By Bruce Campbell Staff Writer



DALLAS -- There was one bit of good news for Oklahoma after a 45-12 loss to arch-rival Texas Saturday -- the Sooners' first loss to the Longhorns since 1999.

OU will have a chance to rebuild its confidence the next two weeks against Kansas (at Kansas City on?Saturday) and Baylor (at Norman on Oct. 22).

The No. 2-ranked Longhorns have shown they are the class of a much-weaker Big 12 Conference. The 2-3 Sooners, who started six freshmen against UT, have shown they are in a rebuilding mode, not a reloading mode.

"I think of this as a learning experience,'' said OU redshirt freshman quarterback Rhett Bomar. "We'll come out and learn from it and play better next year."'

The Sooners couldn't have played worse. The 45 points were the most UT ever has scored against the Sooners. OU's 171 yards in total offense was a season-low. The last time OU was 2-3 was the year John Blake was fired as the Sooner head coach.

Bomar was 12 of 33 passing for 94 yards and was sacked three times. He rushed for nine yards on 12 carries. Texas quarterback Vince Young, who was shut out by the Sooner defense last year, threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns.

The two touchdown receptions by UT's Billy Pittman and another by Ramonce Taylor were the first by a Longhorn wide receiver against OU since 1999, the last time Texas beat the Sooners.

"I can't think of too many positive things from this game,'' said Bomar, who was coming off strong back-to-back games against UCLA and Kansas State. "We can watch the film and learn from it."'

Bomar said he was not pressing, nor did he get too excited. OU coach Bob Stoops had said a lack of pass protection was the No. 1 reason the Sooners were not effective in the passing game.

Bomar's longest pass completion in the first three quarters was nine yards. OU's longest play of the day was a 17-yard pass from Bomar to Jejuan Rankins in the fourth quarter when the game long had been decided.

"The big thing about Rhett as well as the rest of our offense is that they are going to get better with game time,'' said OU offensive coordinator Chuck Long.

Long said Texas jumping to a 24-6 halftime lead forced OU to throw more than it wanted to.

"You can't put too much on a young guy like that,'' Long said.

OU came into the game with confidence after what Long said was the Sooners best week of practice this season.

"The next step for us is doing those things we have been doing in practice in a game,'' Long said.

Oklahoma's defensive inconsistency was frustrating to linebacker Clint Ingram. So is a 2-3 record after OU has gone 13-0, 12-2, 12-2, 12-2 and 12-1 the past five seasons under Stoops.

"You never expect to lose or expect to fail,'' said the OU senior. "You expect to succeed."'

Ingram said the defense has to become mentally tougher. OU gave up a touchdown in the last 15 seconds of the half, which turned a tight 17-6 game into a comfortable 24-6 lead.

"Any time the defense gives up a big play, that's adversity,'' he said. "You have to learn to deal with that. You have to expect for them to have some good plays. You try to keep the big plays to a minimum. We weren't good enough to do that.

"We as a defense think if the offense doesn't score, it should be a 0-0 game. If we take care of our business, (the opponent) shouldn't be scoring."'

Stoops is using some coach speak for teams who are struggling.

Texas coach Mack Brown, who was 1-5 against Bob Stoops, clearly was more aggressive against OU. UT converted two of two fourth downs against the Sooners.

Brown said his pregame speech was much like the one he delivered before UT beat Ohio State last month.

"I told them to go out there and enjoy it,'' he said. "Let's do the things we need to do and have fun."'

The Longhorns definitely had more fun than OU.



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