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Best wins of the Bob Stoops era: No. 4, OU 65, Texas Tech 21 (2008)

by Jason Kersey Published: August 10, 2012

OU's Manuel Johnson catches a touchdown pass during the Sooners' 65-21 win over Texas Tech in 2008.  PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY. THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE
OU's Manuel Johnson catches a touchdown pass during the Sooners' 65-21 win over Texas Tech in 2008. PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY. THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE
No. 5 OU 65, No. 2 Texas Tech 21

When: Nov. 22, 2008

Where: Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman

Oklahoman headline: TECH THAT!

Why it’s on the list: This song will forever be a reminder of this night, when OU destroyed No. 2 Texas Tech and their national championship hopes — and Graham Harrell’s Heisman hopes — and vaulted itself back into the title hunt. OU scored early and often, and the crowd, which Bob Stoops had challenged earlier in the week, well, jumped around. Loudly. The Sooners, who lost to Texas earlier in the season, were all of the sudden back in the discussion for not only the Big 12 title game, but the national championship game. By the end of the regular season, OU, Texas and Texas Tech were tied atop the Big 12 South standings but the Sooners, with this game a huge help, were ranked highest in the BCS standings and played in the Big 12 championship game. Sooners QB Sam Bradford won the Heisman Trophy, but OU went on to lose to Florida in the national title game.

Here is Berry Tramel’s column from the game:

Fans jump for joy on special Saturday night

NORMAN — The Sooners started jumping early. Jumping, jumping, jumping, like the sidelines were spring loaded. Jumping like kids turned loose in a mattress factory.

Truth is, they’d been jumping for days.

“Last week,” said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. “It started last week. We came to practice on fire. That’s when all the energy started.”

Then Bob Stoops lit the match with a do-better talk to fans, who boiled the old stadium with a rowdiness unseen since that Nebraska epic eight years ago. Owen Field sizzled all night long, and that made the Sooners jump even more, and the pandemonium on the Oklahoma bench spilled over to the playing field.

Before you knew it, the fifth-ranked Sooners had annihilated No. 2 Texas Tech 65- 21 in what was supposed to be the game of the year but instead became endorsement for team of the year and player of the year.

And all that jumping might take the Sooners up where they think they belong. Above Texas and Texas Tech in the Big 12 South triangle.

Today’s BCS rankings will offer a clue on which squadron will be sent to Kansas City for the Big 12 title game in the case of a three-way tie.

“I think we sent a message to whoever was watching,” McCoy said. “Computers, aliens, whoever. If they seen this game, they know we’re for real.”

Tech knows it, for sure. The Red Raiders, ranked No. 2 and sporting a 10-0 record, were butchered on both sides of the ball.

Heisman Trophy favorite Graham Harrell’s flying circus crashed to Earth. A beleaguered OU defense, led by McCoy and other ferocious pass rushers and ball-hawking cover men, showed itself still capable of championship performance.

Tech had 14 possessions and scored three times, including a touchdown with 11 seconds left in the game.

OU’s offense — led not just by quarterback Sam Bradford’s Heisman-worthy performance but by fast and physical tailback DeMarco Murray — scored on five straight possessions in the second quarter, and suddenly this game took on the look of those vintage Stoops teams of several years ago.

The teams that routed Texas 63-14 in 2000 and 65-13 in 2003. The team that whipped Tech 60-15 in a 2002 Big 12 South title showdown. A score of 65- 21 fits in nicely with those routs and suggests that Oklahoma deserves mention in the discussion of America’s best.

“I don’t know what other style points you’re looking for,” Stoops said.

He took the time to politick a little, since if next weekend OU beat Oklahoma State, Texas beats Texas A&M and Tech beats Baylor, that messy three-way tie is reality.

“Obviously, now we’re in the mix with everybody,” Stoops said. “With the way we played, you would think we’re ahead.”

Who can argue, after the most impressive Oklahoma victory in at least five years and a special night at Owen Field, where the jacked-up Sooners and 80something thousand of their closest friends jumped for joy?

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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