Was Zach Schmit's OT field goal good in OU's loss to Texas Tech? Brent Venables thinks so
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LUBBOCK, Texas — Brent Venables thought it was good.
OU found themselves satisfied with a 34-yard field goal attempt on the first possession of overtime against Texas Tech Saturday. Out came redshirt kicker sophomore Zach Schmit, who sailed the ball toward the right post as the crowd at Jones AT&T Stadium roared unrelentingly.
The ball hooked as it flew over the post. And after a short pause the officials signaled that the kick was no good. Schmit raised his hands in disbelief at the call, and he wasn't alone.
Texas Tech scored a 51-48 win on the next possession via a 35-yard field goal and Venables was asked about Schmit's missed attempt after the game.
"He said it's unverifiable," Venables said of his conversation with officers. "It's hard. I'm at a bad angle. It was looking pretty good for me."
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Oklahoma field kicker Zach Schmit (34) reacts after his missed field goal in overtime against Texas Tech during an NCAA college football game Saturday, November 26, 2022, in Lubbock, Texas. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)
Eric Gray thought the same.
The senior did not watch the kick live because he was anxiously waiting on the OU bench at the back. But after watching the instant replay, he came to the same conclusion as Venables.
"I thought it went through," Gray said. "When they did the replay and it looked like it would go over the post, it was definitely a weird feeling."
In reality, it's difficult to tell if a field goal is good or not when it sails over the post. And it's even harder to tell when most of the reps are done at an angle.
OU also had several opportunities to avoid overtime altogether, including a 29-yard attempt by Schmit late in the first quarter. The Sooners instead faked the kick, and Michael Turk failed to complete a pass to Brayden Willis for the first dismount.
"As our boys go forward, just understand you're a game or two away from things being completely different," said offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. "That's the reality of this game... When we understand that we have chances of winning football games, we have to close the door, close the door, put the nail in the coffin and lock it and win. That's the deal.”
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Texas Tech defenseman Marquis Waters hits Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) during overtime in an NCAA college football game Saturday, November 26, 2022 in Lubbock, Texas.
Dillon Gabriel's brave game
Dillon Gabriel couldn't breathe as he lay on the floor.
OU went into overtime with a trick play on their opening drive. Drake Stoops took the snap and threw a pass down the touchline to Gabriel, who was then lit by Texas Tech's Reggie Pearson.
The goal took Gabriel's breath away, who took a moment to get back up before heading to the touchline. The redshirt junior quarterback had to sit out a game, but that was all the time he was willing to miss.
"He said he was good to go," Venables said of Gabriel.
In fact, Gabriel returned to the game a turn later. And although OU still suffered a 51-48 loss, Gabriel did everything he could to give his team a chance at victory.
Gabriel threw for a career-high six touchdowns, which ranks as the second most touchdowns by an OU quarterback in program history. He finished with a season-high 449 passing yards. He posted a quarterback rating of 208.8.
Gabriel had one of the best games of his career. But that meant nothing to him as he weaved his way through a sea of Texas Tech fans who stormed the field after their team's victory.
"I'm not individually driven," Gabriel said. "I play a team game I love with teammates I love. It's not the best feeling at all if you don't come out on the right side.”
While Gabriel isn't one to pat himself on the back when losing, his brave performance didn't go unnoticed by his teammates.
"He did a great job managing the game tonight," Gray said. “We knew we were going to have a lot of passes in the game plan this week to hit them over the top so they couldn't stack the box. But I think he did a great job, especially getting hit like that and coming in next game is a testament to his toughness for sure."
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Oklahoma wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. (17) and quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) celebrate a touchdown against Texas Tech in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, November 26, 2022 in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)
Wonderful catch by Marvin Mims
Marvin Mims was out of position, but he wasn't out of the game.
OU led 14-0 over Texas Tech early in the second quarter when Gabriel threw a downfield pass to the junior wide receiver. Mims was defended by Texas Tech's Malik Dunlap, who was called out for pass interference when he pushed Mims and kept him out of reach to play the ball.
Or so it seemed.
Mims jumped up, reached over Dunlap and got the ball with his right hand. He then pinned it onto Dunlap's back before securing possession and falling to the ground.
"We talk a lot about bouncing through the defender when the ball is a little subdued or too short or not where it's supposed to be," Mims said. “I jumped through him and got the PI call but I was still able to play with the ball. It was basically sitting on his back, so I could grab it with one hand and tuck it in.”
Mims' miraculous grip underscored his strong performance on Saturday. He made five catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns.
"It felt great," Mims said. "I only made games when the opportunity arose and just played the game play-by-play."
More: OU football testimony: Sooners' grades in OT loss at Texas Tech fit a .500 team
Bowl Game Opt-ins
OU will find out which bowl game it will be playing in when the full schedule is announced at 11am on December 4th.
One thing to watch between then and now is which players decide to drop out of postseason play. It's an incident that has become fairly common across the country in recent seasons.
When asked about his intentions after Saturday's loss, Mims said he "definitely plans" to attend the bowl game. However, he did not say what his plans are for next season.
"I still have no idea what I'm going to do," Mims said. "I haven't even started the conversations with family and coaches and all that stuff. I haven't decided that yet."
Redshirt senior defensive back CJ Coldon also confirmed that he will play in OU's bowl game. The Wyoming transfer has four team-high interceptions this season, and the last one came against Texas Tech in the fourth quarter.
Gray was also asked about his plans, although he didn't provide definitive answers. After a career-high 1,203 yards and 11 touchdowns in the regular season, the Sooners starback is focused on resting for the next few days.
"I haven't made up my mind yet," Gray said of his status as a bowler. “We've been going football for 12 weeks plus a bye week so it's time to just get away. Focus on something else. Lay around at home for a few days and just relax.”
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Brayden Willis injury, other availability updates
Fifth grader Brayden Willis wore a boot on his left leg after Saturday's competition. He said the injury came before the game but it wasn't enough to knock him out.
OU was also without two starters on its offensive line. Junior center Andrew Raym was unfit after recent surgery, while senior right tackle Wanya Morris missed the contest after injuring himself in last week's win over OSU.
Redshirt Junior running back Marcus Major and Redshirt Junior defensive lineman Isaiah Coe were also unavailable.
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OU Football: Sooners Questions OT Field Goal Miss in Texas Tech Loss
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