In our continuing series about the history of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the Big XII Conference, this week we look at Oklahoma and Texas (OSU gets to sleep in Saturday). The Sooners are leaving for the Southeastern Conference and the Big XII Conference (as we know it) is disappearing like Marty McFly in that crinkled 4×6 picture he carried in front pocket (Back To The Future RULES). So let’s look back and, maybe, look forward, too.
This week’s opponent: Texas
Sure, there have been plenty of amazing games between OU and Texas since the Big XII began in 1996. The 2020 four overtime thriller. The 63-14 blowout from 2000 that started that 2000’s famous “Red October” which boasted consecutive victories against Texas, Kansas State, and Nebraska on the road to a National Championship. However, we selected one that gave Sooner fans just a little joy in a time where there wasn’t much.
October 12, 1996
It was a sold-out crowd of 75,587 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The John Mackovic-led Longhorns came into the game as 22-point favorites. Back in Norman and for the first time in 35 years, Oklahoma had started out 0-4. They had losses against the likes of such non-powers as TCU, San Diego State, Tulsa and Kansas by a combined score of 154-86. OU pulled off the 30-27 upset when James Allen scored on a 2 yard run in overtime. James Allen rushed for a 159 yards on the day while De’Mond Parker added 107 yards. It was Texas’ first loss to the Sooners since 1993 and OU’s first win of the season. The victory also ended their 14-game winless streak (0-13-1) against Top 25 opponents. As I mentioned, a little joy in a Sooner slump.
Photo: The Oklahoman
Baby steps. While last week was close, it felt like things got a little better. The Sooners traveled to the Little Apple squeaked out a 37-31 victory. A game ball goes to Lincoln Riley’s eagle eyes for spotting the K-State kicker double-kick during what appeared to be a successful Wildcat onside kick. Spencer Rattler’s stats continue to be impressive as he went for 22-25 with 2 touchdowns and just 1 interception (which was essentially a punt anyway). Jeremiah Hall got involved with the offense with a couple of rushes and 3 receptions, but the run game continued to be average with just 131 yards on the ground. The defense did give up 420 yards to an injury-limited Skyler Thompson led Wildcat offense. This week against Texas, one question is clear…can the Sooners stop Bijan Robinson? Robinson could end up being a Heisman Finalist this year and is maybe the best back in this game since DeMarco Murray. This week also presents Rattler with another chance to make a statement on a national stage, to get the fans off his back, and to become a Red River Shootout legend.
Photo: The Oklahoman