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Oklahoma Sooners

Sooners 35 – Tigers 19 | Rapid Recap

Craig Hofeld

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The Sooners took on the Auburn Tigers in the Sugar Bowl tonight and it was nothing short of a sweet victory for OU. Finishing the season with a win was no easy task, as it is never easy to get a win against the SEC. The Sooners were given the task of proving just how good their offense is against a defense that held National Championship contender Clemson to just 19 points earlier this year.

Auburn got off to a hot start as they took the ball all the way down the field for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. Oklahoma was not able to answer for the next two drives, but later evened the score with a touchdown pass to Mark Andrews in the second quarter. The Tigers would go on to kick a field goal to take a 10-7 lead, which would be the last time they were on the top side of the scoreboard. OU combined perfect execution, field position, and aggressive play calling from Lincoln Riley to take over the game and put away the Tigers before the final whistle sounded.

Defense Steps Up

The Oklahoma defense has had its fair share of struggles this season, but stepped up in a big game when it mattered. All the talk had the Tigers dominating in the trenches and running the ball down the throats of the Sooners throughout the game. The defense seemed to come out with a chip on their shoulders, and proved a lot of people wrong by holding their own during the coarse of this game.

After giving up a touchdown on the first drive, OU didn’t allow another one until the final play of the game. The Tigers were forced to kick two field goals later in the second half, which is what gave the Sooners the lead at halftime. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops did a great job at making second half adjustments which slowed down the Tigers’ run game. The secondary had a great outing as well, and even came up with an interception during a clutch moment of the game.

Semaje Perine Sets OU Rushing Record

Semaje Perine has had one of the most outstanding careers of any running back at OU, which is saying a lot when you consider all the former greats this program has produced. Tonight, he passed everyone with 86 yards on 17 carries. He took over the top spot on the Sooners all-time rushing list over Owens, Sims, and Peterson with 4,122 yards.

Perine has struggled with injury throughout his career at OU, but has found ways to fight around that. After sitting out several games this year, he still managed to find his way to the 1,000 yard mark. The junior running back has yet to announce his decision for next season, but I think it’s safe to say that if he were to return,Oklahoma would have one of the best backfields in the nation once again.

Looking Forward

The Sooners made the most out of this season in which they started 1-2 by winning the Big 12 Championship, and then finishing it with a Sugar Bowl win. After fighting through various injuries and several adversities, coach Stoops pulled off another amazing season, which adds to his already outstanding legacy. OU will be returning a lot of young talent next year, as well as bringing in an incredible recruiting class. I would expect to see this Oklahoma team back in title contention next season.

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