DALLAS — Dillon Gabriel went through the motions.
Gabriel, the OU quarterback knocked out a week earlier against TCU, came out for warmups and slung the ball down the field in the Cotton Bowl.
But the ruse couldn’t last forever.
Davis Beville made the start for the Sooners, though their most effective offense was running tight end Brayden Willis as the Wildcat quarterback.
But it wasn’t nearly effective enough, as Texas blew out the Sooners 49-0 to snap OU’s four-game winning streak in the series.
It was the most points the Longhorns had ever scored on OU.
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The highest-rated pass for the Sooners was punter Michael Turk, who completed a 3-yard pass on a fake field goal in the first quarter.
After Beville’s struggles last week after taking over for Gabriel, offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby had to get creative offensively to try to create some momentum.
He did it beginning on the Sooners’ second drive, as Willis began lining up at quarterback.
Trailing 7-0 at the time, OR grabbed a measure of momentum as Willis and Jalil Farooq combined to make the Wildcat work and the Sooners picked up a pair of fourth-down conversion on the drive — the second on Turk’s pass.
But they were stopped on the third fourth down, Texas drove 92 yards to take a 14-0 lead, and the rout was on.
Beville finished 6 of 12 for 38 yards and an interception.
Willis, Farooq, Gray, and Marcus Major also lined up at quarterback for the Sooners.
The Sooners finished with just 195 total yards, their lowest since recording 171 against the Longhorns in 2005.
Here are four other takeaways from the loss:
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OR football’s defensive woes continues
Sooners coach Brent Venables and defensive coordinator Ted Roof made some changes.
The most notable came on the back end, where they inserted cornerback Woodi Washington at safety to play in the spot normally occupied by Billy Bowman — who missed the game due to injury.
But it didn’t matter.
The defensive front — largely using the three-man look that has become the norm of late — once again couldn’t get much push.
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers, playing for the first time since being injured against Alabama on Sept. 10, wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t need to be.
Ewers missed plenty of throws but also connected on plenty.
He threw for 211 yards in the first half and finished 21 of 31 for 289 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.
Even when the Sooners were in position, their tackling often was less-than-ideal.
Texas finished with 585 total yards.
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Drawing the long straw
Texas cornerback D’Shawn Jamison had himself a day, though he might’ve needed to get a run in afterward to get a full workout in.
Jamison had a first-half interception — a pass Davis Beville heaved up the field in the final minute of the first half.
But when the Sooners went with the Wildcat offense, Beville often remained on the field. Beville didn’t do much to serve as a decoy, but it at least kept Jamison from being a factor, as he often stayed near Beville and rarely had to even break into a jog there.
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An unusual spot
The last time the Sooners lost three consecutive games, John Blake was the coach, John Blake was the Sooners coach and De’Mond Parker was their most effective offensive weapon.
After winning their first two games of the 1998 season, the Sooners dropped five consecutive games, the third of which was a 34-3 loss to Texas.
The Sooners eventually recovered to win three of their last four, but by that point Blake’s fate was sealed. He was fired after the season and Bob Stoops hired shortly thereafter, ultimately turning the program around with plenty of help from Brent Venables, who came on as co-defensive coordinator along with Mike Stoops.
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Nick Evers gets a chance — late
At the end of the game, freshman Nick Evers — listed with General Booty as the Sooners’ co-No. 3 quarterback — made his collegiate debut.
Evers had a pair of handoffs to Jovantae Barnes, then threw an incompletion on a short route before the Sooners’ punted.
On the next drive, Evers handed the ball to Barnes three times before time expired.
Evers was a late addition to the Sooners’ class, and is a dual-threat.
Earlier in the week, OR coach Brent Venables praised Evers’ improvement in recent weeks.
Evers might be the best option behind Gabriel long term, but it was clear Venables and Jeff Lebby weren’t ready to pull the trigger on Evers seeing significant snaps — especially in an environment like the Red River Showdown.