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Oklahoma football: Sooners' scars from 2011 game vs. Baylor still healing

by Jenni Carlson Published: November 9, 2012

NORMAN — Robert Griffin took the snap, felt pressure and rolled left. Then, looking right, he set his feet and fired the ball toward the back corner of the end zone.

There, waiting for it with no Oklahoma defender within an arm's length of him was Terrance Williams.

Touchdown, Baylor.

Baylor dubbed it “The Game Winner.”

For OU, it was “The Program Changer.”

While that play is the lasting image of the Sooners' loss to the Bears — and the ultimate Heisman Trophy highlight for RG3 — it had lasting effects on this program. It likely led to the departure of Willie Martinez. The demotion and ultimate departure of loyal sidekick Brent Venables. The return of brother Mike. It was upheaval like we've never seen in the Stoops Era.

Those Bears left scars on the Sooners.

That's because in a sport where little is certain, one constant was that OU beat Baylor. Twenty times, they had played before last season. Twenty times, the Sooners had won.

That winning streak ended last season.

“It was tough,” Sooner tailback Brennan Clay said. “They played well ... and Robert Griffin was a beast.”

Even though the Bears needed an out-of-this-world performance to end the Sooners' winning streak, that loss still felt like the bottom of a slow but steady downward spiral for OU. The Sooners hadn't played for a national championship since 2008 and had lost five of six BCS bowls, dating back to the 2003 national championship game.

They had lost their edge.

Many fans overlooked those sins because, well, it's hard to argue with 10 or 12 wins every year.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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