ARLINGTON, Texas â€” Travis Lewis skipped happily toward the end zone, waving his arms and nodding his head.
As his Sooner teammates celebrated a championship at midfield, he stood alone on the goal line. The junior linebacker spread wide his arms, threw back his head and soaked up the cheers.
Make three of the biggest plays in the season's biggest game, and you deserve that kind of love.
On a night Oklahoma rallied to defeat Nebraska 23-20 and win its seventh Big 12 championship, no Sooner was more important than Lewis.
â€œYou've got to celebrate little moments like these,â€ he said. â€œA moment like this, it's a moment you'll remember for the rest of your life.â€
It's one Lewis won't soon forget.
No one on this defense will. The Sooners scored a second-half shutout against the Huskers.
After Nebraska scored the first 17 points of the game, a game hyped as a showdown seemed headed toward a blowout.
Even after OU scored a touchdown, the Sooners seemed on the verge of falling in hole too deep to dig out. The Huskers marched down the field, converted a fourth down and moved inside the Sooner 10-yard line. Score a touchdown, and OU might not be able to come back.
But when Husker quarterback Taylor Martinez started scrambling around on a third-and-goal, Lewis saw his chance.
â€œI was kind of baiting them into throwing at me,â€ he said, â€œand he threw it.â€
â€œThese hands ain't what they used to be,â€ he said, â€œbut I caught it.â€
But Lewis wasn't done. After a Sooner field goal, he pounced on a Husker fumble caused by Demontre Hurst.
Those two turnovers led to 10 OU points, and like that, the Sooners were back in the game.
â€œHe was all over the place,â€ Sooner safety Quinton Carter said. â€œHe played really hard all four quarters. He stepped up the way we needed him.â€
Lewis came up with another fumble in the fourth quarter, and just as his turnovers had in the first half, this one led to points.
The resulting field goal was the game-winner.
â€œThey gave me some opportunities and I took advantage,â€ Lewis said. â€œI missed some tackles and I gave up some big plays, but we never gave up, we kept at it and we came away with the win.â€
The Sooners were just following Lewis' lead. By his own admission, this hasn't been the season that he wanted it to be.
â€œI haven't been playing to my ability,â€ he said. â€œTo come out and have a game like this, it means so much to me. I want to give everything to my teammates.
â€œThis is for them.â€
While Lewis had his best game on the biggest stage, he was hardly alone.
Jonathan Nelson had a team-high 11 tackles. Ronnell Lewis and Quinton Carter had seven tackles while Austin Box had six and a fumble recovery. Frank Alexander had six tackles, four that were for a loss and one forced fumble.
Each of those stat lines is worthy of praise.
â€œWe took the field at halftime and said we wouldn't let them score anymore,â€ Carter said. â€œAnd we played that way.â€
They played well enough for OU to win Saturday night, for the red and white confetti to rain down onto the Cowboys Stadium turf, for the Sooners to celebrate another title.
As the celebration was winding down, Lewis made his way over to the stands and raised three fingers into the air.
This was his third conference crown as a Sooner, but the three could've just as easily been for his three monster plays.
â€œTo win this game in the fashion that we did,â€ Lewis said, â€œthis is huge.â€