No. 6 Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) remain undefeated following a 34-27 victory over Texas (4-2, 2-1 Big 12). In a game headlined by high-flying offenses, the OU defense held Sam Ehlinger and the Texas offense to 27 points, the Longhorns lowest total of the year.
Here’s what head coach Lincoln Riley had to say after the game:
On defensive improvement
"Well, regardless of what the outside world thinks, we play a lot more defense. We talked about it last night, Coach Grinch talked about it in the defensive meeting, we talked about it in the team meeting. I don’t care what our defensive calls are, schemes, any of that. The way we play right now, today, was the difference. The aggression, fundamentally sound, kept our aggression even in the second half when Texas made a few plays. We were outstanding there. We’re gonna continue to get better. This won’t be our best game. It was a really good performance defensively."
On if CeeDee is as good of a player that Lincoln’s ever coached
"No doubt we’ve got to coach some great wideouts over the years. We’ve still got some time together, so I’m not gonna anoint him just yet. He knows that. He’s a special player. It’s been fun for the journey of CeeDee and just like Kenneth (Murray), too, you know. You can just see their development over the years. They came in talented kids, hungry kids, and they’ve both really turned into great players ... Proud of how CeeDee played on the big stage, he’s a big game player."
On how Grinch approaches defensive play-calling
"It first starts with mentality. You can have the greatest schemes in the world on any three sides of the ball — if you don’t pair it with the right mentality, then you don’t have a chance. We built our defense on mentality and on effort. From then, Alex does a great job, he’s good about not adding too much, making sure there’s things that our guys, the players are confident in, but then also having a few wrinkles here and there to keep people off base, and I think most of the great systems out there on any side of the ball, I think that’s a pretty common theme. You gotta know when to get creative and add a wrinkle and when not to, and he’s got a tremendous feel for that."
On the Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty before the game
"Yeah, before the half, it’s one of those things that we had to time our warmups a little bit differently. I think we both ended up punting the ball and both teams were running right at each other which creates a bit of an environment that’s a little bit testy, so I guess Mike and the officiating crew just decided to go ahead and nip it in the bud and they gave everyone a personal foul, which obviously is a big deal because then if any player on the field gets a dead ball personal foul, they’re ejected, and so we talked about it quickly, and it looked like a little rip stick move."
On going for it on fourth down
"You gotta know your team as a whole, and I think it’s a combination of my confidence in our offense that we’re gonna score and a combination of if we don’t then we put them backed up, and I felt great about our defense there, too. It just gives you the confidence to do what you think is right in that situation for our team. I just felt like it was the right call, no different than that slant pass that we tried to throw CeeDee that got knocked down that would have been a big play. You gotta make those decisions because you think they’re gonna help your team win. It’s different every year, those decisions aren’t the same every year because your team’s not the same, and so I just felt like it was the right thing at the right time in both of 'em."