August 12, 2008

2008: Grading the non-conference schedules


We've created a vicious cycle in college football. Sure we all love the fact that just about every game is on TV nowadays. And because coaches and athletic directors want their teams to look good on TV, so they schedule a lot of limp fish opponents. Because wins beget bowl games. Bowl games begets job security. Job security begets more money. Thus, more money is insured by wins. You spin me right round baby right round, like a record.

No longer do college football teams across the country take chances. Or, well, rarely do they. Have you noticed how boring Septembers have become, except for the occasional Appy State upset of Michigan or Ohio State showdown with Texas?

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January 03, 2008

Over for a while already, now it's official

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Sooner fans will be wondering why it has to end like this year after year after. But the feel-good story of Wednesday night's Fiesta Bowl game has to be interim coach Bill Stewart.

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January 02, 2008

Now it's a shootout

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Don't blink. You might miss a Sam Bradford touchdown pass. Or, more likely, you'll miss another coast-to-coast jaunt from the Mountaineer of your choice.

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The big question

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Oklahoma just scored. The Sooners went on an 80-yard march. Went for two, missed. West Virginia leads 20-15 and it appears clear, the more capable team is finally coming forward. Just maybe, OU will pull this game out. But it will mean ending all the steps backward.

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Fiesta Bowl halftime report

GLENDALE, Ariz. — While attending media scarf down frozen goodies and hot dogs (nothing but the best at the BCS bowls), one has to wonder what kind of tact Bob Stoops is taking in the halftime locker room with his Sooners, who just played their worst half of football this season, at least among halves in which Sam Bradford went the distance behind center.

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It's picking up

GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Fiesta appears to be waking up from its siesta. Still, West Virginia can do this all night long.

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Slogging along

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Updates across the board ...

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Sooners fortunate to only trail 6-0

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Pat McAfee just kicked his second field goal and that's the good news for Oklahoma.

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Sooner losses more than previously known

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Although it had been reporter Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly had sustained a thigh bruise not long after the Sooners had arrived in Arizona, it wasn't thought to be serious. Well, think again.

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Welcome to the dome with the hole in the top

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Soon the only game on today's college football schedule will kick off. Oklahoma and West Virginia, No. 3 and No. 11, meet at the Fiesta Bowl inside University of Phoenix Stadium. And for a game that might seem to be of little consequence beyond the season's final polls - assuming LSU and Ohio State don't play a 3-0 overtime snorefest thus opening the door for an Associated Press national champion other than the Tigers and Buckeyes - one gets the feeling it has real significance to both teams. Perhaps historical significance to both teams.

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December 01, 2007

Don't call them spoilers

SAN ANTONIO - It has been a wonderful season in Columbia. The Tigers approached heights previously left unconsidered. Yet none of it can change the fact they where whipped but good Saturday night at the Alamodome. Indeed, Oklahoma has spoiled their chance at a national championship, yet the focus should lie elsewhere.

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Thinking it over

SAN ANTONIO - There may never be another college football season like this one.
But let's hope there is. Maybe it will produce a playoff. Most important, it would mean another college football season like this one.

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Second punch has landed

SAN ANTONIO - We'll have to wait to see if the national voters take notice of Oklahoma linebacker Curtis Lofton. Assuming they're watching this game and not the one in Morgantown, W.V., they very well might, because Lofton just made another play.

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Who wants it?

SAN ANTONIO - Still tied, and now the pressure's on.
For a moment, it looked like Missouri was the team handling it the best.
But only for a moment.

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Shaping up for a classic

SAN ANTONIO - Well, we're tied at the half her at the Alamodome. Better, though, was how it happened: OU going 50 yards in eight plays to lead 14-6, only to be answered by Missouri going 84 yards in 10 plays, only to throw for two, receiver to tight end, Jeremy Macklin to Martin Rucker, to force the deadlock.

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Bullet dodged again ... and controversy

SAN ANTONIO - Oklahoma has already been penalized for 58 yards. Missouri for only 10.
Yet, right now, it's the Tigers thinking they can't catch a break.

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One bullet dodged

SAN ANTONIO — Oklahoma trails 3-0.
The Sooners are fortunate it's not 7-0.

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A lot of defense

SAN ANTONIO - Oklahoma is just now beginning its second drive. Missouri has had the ball twice. Nobody's going anywhere.

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Welcome from the Alamo City

SAN ANTONIO - Well, here we are at the Alamodome and the weather's great. Oh, sure it's nice inside, but the odd thing of it, though the Alamodome is way cool, one has to admit, if ever there was a city that counted on tremendous year-round weather, it migh be San Antonio. Nonetheless, it remains a fine setting for today's Big 12 championship game.

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November 18, 2007

Down Go The Sooners As Tech Hangs On

LUBBOCK, Texas - Evidently, Oklahoma did not control its own destiny. Texas Tech had something to say about the Sooners' future and so did fate, as quarterback Sam Bradford was knocked out of the game on a fluke play that left him with a concussion in the opening quarter.

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Crazy Finish

LUBBOCK, Texas -Third-ranked Oklahoma scored on a 9-yard TD pass from Joey Halzle to Manuel Johnson with 31 second left, cutting the Texas Tech lead to 34-27. But the Red Raiders recovered the ensuing onside kick to will kill the final seconds.

November 17, 2007

Red Zone Woes

LUBBOCK, Texas - Third-ranked Oklahoma twice moved the ball into scoring position late in the fourth quarter only to be turned away by Texas Tech. The Sooners were stopped at the Tech 6 and again at the 17, both times turning the ball over on downs.

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Tech trying to avoid OU comeback

LUBBOCK, Texas - A 65-yard scoring pass from Joey Halzle to Manuel Johnson has trimmed the Texas Tech lead to 34-20 with 7:50 remaining in regulation.

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Sooners' Last Stand?

LUBBOCK, Texas - If third-ranked Oklahoma has any Sooner Magic hiding in its bag of tricks, it will have the fourth quarter to unveil it. And it will need every ounce of that magic it can muster, as Texas Tech leads 34-13 with 15 minutes to play.

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Looking more like Sooners are going down

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech has added another touchdown to extend its lead over No. 3 Oklahoma to 34-10. Aaron Crawford capped a 5-play, 34-yard drive with a 3-yard run, after the Sooners botched a fake punt attempt.

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Upset in the making?

LUBBOCK, Texas - With Oregon losing to Arizona Thursday night, the table was set for No. 3 Oklahoma. All the Sooners had to do to earn a spot in the BCS title game was run the table the rest of the way. Just ake care of business.

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Critical Possession For Sooners

LUBBOCK, Texas - Oklahoma, trailing 27-7 and in desperate need of producing something positive on offense, drove to the Texas Tech one yard line late inin the half. But instead of scoring a touchdown, the Sooners had to settle for a Garrett Hartley field goal.

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Deja vu at quarterback?

LUBBOCK, Texas - Just two nights after second-ranked Oregon lost quarterback Dennis Dixon to injury and then lost its game to Arizona, No. 3 Oklahoma is facing a similar situation against Texas Tech.

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Fortunes change on the plains

LUBBOCK, Texas - A 1-yard scoring run by Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell gives the Raiders a 13-7 lead just moments after Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford left the game with what is thought to be a possible concussion.

Still 5:03 left in the first quarter, Tech leads and the Sooners have the ball.

Tech chipping away

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech has trimmed the early Oklahoma lead to 7-6 thanks to a pair Alex Trilica field goals,from 52 and 38 yards out. The slow-moving first quarter has featured, lots of Tech passes and lots of incompletions.

Sooners off to fast start

LUBBOCK, Texas - It took Texas Tech just four plays to move the ball into Oklahoma territory. Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, their fifth play turned out to be a 63-yard interception return for a touchdown by the Sooners' Lendy Holmes.

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Road To BCS Runs Through West Texas

LUBBOCK, Texas - In a season where upsets have become commonplace and where any number of nationally-ranked teams start each new week battling to stay off the endangered species list, the old saying "Any win is a good win" has never rung more true.

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November 10, 2007

Big win for Sooners, but how good?

NORMAN, Okla. - With 2:48 remaining, DeMarco Murray capped the scoring with his third touchdown run of the game and his fourth score of the night, the other a 91-yard kickoff return. What was left of the crowd let out a roar. The scoreboard read 52-21 OU and all appeared right in the Sooner Nation.

But was it?

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Back and forth they go

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma's going to win this game. Indeed, the Sooners may have another three touchdowns in them. All the same, Baylor likely has another two.

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Sooners opportunistic or lucky?

NORMAN, Okla. - See the headline? That's the question. It will be asked until OU shows us something new and it sticks. Because with the No. 4 Sooners, perhaps you can count on victory, though little else.

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Why Bradford's special

NORMAN, Okla. - That Oklahoma leads Baylor 35-7 with 12:19 to play in the third quarter is no big deal. But how the Sooners put their fifth touchdown on the board is huge for the moment and the future of the Sooner program.

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I don't believe what I just saw

NORMAN, Okla. - Just as Oklahoma was taking control of the game Saturday night at Owen Field ... everybody was reminded why they watch these games, anyway.

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Order restored in Norman

NORMAN, Okla. - If all Oklahoma needed was a wake up call, it got one.

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Maybe they can fire Morriss every week

NORMAN, Okla. — Can you believe it?
Baylor should be up 14-0 on No. 4 Oklahoma.

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Bears had their chance

NORMAN, Okla. - This had to be Baylor strategy: make a big play, take an early lead and let panic set in. Well, maybe it almost happened that way.

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NORMAN, Okla. - Well, if there was any sort of "win one for Guy and maybe we'll save his job" kind of thing going on for Baylor today as they prepare to kick off against No. 4 Oklahoma … sorry.

Continue reading "Anticipation" »

November 03, 2007

The Aggies are finished in Norman

NORMAN, Okla. - From my seat, the story is defense. Not that it jumps right out at you.

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Fans losing interest

NORMAN, Okla. — Likely, it wasn't the fact that Texas A&M's offense could go back in time about 80 years and feel right at home. Nor was it the fact that the Sooner defense lost the bagel when Stephen McGee found Martellus Bennett from 23 yards to finally put the Aggies on the scoreboard. What is it then?

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You've gone and made them mad

NORMAN, Okla. - It's 35-0 now. Jermaine Gresham has caught two passes since the last update, though his catch-to-touchdown ration, for the game anyway, suffered. Only one of the catches was for points. And that's not all.

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All he does is catch touchdowns, the sequel

NORMAN, Okla. - Sam Bradford just threw another ball to Jermaine Gresham. And you know what that means.

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Goodson in the game

NORMAN, Okla. - One apparent fact tht came to light was Texas A&M running back Mike Goodson had skipped a practice over the week and considered leaving the team. He was known to be in Norman, though he carried the ball not once in the first half. Well, he's back.

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You'd think they'd get it right

NORMAN, Okla. - Here at the half, Oklahoma leads Texas A&M 21-0.
Perhaps, though, it should only be 14-0. Or 14-7.
Put it this way. OU finally got a review, even if it shouldn't have.

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All he does is catch touchdowns

NORMAN, Okla. - Still, Oklahoma can't run the ball, even with three very good running backs. On the other hand . . .

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It took a turnover

NORMAN, Okla. - Well, Oklahoma has taken the lead, but it's unclear if there's more where that came from.

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Where's the protection?

NORMAN, Okla. - Thus far, nothing much but the possible beginning of a very disturbing trend.

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The place is buzzing

NORMAN, Okla -A half hour before the kick it's a mix of disbelief and knowing nods in the Owen Field Press Box where Oklahoma and Texas A&M will soon meet.

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October 20, 2007

Sooners survive

AMES, Iowa - How did No. 4 Oklahoma manage to do everything but lose Saturday afternoon at Jack Trice Stadium. Well, let us count the ways.

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Not over yet

AMES, Iowa - Here's the latest in a long line of special teams issues for Oklahoma. Michael Cohen kicked a 14-yard punt. What's next? Somebody fields a punt and runs the wrong way? At this point, nothing surprises.

Alas, a triple tipped Brett Meyer pass into the end zone while the Cyclones faced second and goal at the 6 after driving down another gift of a short field, was picked off by D.J. Wolfe. Now, the Sooners are driving with 4 minutes and change left to play.

The Sooners appear to have locked it up, but it looked that way 20 minutes ago and 5 minutes ago it was looking like overtime.

A week ago, Bob Stoops said every win is a good win, but didn't mean it after OU stumbled through some of its 41-31 victory over Missouri. Maybe it takes a game like this to appreciate the sentiment. OU can't like the way it's playing. But should it survive, it will be so much better than the alternative.

Sanity makes a comeback

AMES, Iowa - Oklahoma may not yet be playing up to its ranking, but it's clearly taken control of that action at Jack Trice Stadium.

Yet another turnover — DeMarco Murray was stripped, Chris Taylor recovered — slowed things down again, but after holding the Cyclones, a 14-play, 80-yard drive with Chris Brown getting the honors yet again — his fifth touchdown in two games — has the Sooners up 14-7.

Once again, Bradford missed a certain touchdown hook-up with Juaquin Iglsesias, throwing the ball off the junior receiver's fingertips from midfield. Nonetheless, the Sooners were quickly back in the end zone, even getting 54 of the 80 yards through the air.

Lost perhaps in OU's struggles to get things going offensively is just how defiant the defense has played to keep the Sooners in the game. It's not like OU leads the day in short fields.

Murray to the rescue

AMES, Iowa - A week ago, Chris Brown rode to Oklahoma's rescue. This week, apparently, it's redshirt freshman DeMarco Murray. Of course, it begs a question. Without the Sooners cup running over at running back, just where would they be.

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Bradford just missing

AMES, Iowa - Oklahoma finally put a drive together. Sort of.

Third and 6, first play of second quarter, and Sam Bradford finds Chris Brown out of the backfield.

Three plays later, Bradford finds Jermaine Gresham for 18 yards.

Three plays later, Brown carries for 5 facing third and 3.

Three plays later, Bradford hits Adron Tennell in the chest, but Tennell was slipping as the ball arrived.

Next play, Bradford scrambles short facing fourth and 5.

The play before Tennell's drop? Bradford throws too tall to Malcolm Kelly. Catchable, but the high throw allowed the safety to make a play on the receiver. It was the second sure touchdown Bradford had just missed, the first a ball Juaquin Iglesias could have caught but refused to lay out for.

Now, Iowa State driving again.

It's been a crazy season and 24 minutes into things at Jack Trice Stadium it's only getting crazier.

Cyclones convert fourth down and they're just 21 yards away, still leading 7-0.

First quarter from Ames

AMES, Iowa - If this keeps up, the nation will be shaking its head once again by the end of the day.

Through 15 minutes, the only thing of note from Oklahoma has been a turnovers that led to a touchdown. That and the fact the Sooners have failed to move the ball. Sam Bradford has narrowly missed two big hook ups, one with Malcolm Kelly and the other to Juaquin Iglesias.

Though the Cyclones just have the one touchdown (more than many thought they might get the whole game), notable is the fact ISU has advanced the ball every possession.

The Sooner Nation sweats

Hope springs eternal

AMES, Iowa - Well, so much for that complete game the Sooners or their running game was hopting to pitch.

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A template for the day

Is this the way it's going to be …

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Pregame from Ames

AMES, Iowa — Still a little more than a half hour before the kick at Jack Trice Stadium, where if it's 55 outside it's 90 inside thanks to a brillian Iowa sun. With some time, a quick review of today's sublots appears in order before No. 4 Oklahoma meets foundering Iowa State.


1. Assuming victory, which seems likely in the face of a 30-point spread, the Sooner Nation has to be wondering if, for a third straight Saturday, OU will get more help in the national title race. Technically, the Sooners have already received it this week, Thursday night, when Rutgers stunned No. 2 South Florida. There are some candidates. No. 5 LSU — ahead of OU in the BCS — plays host to No. 18 Auburn. Though unranked, Michigan State might be capable of giving No. 1 Ohio State a hard time.

2. The Sooners are still waiting to play something close to a complete game. At Colorado, they fell apart in the fourth quarter. Against Texas, it took a few huge and singluar plays to make up for a few clear breakdowns. Against Missouri, two turnovers had Bob Stoops steaming after the game, while the Tigers' four turnovers may have been the biggest reason most of the fans exiting Owen Field were smiling. OU could really use a start-to-finish domination unseen since non-conference play ended.

3. OU is 4-0 at home, 1-0 on neutral fields (Texas), 1-0 on the road at a place it had half the fans (Tulsa) and 0-1 in truly hostile environments (Colorado). It's only the Cyclones, yet it remains a true road game, a test the Sooners have yet to pass.

4. Can Sam Bradford keep it going. The nation's pass-efficiency leader (181.15) continues to impress. Today might be an opportunity to pad his 20 to 4 touchdown to interception radio.

5. Barring an absolute complete game, can the Sooners get a complete game on the ground? Allen Patrick, DeMarco Murray, Chris Brown and — if it's a laugher — Mossis Madu and Jacob Gutierrez should all get their chances to carry the ball.

Iowa State

1. Does the Season of the Upset hold anything for Cyclones. Or, better put, anything more. Just 1-6 on the season, the Cyclones have already lost to Kent State, Toledo and Northern Iowa. The one victory? In-state rival Iowa. Does that make Northern Iowa king of the rolling corn fields?

2. Do the Cyclones mail it in? Questionable is just what Iowa State has left to play for. Recently a player in the Big 12 North, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado all appear to have passed the Cyclones by. (Bright side? Dan McCarney struggled as a young Cyclone coach, but eventually turned things around. First-year coach Gene Chizik will likely receive the same kind of time and many swear by the guy)

That's it for subplots. Now, a small bit of trivia every college footballf fan should know.

Prentice Gautt broke the color barrier at OU in 1956. It was more than a decade later it happened at Red River rival Texas. Yet Jack Trice, Iowa State's first black athlete, was playing for the Cyclones in 1922. Trice died Oct. 8, 1923 from injuries sustained on the field against Minnesota two days earlier.

How nice it is, in these days of United Spirit Arena (Texas Tech) and the Coors Center (Colorado), that football is played at a place called Jack Trice Stadium.

Until the kick …

October 14, 2007

Wrapping Up OU-MU

NORMAN, Okla. - 85,041 saw Oklahoma take down Missouri, 41-31 tonight at Memorial Stadium, and after a wild game, a crazy elevator situation, and one really long traffic jam, here's tonight's wrap up from Norman.

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October 13, 2007

Sooners Tame Tigers, 41-31

NORMAN, Okla. - It was an exciting game for most of the 60 minutes here tonight, but when it became crunch time, the Oklahoma Sooners pulled away, handing the Missouri Tigers their first loss of the season, 41-31 here at Memorial Stadium.

OU's defense was the key late, as they were able to get pressure on Chase Daniel again, forcing key turnovers and taking advantage each time the Tigers made a critical mistake. Missouri put up a gallant fight here tonight. The Tigers drove down and scored on a four yard pass from Daniel to Martin Rucker with 12 seconds left. However, the last quarter showed who the best team was on the field.

We'll have more to come from Norman tonight, including post-game comments and a final wrap-up. Once again, Oklahoma has defeated Missouri tonight, 41-31.

OU Finishing This One Off

NORMAN, Okla. - Chase Daniel has tossed his third interception of the night, this one picked off by Nic Harris after it was tipped by Auston English, and the Sooners are milking the clock, up 35-24.

It just hasn't been Daniel's night tonight. Give him credit for bringing the Tigers back from down 23-10 to giving them a 24-23 lead, but in the fourth quarter, the best team usually steps up their game an extra notch, and it's been the Sooners who have done that tonight.

Just as I typed that, Chris Brown sprinted down the left side of the field for a 20 yard touchdown, but Garrett Hartley's PAT was blocked, making it 41-24 in favor of the Sooners with 2:39 to go.

Stick a fork in this one folks. This one is going to the boys in crimson and cream.

Lofton Pushes Sooners Further Ahead

NORMAN, Okla. - Missouri, needing to answer the OU score, did the absolute worst thing possible.

Chase Daniel, trying to hand off to Jeremy Maclin, fumbled the ball, and OU's Curtis Lofton took it to the house from 11 yards out, bringing bedlam to the crowd in Memorial Stadium. The Sooners again tried for two, but Bradford's pass fell incomplete, and the Sooners now lead 35-24 with 11:40 to go.

Mizzou's not out of it...but they need a quick drive and answer. This OU crowd is getting raucous again, sensing blood in the water, and that usually spells doom and gloom for visiting teams here in Norman.

Long Drive Gives Sooners Lead Again

NORMAN, Okla. - The sign of a good team is when the momentum is shifted dramatically in their opponent's favor, they rise to the occasion and answer the call.

In other words, Oklahoma's a good team.

The Sooners pounded the Missouri defense in a 12 play, 66 yard drive, and Chris Brown's one yard walk into the endzone put OU back on top here in Norman. Oklahoma went for two, but Sam Bradford's pass was tipped incomplete, making the score 29-24 Sooners with 12:26 to go.

In games like these, this is the time for great leaders to step up. Can Chase Daniel answer the Sooners? That's what we have to look forward to as OU kicks off to the Tigers.

Mizzou Regains Lead

NORMAN, Okla. - Just when you thought OU was locking this game up, the Tigers roared back to life.

Taking advantage of the Iglesias kickoff fumble, Missouri marched down the field on an eight play drive, and Jimmy Jackson's four yard run on the right end has given the Tigers a 24-23 lead on Oklahoma with 1:30 to go in the third.

The Missouri fans are definitely letting themselves be heard, as the majority of crimson-clad OU fans are absolutely shellshocked at what's going on right now in the game. But give Mizzou all the credit. Gary Pinkel and company found what was wrong with their OL in the first half, and Chase Daniel hasn't had too much to worry about pressure-wise in the second half. It shows in the stats, as Mizzou has 313 yards to OU's 270.

Can OU come back? Will Hartley's missed PAT haunt them? We'll find out...what a game so far!

Missouri Fighting Back

NORMAN, Okla. - Missouri needed a momentum shift. 12 plays and 4:41 later, they got it.

Chase Daniel, showing the leadership that Mizzou has counted on all season, led a gutsy drive down the field that was capped off by a 10 yard touchdown run off the reverse by Jeremy Maclin, who has been the tailback/receiver/hot dog vendor, etc. for the Tigers. The guy has done everything for them when Daniel doesn't have the ball.

The crowd here in Norman has turned silent all of the sudden, with the exception of the Missouri fans whooping it up in the south end of the stadium. All of the sudden, despite the two interceptions, Mizzou has found their way back into the game, and OU fans are getting a little nervous.

**UPDATE** - OU fans are REALLY nervous now, after Juaquin Iglesias fumbled the kickoff return, and Connell Davis recovered for Missouri, giving the Tigers the ball at the OU 46 with the chance to take the lead.

OU Adds to Lead

NORMAN, Okla. - As per the norm this season, when OU gets a gift, they return it in style.

Following the Chase Daniel interception, the Sooners marched with very little trouble, scoring on an Allen Patrick run from five yards out. Garrett Hartley missed the PAT, but Oklahoma's up 23-10 on Mizzou with 9:30 to go in the third.

How easy was OU's drive? The Sooners, taking 2:48 off the clock, never faced third down once.

Missouri mistakes are once again haunting the Tigers, who need to find some momentum fast here at Memorial Stadium.

Reg-gie, Reg-gie!

NORMAN, Okla. - It looked as if Missouri had found their stride at the half. The Tigers shut down the Sooners on their opening drive, and Chase Daniel and company were marching down the field with ease. But with Missouri facing third and two, Daniel ran to his right out of the pocket and threw a soft pass that fell into the hands of OU's Reggie Smith. Smith took it to the OU 44 yard line, and what could've been a major momentum shift was doused again by the OU secondary.

Although, admittedly, Daniel's pass was weak, missing any Tiger receiver by several yards. The pressure from the Sooner D has been tough for Daniel to overcome right now.

17-10 Oklahoma as they're on the move with 10 minutes to go in the third.

Some Halftime Stats

NORMAN, Okla. - Quick Halftime Stats...

Rushing Yards:
Missouri - 11 carries, 15 yards
Oklahoma - 13 carries, 14 yards

It's all about the aerial assault here tonight...

Passing Yards:
Chase Daniel: 16-22, 154 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Sam Bradford: 16-19, 188 yards, 2 TDs

Daniel's being outshadowed tonight, but that's mostly because of OU's defense.

Kickoff Returns:
Missouri: 2 for 79 yards
Oklahoma: 1 for 22 yards

Mizzou's had the field position; they just haven't been able to get it done.

Some Halftime Stats

NORMAN, Okla. - Quick Halftime Stats...

Rushing Yards:
Missouri - 11 carries, 15 yards
Oklahoma - 13 carries, 14 yards

It's all about the aerial assault here tonight...

Passing Yards:
Chase Daniel: 16-22, 154 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Sam Bradford: 16-19, 188 yards, 2 TDs

Daniel's being outshadowed tonight, but that's mostly because of OU's defense.

Kickoff Returns:
Missouri: 2 for 79 yards
Oklahoma: 1 for 22 yards

Mizzou's had the field position; they just haven't been able to get it done.

A Little Mizzou Momentum at Half

NORMAN, Okla. - Finally, Missouri had some of their offensive punch back, and just before the half ended.

The Tigers went on a 9 play, 85 yard drive that was capped with a Jeff Wolfert field goal as time expired, cutting the Sooner lead to 17-10 as we've hit the end of the first half. The key plays: Daniel's 31 yard pass to Danario Alexander that put the Tigers in OU territory with just under 20 seconds left, and the 22 yard pass on the next play to Will Franklin, who dove out of bounds at the OU two yard line with just two seconds left, allowing Mizzou to pick up some much needed points.

Marching Mizzou has taken the field here in Norman, something that's very odd if you've watched a lot of Southern football. Usually, the opposing band has no chance to get on the field, but in the Big 12, things are a little more diplomatic. In fact, VERY diplomatic. As the Mizzou band public announcer yelled to fans to cheer for Mizzou, the OU fans didn't boo at all, remaining silent for the Missouri fans to cheer.

As the Missouri Waltz is being played, it's time for me to refuel on caffeine! Second half starts in 15 minutes.

OU fans have a LOT of radios

INORMAN, Okla.- I had Sugar Bowl reps and a lot of people behind me, as the TV showing LSU-Kentucky was right above my head. As soon as LSU was down and UK had won it, a huge roar came from the crowd here at Memorial Stadium.

Think there's a lot of handheld radios in the stadium tonight? I think so.

Anyways, the crowd is pumped, as OU remains on top, 17-7, with under three minutes to go in the half.

Bradford, Sooners Cruising

NORMAN, Okla. - The OU offense started on their own 14 yard line, and seven plays later, Sam Bradford found a WIIIIIIIDDDE OPEN Jermaine Gresham for a 30 yard touchdown, sending fireworks in the air, the Sooner Schonner riding back out on the field, and the crowd into yet another roar of approval.

OU is in total control of this game, and you've got to give the Sooners credit for the way they responded to Missouri's opening drive touchdown. The Sooners now have 161 yards of offense to Mizzou's 44, and the Tigers have to find a way to get back in this game, something that's easier said than done, given the way the OU defense has stiffened up and rattled Chase Daniel.

17-7 Sooners with 11:47 to go in the half.

Trouble On The Line

NORMAN, Okla. - Chase Daniel's first drive was a great one, but since then, OU's defensive line has given him fits. The Sooners have kept Daniel from staying in the pocket, chasing him out and sacking him twice. Daniel looks flustered, and he's been a bit panicky when he hears the footsteps coming his way.

Missouri's offense has gone for -9 yards of total offense since that first drive, and Gary Pinkel has to get the offensive line in gear and allow his star QB to get more time. Otherwise, the Sooners are on a roll right now in the second.

Mizzou Mistake Gives OU Lead

NORMAN, Okla. - One thing is for can't give OU gifts. The Sooners will return those gifts in a not-so-nice way.

The Sooner defense put intense pressure on Chase Daniel, and on third-and-10, Daniel's pass was picked off by D.J. Wolfe, who took the ball back to the Missouri 16 yard line. Missouri, though, was able to hold the Sooners to just a field goal, as three straight runs mustered only five yards for Oklahoma.

We start the second quarter with the Sooners up 10-7. However, Missouri has the ball on the OU 44, following a terrific kickoff return.

The Longest Review

NORMAN, Okla. - Sam Bradford found Chris Brown over the middle on a short pass, and was being brought down by Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon. Brown's knee hit the ground, but the rest of him rolled over, and when no whistles were blown, Brown trotted in for what was called a Sooner touchdown.

After about an eight minute delay, the refs managed to get the call right, and the ball was spotted on the Missouri 18 yd. line. However, the Sooners never flinched. Sam Bradford found Malcolm Kelly for two straight passes, setting up OU with first and goal from the eight, and on second and goal, Bradford found Juaquin Iglesias for the tying score.

With 3:33 to go in the first, it's 7-7 between Oklahoma and Missouri.

Missouri Draws First Blood

NORMAN, Okla. - A rare OU turnover has led to the first score of the game for Missouri. Sam Bradford found Juaquin Iglesias on the first Sooner offensive play, but a vicious hit by Stryker Sulak popped the football out of Iglesias's hands, and MU's Darnell Terrell recovered the loose ball at the Oklahoma 38 yard line.

Once the Tigers had the ball, Chase Daniel went to work, going 4-4 on the drive for 32 yards, including a 17 yard strike to a wide open William Franklin down the left sideline on fourth and one. The Tigers ran a reverse play on second and three from the OU five yard line, and Jeremy Maclin dove into the end zone, sending screams of jubiliation from the Missouri fans tucked in the inside corner on the south end of Memorial Stadium.

It's 7-0 Missouri as OU has the ball on their 35 with 10:04 to go here in the first quarter.

Getting Set for OU-MU

NORMAN, Okla. - We are less than 15 minutes away from a game that has all eyes in the Midwest on Memorial Stadium here in Norman, as the #6 Oklahoma Sooners will try to keep their hopes of defending their Big 12 title alive. Standing in the way of the Sooners are the undefeated and 11th-ranked Missouri Tigers, who are out on a mission to firmly establish themselves among the elite teams this year in college football.

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October 06, 2007

Texas-OU: Sooners take a classic

DALLAS, TX -- Sometimes rivalry games don't live up to the hype.

This one did.

In front of 80,000 at the Cotton Bowl, 10th-ranked Oklahoma outslugged 19th-ranked Texas 28-21 to stay in contention for the Big XII title.

"It was a great football game," said losing coach Mack Brown. "It was what you expect out of Texas and OU."

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Texas-OU: Sooners come up big

DALLAS, TX -- Oklahoma just pulled off the longest, most time-consuming drive of the game to take the lead, 28-21 over Texas with 10:42 left in the game.

Starting from their own 6 after a flub on the kickoff return, the Sooners drove 94 yards in 12 plays, with the score coming on a 3rd-down 35-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Malcolm Kelly.

It was the third third-down conversion of the drive. Bradford went 7-for-8 on the drive for 83 yards.

Texas-OU: Pow, Longhorns!

DALLAS, TX -- It's like a Batman comic book here, the hits are coming so hard and so quickly.

Texas answered OU's quick-strike TD with their own quick scoring drive, and we're tied 21-21 early in the 4th quarter.

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Texas-OU: Boom, Sooners!

DALLAS, TX -- OU freshman running back DeMarco Murray just busted a 65-yard TD run to give Oklahoma a 21-14 lead over Texas late in the third quarter.

It looked like a normal off-tackle play, but a hole opened, Murray hit it, hurdled a blocker on the ground, and outran Texas safety Marcus Griffin to the end zone.

The run gave Murray 100 yards on 8 carries today.

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Texas-OU: Locked up at half

DALLAS, TX -- 10 plays and 66 yards, and we're tied.

Facing 3rd-and-goal from the 6, OU QB Sam Bradford hit TE Jermaine Gresham for TD to make it 14-14 at the half.

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Texas-OU: Hi, my name's Jermichael

DALLAS, TX -- Sometime earlier this week, someone introduced Texas Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis to tight end Jermichael Finley.

Finley, who entered the game with only 187 yards receiving in five games, just caught two more huge passes to give Texas a 14-7 lead over Oklahoma.

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Texas-OU: McCoy answers in a flash

Dallas, TX -- BLAM! BLAM! We're tied!

After totalling only 47 yards on their first 14 plays and punting three times, Texas just struck quickly to tie it at 7-7.

Starting from the UT 39, Colt McCoy found TE Jermichael Finley wide open over the middle and Finley rumbled another 30 yards to the OU 6 for a 55-yard gain. On the next play, McCoy dropped back and initially found no one open, but he moved to the left, drew the attention of a CB, and found Jordan Shipley drifting to the back corner for a TD.

With 11 minutes to play in the half, we've got a good one.

Texas-OU: Bradford catches fire

DALLAS, TX -- Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford just broke up a defensive struggle by taking the Sooners on an 84-yard TD drive.

After hitting several big passes, Bradford capped off the drive with a 1-yard TD pass to TE Jermaine Gresham.

At the end of the first quarter, the Sooners lead 7-0.

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Texas-OU: Football's Best Rivalry

DALLAS, TX -- Texas and Oklahoma will be kicking off soon, the 102nd renewal of the best rivalry game in college football.

That's right -- the best rivalry game in college football.

Sorry, Ohio State and Michigan. No way, Southern Cal and Neutered Dame. Get serious, Alabama and Auburn. Texas-OU matches the hatred and intensity of any of those games, with the added bonus of the greatest setting imaginable.

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September 29, 2007

Colorado vs. Oklahoma


Colorado opens up their Big 12 Conference play at home this weekend on a partly cloudy Homecoming morning. An hour before game time the Buffs are in their normal home colors with gold pants and black tops. Oklahoma, the No. 3 (AP) ranked team in the nation, won the last time they were in Boulder 34-20 in 2003 when they came in ranked No.1.

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