Friday, December 13, 2002
No. 12 Oklahoma 63, No. 10 Texas 14
DALLAS -- A red and white OU flag was shoved into the midfield stripe, the Sooner Schooner was rolling up the sideline and Oklahoma players and coaches were gathering at the 20 for an impromptu team photo.
A big victory deserves a big celebration and the 12th-ranked Sooners treated themselves to a doozy after beating No. 10 Texas 63-14 on Saturday in one of the most lopsided games in the 95-game history of the rivalry.
With Josh Heupel leading Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) to touchdowns on its first five drives and linebacker Rocky Calmus adding an interception return for a touchdown, the Sooners had plenty of time to plan the party.
But when their three-game slide against the Longhorns (3-2, 1-1) was officially over -- it realistically ended when OU led 42-0 in the second quarter -- the outpouring of joy seemed pretty spontaneous.
Players did victory laps along the stands, slapping hands with some fans, hugging others. Cheerleaders alternately waved fingers signifying No. 1 and the upside down version of Hook 'em Horns.
"People came from across the country and we wanted to represent this university, this state and this football team extremely well," said Heupel, whose leadership was superb but whose 275 yards and one TD pass were below his usual standards.
Oklahoma led 17-0 in last season's meeting, only to lose 38-28. Texas had won the last three meetings and eight of 11.
This time, on a cold, dreary afternoon, the Sooners led 42-0 and 56-7 to put an exclamation mark on their best start since 1993.
Quentin Griffin set a school record with six touchdowns, all 8 yards or less, as Oklahoma scored the most points by any team in this storied series. The Sooners also came within a point of the biggest blowout, a 50-0 OU win in 1908, and the 77 points were another series record.
Making those nuggets sweeter -- and more shocking -- is the fact this was the first time since 1984 that both teams were ranked for their traditional meeting on the second Saturday in October.
"Our game plan was to get off fast, hold the lead and play a full 60 minutes," said second-year coach Bob Stoops. "This says a lot about the program. What a difference a year makes."
Oklahoma took a big step ahead in the Big 12 South race and can move into the national title picture with its next two games at No. 4 Kansas and at home against No. 2 Nebraska.
For Texas, this was the most humiliating loss since a 66-3 pounding at home by UCLA in 1997, John Mackovic's last season as coach. The Longhorns, who were No. 11 then, became the highest-ranked team to drop from the poll in one week after that loss -- and could do it again.
"I want to apologize to all of the Texas fans, our players and assistant coaches," said Texas coach Mack Brown. "You can't play that poorly and have a head coach do anything right during the week."
The Longhorns ran for a school-record-low minus-7 yards and allowed 534 yards, the most the Sooners have ever gained against them.
Texas players were confused from the start. Offensive and defensive linemen stood before every snap and pointed at Sooners to figure out who they were supposed to block -- yet they still didn't do a very good job of it.
"We would look like we were coming with a different defense than we were actually running," Calmus said. "The coaches did a great job preparing and disguising stuff for us."
By halftime, the Sooners had scored on short drives (two, five and eight plays) and long ones (11, 14). Their six touchdowns were one more than the number of first downs Texas had. OU's 42 points were two shy of what the Longhorns had allowed in their previous four games combined.
Texas didn't cross midfield in the first two quarters, getting only as close as the 42. Then the Longhorns started the third quarter at their 43 after a short punt, only to waste it with an interception. The Sooners scored again two plays later.
"They kept scoring and we kept punting," said Texas quarterback Chris Simms, who was 11-of-23 for 63 yards and threw the interception to Calmus.
The Sooners came in averaging 44 points, fifth-best in the country, but those were piled up against Texas-El Paso, Arkansas State, Rice and Kansas. Texas, which had the No. 13 defense in the country, was supposed to be a tougher test.
Hardly. To borrow a phrase from former OU coach Barry Switzer, the Sooners "hung half-a-hundred on 'em" and kept going. Switzer surely was happy to see so many touchdowns come on the ground -- seven, including an option pitch from Heupel to Griffin on third-and-goal from the 1 that made it 14-0.
Griffin made it 21-0 with another TD less than a minute into the second quarter. It was 35-0 about three minutes later and 42-0 with 4:43 left until halftime. The Sooners had another chance to score with 2:48 left in the second quarter, but they took mercy and ran five times to burn the clock.
Griffin added two TDs in the third quarter and one in the fourth as the Sooners scored their most points since beating New Mexico State 73-3 in 1989, the first game under Gary Gibbs.
Oklahoma, which last beat Texas 30-27 in overtime in 1995, trails 55-35-5 in the overall series. This was only the third time in the last 13 meetings that the margin of victory was in double-digits.
|Josh Heupel and the Sooners are off to their best start since 1993.|