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False start: Texas loses 31-26 to Oklahoma in Charlie Strong's 1st Red River rivalry game

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DALLAS — A false start for Texas was coach Charlie Strong's first taste of the Red River rivalry.

No. 11 Oklahoma had two big early returns for touchdowns before its offense finally contributed after halftime and the Sooners avenged yet another loss, holding on for a 31-26 win Saturday after the Longhorns had a couple of late scores.

"It's something that's heartbreaking for us. Coming off a win last year, it's probably my most favorite moment," said Jaxon Shipley, part of the Texas senior class that went 1-3 against the Sooners.

"That taste after you win, it's an unbelievable feeling. Not to have that (this year), is not a good feeling at all."

Texas (2-4, 1-2 Big 12), which was also a two-touchdown underdog when it beat Oklahoma a year ago, is off to its worst start since going 1-9 in 1956, the year before Darrell Royal became the coach in Austin.

In each of the Sooners' 11 losses overall since 2009, they have beaten that team the next season, now including that unexpected 36-20 loss to Texas a year ago.

Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1), whose loss last weekend at TCU was among an unprecedented series of upsets across the country, is also 32-0 in regular-season games after a loss since the start of the 2000 season.

The Longhorns, who got two touchdowns from Tyrone Swoopes in a 3 1/2-minute span of the fourth quarter, led only after Nick Rose kicked a 28-yard field goal on the game-opening, 13-play drive when they had three false starts and a delay of game penalty.

"Overall, I was very pleased with the way we played, but you just can't give away opportunities, especially when you are playing a very good football team," Strong said. "You have to take advantage of everything."

The Longhorns had 11 penalties for 85 yards, including five false starts, an illegal formation and two holding calls.

PHOTO: Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight (9) passes under pressure from Texas linebacker Naashon Hughes (40) during the first half of an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight (9) passes under pressure from Texas linebacker Naashon Hughes (40) during the first half of an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Swoopes finished 27 of 44 for 334 yards with two touchdowns to John Harris. Shipley caught nine passes for 115 yards.

After the opening field goal, Alex Ross took the ensuing kickoff on the right side of the field, cut to the left and through an open gap for a 91-yard kickoff return.

Oklahoma went up 17-3 early in the second quarter when Zack Sanchez had his Big 12-leading fifth interception. He has picks in seven of the past nine games.

Trevor Knight threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard late in the third quarter for Oklahoma, which finished with 232 total yards. Samaje Perine then had a 13-yard TD run with 12:50 left that made it 31-13.

Swoopes then had a 6-yard TD to Harris with 8:24 left to cap a 12-play, 75-yard drive. The Sooners then went three-and-out before Swoopes scored on a 12-yard keeper.

The Longhorns kicked off after Swoopes was stopped short on a 2-point try. Oklahoma then picked up a couple of first downs before punting and leaving Texas only 18 seconds without any timeouts. The Longhorns had an incompletion and another penalty before a game-ending incompletion from their 10.

"We'd like to see the whole team (build off this performance), not just Tyrone," Strong said. "Tyrone played a really good game, but when you look all around, there's a lot of people that did a good job."

Not good enough to beat the Sooners, even when they had only 29 total yards on offense in the first half.

This was the first time Stoops coached the annual game at the State Fair of Texas against anyone other than Mack Brown. Stoops was 9-6 against Brown, and is now 1-0 with a much-needed victory for the Sooners against Strong.

A second loss by the midpoint of the season would have made it difficult, maybe impossible, for Oklahoma to get back in the mix for a spot in the new four-team College Football Playoff.

"I feel like we're improving as a team. Do I like everything that happened today? Heck no," Stoops said. "We've got a lot to work on, that's obvious, but it always good when you win and you didn't play well and you know you've got things you can correct."

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