Lightning should have stopped Oklahoma blowout

By Berry Tramel Modified: August 31, 2008 at 10:52 am •  Published: August 31, 2008
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NORMAN — After the most lopsided half of football in 30 years at Owen Field, and the second-most lopsided since anyone was paying attention, and the most embarrassing ballgame any of us hopefully will ever have to witness, God saw all that college football had made.

And it was bad. It was very bad.

So with Owen Field's glittering new scoreboard blaring the shameful halftime score — Oklahoma 50, Chattanooga 0 — here came the torrents. Walls of rain. Swirling wind. Crackling lightning.

Enough is enough, the Almighty said. No more OU-Chattanooga. Not Saturday night. Not ever. And anyone with a lick of sense or a thread of compassion had to say amen.

Of course, they kept playing, after a delay of more than an hour. Games like this are born from economic reasons. Call this one at halftime, and thousands of pay-per-view customers would have demanded half their money back. So back came both teams, for a go-through-the-motions second half of what became a 57-2 final.

Bob Stoops had only two humanitarian options, playing reserves with a gutted playbook or, even more embarrassing, a running clock. OU went with the former, though Stoops inexplicably sent out Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray for three second-half series.

In Connecticut, where high school coaches who win by 50 points face suspension for running up the score, Stoops would be in the hoosegow.

This was a worthless second half, and the first half wasn't any better. Chattanooga was absolutely helpless on offense; it finished with two first down and 36 total yards. The Mocs were better on defense, but still the Sooners scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions despite not being all that sharp.

These teams did not belong on the field together. OU has outscored overmatched foes like this before — 52-0 at halftime over Rice in 1978, 49-0 at halftime over Missouri in 1986 and Texas A&M in 2003 — but that was with some big-play help. Slideshow: OU vs Chattanooga



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