Better Big 12 teams will consistently bait Ewers into turnovers
Among the biggest issues the Longhorns faced on offense was Ewers’ turnovers.
Texas turned the ball over three times in the loss to Oklahoma: two interceptions and one fumble. The first interception was the aforementioned second passing attempt of the game for Ewers to junior wide receiver Xavier Worthy, who Oklahoma corner Woody Washington undercut for a pick.
Oklahoma converted on the Texas interception by scoring the game’s first touchdown.
Texas moved the ball down the field on its following offensive possession, driving 60 yards in 10 plays before another costly interception. Ewers threw a decent ball near the end zone to a hobbled (by an ankle injury he suffered the previous weekend against Kansas) junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders.
Fortunately, Texas got points just a few plays after the second interception when Kitan Crawford blocked an Oklahoma punt that Malik Muhammad recovered for a touchdown to tie the game up at seven.
The last turnover for the Longhorns was a Ewers fumble when he tried to scramble under pressure on a third-and-long in the third quarter. Ewers was hit hard when he tried to dive forward after running for a few yards on this third down play, but he fumbled the ball, and Oklahoma recovered.
It was very surprising to see Ewers turn the ball over three times in this game after having just one interception in the season’s first five contests. I don’t blame him for the second pick, but the other two turnovers were avoidable and are extremely costly in a big game like Red River.
Oklahoma drew these turnovers by baiting Ewers in coverage and playing physical football in the secondary. It wouldn’t be shocking if some of the better and more physical defenses the Longhorns face down the stretch this season do something similar to the Sooners to bait Ewers into turning the ball over.