Each game week, Justin Wright turns back the clock to a previous matchup between Oklahoma and the upcoming opponent, and reliving Sooner Magic from years past.
Week 7: University of Texas
October 13, 2012 — Dallas, TX. Three four inch lines. Two blue, one white. A large 5 and 0 on either side. One small foot. It may not seem like a major division, but at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium in October, that one foot separates a lot more than just two halves of a football field. Crimson versus Burnt Orange. Sooners versus Longhorns. Friends on one side, enemies on the other. There’s no rivalry in college football quite like it. The longest land border between two states in the country simulates itself as a 160′ x 1′ boundary, separating all that is good and all that is evil. Oklahoma versus Texas.
The Oklahoma Sooners headed south for the Texas State Fair’s biggest attraction (food is a close second) at 4-1, as Texas headed north at 4-1 coming off a home loss to West Virginia. Oklahoma was riding a two game win streak against Texas, including a 55-17 drubbing of the Horns the year prior. However, as any Oklahoma or Texas fan can attest, the Cotton Bowl’s crown jewel of a game is its own microcosm. It doesn’t matter what either team has done prior to the showdown in Dallas. It exists as its own separate entity, an escape to a reality where nothing else matters except the team and the fans wearing that same color to go back home, heads held high, with a hat of gold as proof of victory.
Oklahoma took the opening kickoff and led a 75 yard scoring drive, capped off by an 8 yard rumble from special package deemed the Bell-dozer. Texas blocked Michael Hunnicutt’s extra point and returned it, however, so Oklahoma held a 6-2 lead early. An exchange of punts between the two teams left Texas with the ball just outside of their own 20-yard line, and a chance to take the lead, and the momentum, from the Sooners. The Oklahoma defense stood tall, however, forcing a Texas punt from their own 30. Longhorn punter Alex King blasted a 65-yard punt all the way down to the Oklahoma 5.
In the shadow of their own endzone, the Sooners attempted to throw on first down, but quarterback Landry Jones could not connect with his receiver. Jones took the second down snap in the diamond formation, and handed the ball to running back Damien Williams. Williams found a huge hole and busted out into the second level, making a man miss, before turning the run into a three man footrace between himself and a Texas defensive back.
Then Kenny Still happened.
Sooner Magic Moment
Stills was the backside receiver on the Williams run, but he followed the play across the field looking to make a big block. As Williams blasted his way up the sideline, Texas cornerback Quandre Diggs gave chase, closing in on a touchdown saving tackle. Stills, a junior, had not lost to Texas yet, and was not about to give the Longhorns a chance in 2012. He locked his sights on Diggs and delivered a helmet rattling block. With Diggs out of the play, Damien Williams was free out in the open.
The block from Kenny Stills is another example, in a long list, of course, of the little things that must be done in Dallas to win such a heated rivalry game. The Sooners have to want it more. They have to be more physical. They have to do the little things, like Stills did in 2012.