Pivotal third quarter is game-changer in OU loss
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Saturday, January 05, 2013
1/05/13 at 6:11 AM
ARLINGTON, Texas - Oklahoma took momentum into the halftime locker room during Friday night's 41-13 Cotton Bowl loss to Texas A&M.
The Sooners scored a touchdown with 1:16 left before intermission to cut the Aggies' lead to 14-13. Confidence appeared high for the Sooners, who would receive the second-half kickoff.
Oklahoma's offense didn't get a first down in its next three possessions while A&M scored three touchdowns in that same span to send their maroon-clad fans into a tizzy.
"They had full momentum. The crowd got behind them," OU defensive end David King said. "It was like playing them in College Station. Once the fans got behind them, they had total momentum of the game."
At one point during the third quarter, Texas A&M had scored 20 points and had 251 yards of offense. Oklahoma was scoreless and only managed 17 yards.
"In the first half, we played together, limited them, used the clock, scored," OU coach Bob Stoops said. "That's how you have to play them.
"In the second half, it totally broke down offensively and defensively. Defense couldn't get off the field."
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin pointed to the momentum-changing quarter. He didn't talk about his offense first, but his defense.
"First half, I think Oklahoma was 7-of-9 on third down," Sumlin said. "They were 0-3 in the third quarter on third-down conversions, which allowed us to get the football and do something with it.
"Again, both teams made plays. But I think the difference in the third quarter was our defense being able to hold up on third down, get off the field and us to convert offensively on third down."
The third quarter was a sign of things to come for OU. The Sooners were scoreless in the second half and only managed seven first downs and 152 yards.
"We made a lot of big plays this year, but we didn't make a lot of them tonight, whether it was running or passing," OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said. "They got us on edges, got pressure in Landry's face and that's something we didn't handle very well."
Added Jones: "It was obvious tonight that we didn't play the way we should have played. We couldn't run it. We couldn't throw it."
Original Print Headline: Sooners fizzle out after halftime
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