With 54 bowl appearances under its belt, Oklahoma is going to experience a postseason first next week. When OU and Oregon kickoff the Alamo Bowl it’ll mark the first ever appearance for the Sooners at the event. In the midst of a program record 23-season streak of qualifying for a bowl game, it’s a bit fascinating to think that Oklahoma is about to boldly go where it’s never gone before. It only makes sense that it’ll be Bob Stoops at the helm to guide the program through uncharted waters. Stoops is the man who got the streak started by leading the Sooners to the Independence Bowl back in 1999. Since that night, Oklahoma has been to the BCS Championship Game, Cotton Bowl three times, the Fiesta Bowl three times, the Holiday Bowl, the Insight Bowl, the Orange Bowl four times, the Peach Bowl, the Rose Bowl twice, the Russel Athletic Bowl, the Sun Bowl, and the Sugar Bowl three times.
It was also Stoops who led the Sooners to their only other experience in San Antonio. On December 1st, 2007 OU played top-ranked Missouri at the Alamo Dome in the Big 12 championship game. Oklahoma had beaten the Tigers, 41-31, earlier in the season but a November loss to Texas Tech knocked them out of contention for the BCS championship. Meanwhile, Missouri rebounded from that October 13th loss in Norman to reach the #1 spot in the nation with an inside track to college football’s national championship game. The only thing that stood in their way was Bob Stoops and the #9 Sooners.
Sam Bradford completed 18 of 26 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns that night while running backs Allen Patrick (13 carries for 88 yards and a TD) and Chris Brown (23 carries for 71 yards and two TDs) led OU’s ground attack. Receiver Malcolm Kelly caught four passes for a
team-high 72 yards, and one of Bradford’s touchdown passes went to current OU assistant coach Joe Jon Finley, who was a senior tight end. Finley finished the night with a team-high five catches for 34 yards.
The game was tied 14-14 at halftime, but the Sooners outscored the Tigers 14-0 in the third quarter and 10-3 in the fourth to win their fifth of 14 Big 12 titles and qualify for the Fiesta Bowl.
Linebacker Curtis Lofton led the Sooner defense with nine tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, a sack and an interception that he returned 26 yards.
The Sooners don’t have a deep tradition of playing in San Antonio but the Alamo city is a part of Oklahoma’s championship heritage.
Follow us on Twitter: @SportsHeartland