Horns edge OU in defensive struggle

DALLAS, TX [SPORTS BLOG: Read the latest from the Eyewitness Sports team]

Aaron Williams knocked out Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford on a first-quarter sack, then he and Earl Thomas picked off backup Landry Jones in the fourth quarter to send No. 3 Texas to a 16-13 victory Saturday over the No. 20 Sooners.

The 104th edition of this series was one of the ugliest, with the teams combining for eight turnovers and only a single touchdown from each of their supposedly high-scoring offenses.

But for McCoy and the Longhorns (6-0, 3-0 Big 12), all that matters is the W. It's their fourth in five years against the Sooners and it keeps alive their hopes of winning the national championship. They'll have to be a lot crisper than this to win at Missouri and at Oklahoma State the next two weeks.

Oklahoma (3-3, 1-1) lost this game last year yet still managed to win the conference and play for the national championship. That won't happen this year.

Bradford was certain to cash in as one of the top picks in the last NFL draft, but opted to return for his junior season. Playing behind an inexperienced line, he sprained his throwing shoulder in the opener, took a month off and returned last week against Baylor. He looked good and started this game strong, then Williams dragged him down right onto the bum shoulder and he stayed down in a heap. He watched the rest of the game from the sideline, changing into a T-shirt at halftime.

Jones was 24 of 43 for 250 yards, with the interceptions ending his final two drives. The series before that ended with a fourth-and-1 try that was stopped at midfield.

The Sooners simply couldn't run against Texas. Oklahoma finished a minus-16 on 22 running plays.

Yet the Longhorns couldn't shake the Sooners.

McCoy came in needing a big game to boost his Heisman Trophy chances, but he was only 21 of 39 for 127 yards. He threw an interception inside the 10-yard line midway through the fourth quarter (between the two pickoffs by his secondary) and fumbled inside the 10 line late in the first half.

His best drive of the game might've been his last one. The Longhorns didn't get any points out of it, but they managed to kill the final 3:31. When it was obvious that time was going to run out, McCoy turned to the orange-clad end of the stadium and gave a giant fist pump.

McCoy beat the Sooners for the third time in his four years, putting him in an elite group. He also guaranteed that Texas will be near the top of the BCS standings when they come out this week -- even if they'll no longer be atop the nation in scoring. The Longhorns had been first at 47.2 points per game.

Texas' lone touchdown came midway through the third quarter, when Marquise Goodwin shook off a tackle and walked in for a 14-yarder. The Sooners came back with their only touchdown, a 35-yarder to Ryan Broyles, but the Longhorns went ahead for good on a 32-yard field goal by Hunter Lawrence early in the fourth quarter.

Lawrence also made a pair of 42-yarders.

Oklahoma's other scoring came on kicks of 26 and 37 yards by Jimmy Stevens. He also missed a 45-yarder.

Chris Brown led the Sooners with only 23 yards rushing on 12 carries. DeMarco Murray lost three yards, Jones lost four, Bradford lost 13 and Cameron Kenney lost 19.

Murray had 116 yards receiving, 64 coming on one play on the opening drive. He got OU to the 9, but the Sooners settled for a short field goal.

McCoy was sacked and fumbled on Texas' first drive, then Bradford got hurt on the very next snap. Jones got the Sooners in position for a 37-yard field goal on his first full series -- and that was it for the Oklahoma offense in the first half. The closest it came to scoring was a 45-yard field goal that went wide right.

McCoy and the Longhorns never got going.

He took a 15-yard sack on a third down from the Oklahoma 35, taking them way out of field-goal range, and had several throws nearly intercepted, a couple of which might've been returned for touchdowns. Texas was 0 for 7 on third downs until shortly before halftime.

But the biggest blown opportunity was all of OU's fumbles.

A muffed punt -- which one official ruled a Texas touchdown before a long review -- gave the Longhorns first down from 18. They went backwards six yards before kicking a 42-yard field goal.

The Longhorns got the ball right back when the Sooners coughed up the ensuing kickoff. Then McCoy broke off a long run, only to get stripped while fighting for another yard. The Sooners fumbled again, recovering inside the 1-yard line. They were able to punt and Texas couldn't do anything with it before time ran out.

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