Travis Lewis is OU's version of ‘pocket rockets'

RED RIVER EXTRA — Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis has had quite a career in Red River Rivalry games and there's no reason to think he won't do it again.
BY JENNI CARLSON Published: October 6, 2011

Travis Lewis held the brim of his hat at a jaunty angle, then doffed it to his adoring public.

You'd have thought he was channeling John Wayne.

Last October on the Cotton Bowl turf, the Oklahoma linebacker snagged the Golden Hat — the spoil given the winner of the Red River Rivalry — and took it for an impromptu victory lap. He hopped onto a bench on the sideline, paraded across the field, posed for a few photos, then sauntered up the ramp with the hat on his head and a smile on his face.

Was it a little over the top, a wee bit silly?

Sure.

But you can forgive it from a guy who does what Lewis does — he plays a big role in big games.

Heading into this year's edition of the Red River Rivalry, there is no more sure a thing in this game than Lewis. Not in burnt orange. Not in crimson either. He is starting his fourth game against the Longhorns. He is as reliable as landing a pair of aces at the poker table.

Pocket rockets, they call them.

That seems fitting for Lewis. He soars in marquee games, blasting into another stratosphere when his team most needs him.

We saw it first in the 2008 Red River Rivalry. Lewis was only a redshirt freshman then, but he led the team that day with 19 tackles.

Yes, 19 tackles.

Half that many would've still made him the Sooners' leading tackler that afternoon.

That kind of big-game performance has become the hallmark of Lewis's career. Look at the stats from just about any marquee game in the past few years, and his name is sure to be near the top.

Red River Rivalry, 2010: Tied for the team high with 10 tackles in a 28-20 victory.

Big 12 title game vs. Nebraska, 2010: Two fumble recoveries and one interception in a 23-20 victory.

Fiesta Bowl vs. Connecticut, 2010: Team-high 10 tackles in a 48-20 victory.

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