Tom Herman’s clock management leads to Oklahoma touchdown to end first half
The Texas Longhorns played an excellent first half against the Oklahome Sooners in the Big 12 Championship with one glaring exception.
The Longhorns opened the door for a late Oklahoma touchdown with poor clock management in the final two minutes of the first half. The cause was coach Tom Herman getting overly aggressive. After taking an offensive pass interference penalty, the Longhorns were stuck with a 2nd and 26 from their own 44-yard line. On the next play, instead of playing more conservatively and running the ball, the Longhorns tried to pass again, throwing an incompletion and taking roughly 15 seconds off the clock.
Had Texas turned to the run game on 2nd and long, they could have essentially run the clock out on the first half. Instead, they had to punt two plays later with 59 seconds left, and Kyler Murray immediately led Oklahoma down the field for a go-ahead touchdown ahead of halftime.
Multiple writers criticized Herman as well. One did the math and calculated that Oklahoma essentially would have had no time to do anything had Herman simply played things a bit smarter and run some clock, as the Sooners had no timeouts left.
Texas could have basically run out most of the clock and punted to OU.
Instead, TD Sooners.
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) December 1, 2018
If Tom Herman had played that correctly, OU would have taken over with 12 seconds-ish left on the clock instead of a minute.
— Geoff Ketchum (@gkketch) December 1, 2018
It’s entirely possible that this has huge implications on the final outcome, as the Longhorns likely would have taken a one-point lead to the locker room if Herman had run clock instead.
One thing is certain: it hasn’t been a great week for high-level clock management.