In 1977, Oklahoma and Ohio State met for the first time. Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, just in his fifth season, had already won two national championships. Ohio State legend Woody Hayes was nearing the end of his historic run in Columbus.
In Week 3 of that season, the third-ranked Sooners traveled to Ohio Stadium for a showdown with the fourth-ranked Buckeyes. After racing to a 20-0 lead, injuries to the Sooners allowed Ohio State to get back in the game, and eventually take a 28-20 lead. That set up one of the most dramatic finishes - and most memorable kicks - in college football history.
As the two iconic programs prepare to meet again on Saturday, below is a behind-the-scenes look of that famed '77 game, through the words of the players and coaches who lived it.
Uwe von Schamann, Oklahoma kicker (1975-78): We had never played Ohio State before, so this was a huge game.
Barry Switzer, Oklahoma coach (1973-88): It was big. Woody Hayes had great teams. We were a great team. We were 41-3-2 since 1973. Had won a couple national championships, back-to-back. We were a really good football team.
Jeff Logan, Ohio State fullback (1974-77): Woody wasn't exactly sure what to make of Barry Switzer. Switzer was young, brash. Woody was from another generation. It was an important game for Woody. He told us before that we were not only defending the honor of Ohio State, but the honor of the Big Ten Conference playing an opponent like this in our stadium.
Zac Henderson, Oklahoma safety (1974-77): We had been in big games before. But this was like walking into the Cotton Bowl playing Texas. This was a team to respect.
Dave Adkins, Ohio State linebacker (1974-77):We practiced against the wishbone all week. But when you go up against guys like Billy Sims and Kenny King, you're just not ready for their speed. It was tough there at the beginning.
Jeff Logan: The team speed in that offensive backfield was absolutely incredible.
Jerry Pettibone, Oklahoma assistant (1972-78): We get up big. Then Thomas Lott gets hurt, Billy Sims gets hurt. And we start turning the ball over, and Ohio State comes back.
Barry Switzer: When we lost Thomas Lott, it turned to hell. We turned the ball over, made mistakes, couldn't get a first down. It was a different game. We played horrible. They had something to do it. But we were playing great until I got my guys hurt.
Bobby Proctor, Oklahoma assistant (1973-91): It looked like we were going to blow them out. Then we lost our quarterback.
Thomas Lott, Oklahoma quarterback (1975-78): My knee just gave out. We should've put (senior) Dean Blevins in at that time. But (freshman) Jay Jimerson had made some nice runs the week before. So the coaching staff put Jay in first. I never saw a guy get his butt handed to him like that.
Jeff Logan: I had a severe ankle sprain and was doubtful, at best, for Oklahoma. But it was kept under wraps. That week, we moved Archie's brother Ray Griffin from safety to tailback, and Ron Springs to fullback. It was the same veer, but all the timing in the backfield was off. Our offense was pathetic in the beginning. Woody came over and said, 'Whatever we're doing out there right now isn't working. Can you go?' I got some extra medical attention for the ankle. But it wasn't the shot or the medication, it was the excitement of that game. I'm not taking credit for the turnaround, but the offense started clicking a little bit when I went back in. We were able to flip the switch.
Dean Blevins, Oklahoma quarterback (1974-77): We were down (28-20) late in the fourth quarter, and counted out. We hadn't done anything offensively. But this was a team loaded with confidence. Not only had we won a couple championships those previous years, we had come back against Nebraska the year before in a huge game. It was a pretty proud team that was in the early stages of the Switzer 'Sooner Magic' moments.
Thomas Lott: Dean got the offense moving and we finally got back in the end zone.
Dave Adkins: It had been a hard-fought game. We were exhausted. They were able to put a drive together, but we stuck them on the two-point try. We thought we had it won.
Uwe von Schamann: I don't think I'd ever tried an onside before in a game. I remember kicking a lot of extra points, because we were a scoring machine. Not an onside, though.
Jerry Pettibone: Bobby Proctor had a hard time saying Uwe's name, so he just called him 'Foot.' Bobby said, 'Foot, which one of those guys can you hit?'
Uwe von Schamann: I didn't want to kick it to the end guy, because if he lets it go, it goes out of bounds. Whatever happened, I wanted it to be on the field of play. So I told Bobby Proctor, that guy second from the end, that's the guy. I drilled the ball, and sure enough it ricocheted off him.
Jeff Logan: Our hands team, Woody used to call it 'Firetruck.' But our hands people out there were backup quarterbacks and defensive backs, who hadn't played the entire game. Buckeyes fans always remember who didn't recover the onside kick. But Mike Strahine was a terrific teammate. It was an unfortunate situation for him to be there. But it was excellent execution by Oklahoma.
Bobby Proctor: After that, it was a pretty good scramble for the ball.
Bud Hebert, Oklahoma safety/holder (1976-79): Mike Babb was lined up next to me, and the ball bounced right to where he was. Mike was fighting for it with an Ohio State guy, but was able to wrestle it away. Mike was strong for a cornerback. Lucky for us, he was strong enough to pull it away.
Barry Switzer: The couple of years before, we had issues with snapping. We had (receiver) Tinker Owens punting in '75 because we didn't have a damn center. I knew Tinker could catch anything that was snapped back to him because he had great hands. But he was the third-best punter on our team.
Bud Hebert: We had a bad snap the year before in the Texas game, and it ended up in a 6-6 tie.
Jerry Pettibone: We were playing Nebraska (in 1975) for the Big Eight championship and had a real high snap that Tinker barely got off. That's when Switzer sprinted to where I was and screamed, 'Jerry Pettibone, you go find us the best deep snapper in America.' I called a bunch of high school coaches. I heard from one that the son of Bill Lucky, the coach at Lamar Consolidated right outside Houston, was a great deep snapper. And he was. I called Switzer and said, 'I found our guy.'
Barry Switzer: Mark Lucky was a great snapper. We didn't have any problems after that.
Dean Blevins: After the onside, we still had to get in range for the field goal. But we threw another stop route. Kenny King got a few yards. Then it was about positioning for Uwe.
Barry Switzer: Uwe never missed an extra point in his career. He had an outstanding career, college and pro.
Bud Hebert: Uwe and I were roommates in Columbus. That night before I'd had a dream he kicked the game-winning field goal. We laughed it off that morning. After the timeout as we're jogging back on the field, he turns to me and says, 'I'm about to make your dreams come true.'
Uwe von Schamann: I was trying to focus, trying not to let the crowd bother me. When I heard the crowd chanting, 'Block that kick,' I don't know why I did it, but I began leading it with my arms. It was spontaneous. I never did it again. I could've looked pretty foolish.
Thomas Lott: Uwe had ice-water veins. When I saw him leading that chant, I remember coach Switzer was down on his knee. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, 'You can get up. He's going to make this.'
Barry Switzer: I knew he'd make the field goal. Forty-one yards was nothing for him. Only thing I was worried about was it being blocked. I wasn't worried about Mark Lucky or the snap. I wasn't worried about the holder (Bud Hebert). But you've always got to worry about protection.
Dave Adkins: Three or four inches higher, I could've gotten that thing. It was a fairly low kick. I wasn't that far off from blocking it. It was a matter of inches.
Bud Hebert: If the snap had been high or low at all, it would've offset the timing and he would've blocked it.
Uwe von Schamann: I got a great snap, a great hold, and as soon as I kicked it, I knew it was good. Right down the middle.
Barry Switzer: He could've made it from 60. The ball cleared the uprights over the top.
Uwe von Schamann: Next thing I know, I'm underneath a pile of players. If it hadn't been for (offensive lineman) Karl Baldischwiler bracing everybody, I would've been crushed right there in Columbus.
Bobby Proctor: I was one of the get-back coaches, along with Rex Norris. Next thing I know, Rex is on the damn pile like one of the players.
Rex Norris, Oklahoma assistant (1973-83): Hey, I think Switzer was out there, too. I wasn't the only one. But yeah, I happened to be at the front of the herd.
Jeff Logan: Just unbelievable we had come all the way back, to have it taken away at the end. Aaron Brown, our All-American nose guard, was motionless on the ground a full five minutes after the game. We had guys down on the field everywhere.
Zac Henderson: Woody was a hero of mine growing up. As soon as the game was over, I was close to their bench. He wasn't very happy, but he did shake my hand. I think I was the only one from our side that got to.
Jerry Pettibone: It was pandemonium. The week of the game, our managers had put this plan together, that if we won, they were going to run across the field and steal Woody's hat and bring it back to Norman. After the dog pile and all that stuff, I'm trying to find our managers, to see if they were actually going to do it. Then I caught Woody stomping across the field, hot as he could be. The managers started toward him, but saw the look on his face and big-time chickened out. In the locker room, I said, 'You cowards, I thought you were going to get Woody's hat?'
Barry Switzer: Here's what happened. The game was over, everybody was on the field. Next thing I know, I'm walking out there looking for Woody. Right in front of me, Doug Kennon, one of our managers, stuck his arm out, and Woody just back-handed him and knocked him out of the way. I said, 'Hell, I don't want him to forearm me, too. I think I'll just head on over to the locker room.' Woody was a great guy, a great coach. But game day, he had his game face on, and he was all business. But I saw that all happen.
Doug Kennon, Oklahoma trainer: I've been accused many times by Switzer of that being me, but I was still 10 years old and was in Drumright, Oklahoma, at the time.
Randy Helms, Oklahoma trainer: I think it was Larry Cox. But he wasn't a trainer, he was an equipment manager.
Uwe von Schamann: Every player has one of those games where something - I don't know if it's divine intervention - but everybody has one of those games where everything just goes right. That game for me was Ohio State.
Bud Hebert: People in Oklahoma call it 'The Kick.' But I like to refer to it as 'The Hold.'
Barry Switzer: Uwe has told me, 'Coach that was one of the biggest plays in your career.' I say, 'Uwe, let me tell you, if Thomas hadn't gotten hurt, Billy hadn't gotten hurt, we were going to hang a half-a-hundred on them, and we're not going to even need your damn field goal. But let me tell you, I was glad you were there when we needed you.' That's the way it is always with kickers. You're glad you got 'em when you need 'em.
Uwe von Schamann: The last 39 years, there's not one month that goes by where somebody doesn't bring up 'The Kick.' It's just incredible to me. But I never get tired of talking about it. I like sharing it. Sharing that moment with the fans.