NORMAN — Bob Rice sat in his front yard at 514 S. Flood, west of the OU campus, and watched the cars inch along. No one was saying a word. On Nov. 16, 1957, the 50th Statehood Day and 50 years ago Friday, college football's most epic achievement ended. Notre Dame halfback Dick Lynch sped around right end with 3:50 left in the game, the Irish won 7-0 and snapped Oklahoma's 47-game winning streak, sending a campus, a town and a state into stunned gloom. Dub Borders was 13 in November 1957. His family was poor but had a television. "The only mention of Oklahoma was watching the ‘Today Show' every Monday morning, when they would reveal the football rankings,” Borders said. "It was always OU No. 1.” On Nov. 16, Borders worked in his family's peanut field. Liked to have killed him that he couldn't even listen on the radio. He came in late that afternoon, and an uncle delivered the news. For the first time in more than four years, the Sooners had lost a football game. "I couldn't believe it,” said Borders, who now lives in Ada. "I thought, how terrible to be our birthday, and the 47-game streak is snapped. "I was just devastated. Heartbroken. Just unreal. After 47 games, they let a team that really was no good beat 'em.” Actually, the Irish weren't bad. They were 2-8 in 1956, when the Sooners delivered a 40-0 licking at South Bend, but entered the 1957 game 4-2. And the longer the game went, the more Notre Dame's confidence grew. "Like a lot of fans, I didn't think they could lose it,” said Fritz Anderson, then a 29-year-old OU die-hard sitting in the north end zone seats who now is curator of the Shawnee High School museum. But when Notre Dame intercepted Dale Sherrod's last-minute pass in the end zone, disbelief became reality. Notre Dame players picked up beleaguered coach Terry Brennan and carried him off the field. OU public-address announcer Jack Ogle kept his poise and proclaimed, "Come back next Saturday folks; that's when the new string starts.” And the fans sat stunned. "Literally, there were people crying in the stands,” said Gary King, then a 12-year-old who would go on to play football at Iowa State, teach history at Rose State College and write a memoir about growing up a Sooner fan in the 1950s. But through the tears and the flabbergastion, the OU fans responded with a fitting farewell to the streak. They rose and unified in a standing ovation. According to "Presidents Can't Punt,” former OU president George Lynn Cross' book, Notre Dame vice president Father Edmund Joyce thought the ovation was for the Irish, and Cross didn't correct him. Not every OU fan was so sporting. The next week, a letter to The Oklahoma City Times called for Wilkinson's removal as head coach. At the time, his record in the previous 48 games was 47-1. Such nonsense was rare. Some fans gathered outside the OU locker room to cheer on the exiting Sooners. But the reality of defeat was slow to sink in on everyone. Bill Krisher, an All-American OU guard in 1957, dressed after the game, left the locker room and walked behind the old south bleachers, which you could see through. He was taken aback by people still sitting in the stands. Gene Nance was one of those OU fans. Then 32, he said the mood was, “Well, I guess it’s over. Kind of a funny feeling. Everybody was just stunned.” Many fans walked home in those days — Wilkinson included — and Nance walked home maybe a mile to his home on Caddell Lane. Nance wore a red shirt that day, which was not the norm in 1957. A neighbor across the street doing yardwork yelled out, “That shirt doesn’t look too red right now.” There are wisenheimers in every era. Bob Barry Sr., then a budding sportscaster for KNOR radio and still a few years removed from becoming the OU radio play-by-play voice, had friends over that Saturday night. “Most adults almost cried,” Barry said. “This had never happened. We were all in a stupor. It was like somebody died. Just disbelief. I don’t know how to say it any better than that.” That says it well. Over on Flood Avenue, then the primary road to Oklahoma City, 13-year-old Bob Rice sat and watched the cars inch by. “It was pretty quiet,” said Rice, who still lives in Norman. “No one was saying a word. My father said it looked like a funeral procession.” In a way it was. One of the great streaks in American sport had died.