It didn’t take long to see this was going to be a Texas-sized butt-kicking.
The 67th Oil Bowl was over by the end of the first quarter. It dragged on for more than three hours, but Oklahoma really never had a prayer.
The clock hadn’t struck 8, and writers in the press box were busy thumbing through the record book. The most lopsided games in Oil Bowl history were 37-0 Texas in 1946 and 1956.
Here we were just seven points away from history. And the game was barely 10 minutes old.
As it turned out, Texas never expanded its 30-0 lead, but still had an easy 40-10 Saturday evening.
If Oklahoma had any serious thoughts about winning two in a row, those were erased on the first two passes of the game.
Tulsa Union quarterback Jake Spavital was intercepted by Baylen Laury. On the very next play — Texas’ first offensive snap of the night — the Ennis connection of Graham Harrell-to-Jarvis Wilson worked for 61 yards.
“We knew they were working on jailbreak a lot — a little screen pass under — and we decided on the first play we would run jailbreak fake. Jarvis and I had played together for so long, we figured it would be a good play, and it turned out big,” Harrell, the game’s unanimous offensive MVP, explained.
“It set the tempo,” added Franklin Okam, the talented defensive end from Lake Highlands and defensive MVP of this game. “When we first got the pickoff from Laury and a great start on defense, the offense came right back and set the tempo for the whole game. I think they were kinda shocked by the way the game started.”
The Texans led 7-0 after just 59 seconds. It then took 74 seconds more for them to stretch it out to 16-0 on a safety and a 48-yard homecoming touchdown run by former Hirschi star Chris Barry.
Before the quarter was over, Shannon Woods of McKinney North and Tommy Henderson of Wichita Falls High School had found the end zone, and Texas was on pace to gobble up almost 800 yards in total offense and win 120-0.
With Oklahoma’s defense looking helpless and hopeless, it seemed the only thing that could stop a Texas rout was a run-rule or the mercy of the Texas coaches. But it’s an all-star game. You just can’t take a knee for three quarters. The 8,000 or so paying customers deserve more than that.
Oklahoma helped out some by simply playing better, going on a 10-0 run early in the second quarter to at least show it still had a pulse. To Oklahoma’s credit, this was a 10-10 game for the final 38 minutes.
But the imbalance of talent in this year’s game was evident from the time these two teams checked into the dorm on Tuesday. Texas’ offensive line was as good as it has ever been for an Oil Bowl. The defense — headed by Okam and Chris Smith of Allen — just didn’t budge a whole lot the entire night.
And then there was Harrell.
It is often the case in all-star games that big-name quarterbacks don’t live up to their reputations. It’s hard to get your timing down with receivers you have never seen before in just a few practices.
But Harrell lived up to his 12,000-yard, 167-touchdown hype. He was smooth and poised under pressure, completing 17 of 29 passes for 260 yards and two TDs.
“He puts the ball where he needs to put it. He is incredible. He is the best quarterback I’ve ever seen,” said Henderson, who got a few snaps at quarterback but was used mainly as a wide receiver, catching two of Harrell’s passes for 19 yards.
So was this really the mismatch it appeared to be?
“I think so,” Okam said.
I do, too.
Sports Editor Nick Gholson can be reached before 4 p.m. weekdays by calling (940) 720-3447 or 1-800-627-1646 (ext. 447). Or you can email him at gholsonn(at)