HORNING: Sooners' seldom used weapons sharp as ever, deliver victory

Kyle Phillips / The Transcript

OU Lincoln Riley celebrates with his team during the Sooners' game against Texas, Saturday during the Big 12 championship at AT&T Stadium.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Kyler Murray may win the Heisman Trophy.

He really might.

He has made play after play after play and he did it again Saturday afternoon at AT&T Stadium, where Oklahoma gained vengeance for its only loss this season, downing Texas 39-27 in the Big 12 championship game and likely earning itself a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Also, Murray’s top two targets, CeeDee Lamb and Marquise Brown, may be the best one-two receiving combination any quarterback at OU has ever thrown to.

Though it’s hard to not go with Ryan Broyles and somebody else, or Marc Clayton and somebody else, because those guys are the best two, period, Lamb and Brown, or Brown and Lamb, may be the best duo.

Really, they could be.

Also, you know what?

The Sooners do not win Saturday without a bunch of guys that will never be on that list.

They do not win without Nick Basquine and they do not win without Myles Tease and they do not win without Lee Morris and they may not even win without Charleston Rambo.

Though it’s not entirely clear what that means, it hints at great things.

OU is a team that wins every which way. It’s a team that can give up 700 yards and 56 points and, the same night, keep its dreams alive by getting two touchdowns from that very same defense. And it’s a team that can turn its roster into a rolodex and come up with a new catalyst or two or three or four.

It is the rare team that, though it’s yet to prove it can just show up and dominate, it nevertheless proves over and over again that what it’s really good at is not losing.

Even though the final score made it appear the Sooners beat the Longhorns fairly easily Saturday, emerging with a near-two-touchdown victory, nothing could be further from the truth.

There was nothing easy about it and it demanded big plays from some guys who hadn’t been very busy.

Entering Saturday, Basquine, Tease, Morris and Rambo had caught 34 balls in all. Nineteen of them had gone to Morris, yet even he had caught only a single pass the last two weeks against West Virginia and Kansas.

Tease caught two of his three on OU’s second scoring drive, one of them facing third-and-4, helping to set Austin Seibert up for his second field goal, yet it was Basquine who might have caught the two most important passes of the whole game, after the Sooners began 80 yards from the end zone with 59 seconds to get there with no timeouts, trying to take their first lead of the game.

Basquine's grabs came back to back and they covered the first 44 of those 80 yards. And, oh, yeah, the Norman North product hadn’t caught a single pass since the Bedlam game and only four all season.

Still, there he was, putting a charge into the drive that flipped the script.

“That’s just what [our coaches] preach to us,” Basquine said. “Next man up. You never know when your opportunity’s coming.”

After the half, OU began with the ball and Murray hit Tease on third-and-5 for 12 yards on a drive that would put the Sooners on top 27-14.

In the fourth quarter, Rambo caught his only pass, his first since the Kansas game and only his fifth this season, but it was good for a crucial first down as OU faced third-and-5 on the drive that would yield Seibert’s third field goal, giving OU back the lead for good.

Morris, too, came through on third down, twice, late in the fourth quarter, facing third-and-6 and third-and-9, reeling in grabs of 18 and 13 yards. Because of them, Grant Calcaterra had soon enough caught the put-away score, from 18 yards, with two minutes remaining.

Morris.

Tease.

Basquine.

Rambo.

They come from nowhere, yet sure knew what they were doing.

“We have guys everywhere,” Calcaterra said. “Like I said before, it’s a matter of who is in the right spot at the right time. If you do your job, you will make plays. It’s just your job to make those plays when they come.”

It’s been a crazy season.

OU may have the nation’s best and most prolific offense and yet five Sooner victories have been by a touchdown or less. Saturday’s spread was bigger, yet the win no less difficult.

The Sooners are not superhuman, but they’re sure not fragile, either. If they can beat you, they will.

They’re good at it.

They have too many forces to be held down.

That’s a good place to be with games still to play.

Horning is senior sports columnist.

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