go in the game. The Longhorns took over at their 30-yard line. Oklahoma defensive end Kevin Murphy creamed quarterback Todd Dodge twice with losses of nine and six yards to end the game.
Although the Sooners' offense didn't have a banner day, they still rolled up 220 yards rushing and Aikman completed four of nine passes for 67 yards. Carr led all rushers with 80 yards on 23 carries, and Collins added 61 yards on four carries. Jackson had 49 yards on his two receptions.
The final score was just 14-7, but don't let it fool you into thinking this game was a cliffhanger. The Oklahoma defense, even without Casillas, completely manhandled Texas. The Sooners held the Longhorns to just 70 yards in total offense, 17 on the ground for an average of less than half a yard per 35 carries, and just four first downs, one shy of the Longhorns' all-time low. They got into Oklahoma territory only three times, twice to the 49-yard line and once to the 46, and one of those trips was thanks to another fumble. In addition, the Sooners picked off three passes, and Texas was held to no first downs in the second half.
"Those statistics are incredible," said Sooner linebacker Paul Migliazzo. "We knew we could stop them. But accomplish that? No way." He also added, "After we scored, they were beaten. We ran the blitz against them anytime we wanted."
Bosworth, who finished the game with 14 tackles, 11 of them unassisted, and a leaping interception, dropped Dodge for a loss of nine. Troy Johnson trapped him for a loss of ten, and Murphy's pair closed the door.
"I said a lot of stuff last year and I heard about it when we didn't win," said Bosworth. "I live here so I had to hear it. This year I just wanted to prove that we aren't quitters and that we're the better team."
Oklahoma's winning touchdown came just as Switzer had said it would. "Coach kept telling us to be patient, be patient," said Collins. "Their defense looked like it was getting tired. We knew if we kept pounding on them, something had to give."
For Switzer, who called the game the greatest Oklahoma defensive performance he has seen in his 20 years in Norman, victory was sweeter than usual. Last season, his Sooners were tied 15-15 after several controversial calls went Texas' way. "You don't get that many chances to play Texas and know you are the better team," he said Switzer. "We were better last year, but we didn't win. We proved we were better again this year, and we did it without Tony Casillas, the best defensive player in the country."
Source: Jeff Linkowski