Bowls and the Heisman: Looking at the Sooners' history vs. Heisman winners

OU will face Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4. It won't be the Sooners' first bowl game against the most-recently named Heisman winner.
by Berry Tramel Published: December 10, 2012

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night. Manziel's first game with such royal status comes against OU in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4.

It won't be the Sooners' first bowl game against the most-recently named Heisman winner.

The Sooners are 2-1 in bowl games against just-named Heisman winners. The Sooners also have played one bowl game against a Heisman winner from the season before.

Sooners vs. the Heisman

1971: The Sooners routed Auburn 40-22 in the Sugar Bowl. OU led 34-0 in the third quarter. Auburn quarterback Pat Sullivan completed 20 of 44 passes for 250 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

2000: OU beat Florida State 13-2 in the Orange Bowl national title game, and Seminole quarterback Chris Weinke had a miserable game, completing 25 of 51 passes for 274 yards but with two interceptions.

2004: Southern Cal routed the Sooners 55-19 in the national title Orange Bowl. USC quarterback Matt Leinart completed 18 of 35 passes for 332 yards, five TDs and no interceptions.

The Sooners also played Tim Tebow in a bowl game the season after Tebow won the 2007 Heisman. Florida beat OU 24-14 in the 2008 national title game in Miami. Tebow completed 18 of 30 passes for 231 yards, with two TDs and two interceptions. Tebow also rushed 22 times for 109 yards.

Sooners vs. eventual Heisman winners

Thirteen times OU has played against that season's eventual Heisman winner:

2011: Baylor's Robert Griffin III stated his Heisman case with a game for the ages — 479 passing yards (completing 21 of 34) with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Griffin also rushed for 72 yards. His 34-yard TD pass to Terrance Williams with eight seconds left was the game winner.

2001: The Sooners bottled up Nebraska option quarterback Eric Crouch, who finished with just 21 yards on 13 carries. Crouch threw decent, completing 10 of 18 for 102 yards, with one interception. But Crouch's Heisman moment came in the fourth quarter, when he took a throwback pass from Mike Stuntz and turned into a 63-yard touchdown pass that was the clinching play in a 20-10 Husker victory.

1998: Texas' Ricky Williams had already mounted his Heisman case, with back-to-back 300-yard rushing games. Williams dented the Sooners for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries in a 34-3 Longhorn out.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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