KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Both sides were decked out in red Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium, but it wasn't hard to distinguish crimson-clad Sooners from scarlet-suited Cornhuskers.
The University of Oklahoma fans were the ones celebrating. OU returned to the Big 12 football mountaintop with a 21-7 victory over the University of Nebraska in the conference championship game. The Sooners now have four Big 12 titles in coach Bob Stoops' eight seasons: 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. The victory sends the 11-2 Sooners into the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, most likely against Boise State. OU will know its bowl assignment for sure today. Temperatures were below freezing by kickoff, but the bundled fans didn't seem to mind. "The Sooners winning kept you warm," said OU fan Derek Ellis of Westminster, Colo. Outnumbered in the stands but not on the scoreboard, the Sooners led virtually from the opening bell. Perhaps as many as 60,000 Nebraska fans invaded Arrowhead's 79,451 seats but were quieted early. OU tailback Allen Patrick scored on the game's second play from scrimmage, after a Nebraska fumble, and the Cornhuskers never caught up. A 99-yard drive in the third quarter, 95 of them coming on Paul Thompson passes, gave the Sooners a commanding 21-7 lead. The game was billed as an old-fashioned Oklahoma-Nebraska game, with cold weather and a championship on the line. One big difference: the neutral field, just the fourth in the 81-game series and the second since 1919. The first was the 1979 Orange Bowl.
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Sooner running back Allen Patrick, No. 23, is congratulated by teammates Jermaine Gresham, No. 18, Chris Messner, No. 79, and Dane Zaslaw, No. 45, after Patrick’s touchdown run in the first half of the Big 12 Championship game Saturday in Kansas City, Mo. BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN