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: Texas Tech University
November 22, 2008 — Norman, OK. Even after a month and some change, the sting of a loss in Dallas to a hated rival never ceases to stop. After the Mike Leach led Texas Tech Red Raiders took care of the Longhorns just two weeks prior, however, the tides were turning for the Sooners. Faced with an ability to force a virtual three-way tie in the Big 12’s South Division, Oklahoma needed a statement win at home against undefeated Texas Tech to revive hopes of a run to the BCS National Championship Game.
November in Oklahoma is not known for seasonably warm weather, and this Oklahoma autumn night certainly held to historical trends. As the sun set in the Western sky, temperatures in Norman plummeted, dropping below freezing for much of the game. The Sooners fought through the temperatures and let their wide open, high octane offense heat up the scoreboard. Led by quarterback Sam Bradford, who would go on to win the Heisman a month later, Oklahoma scored a touchdown on six of their seven first half drives.
The Red Raiders boasted their own deadly spread offense, led by quarterback Graham Harrell and 2007 Biletnikoff Award winner Michael Crabtree. The Sooners defense, however, was the true star when the Red Raiders had the football, forcing four turnovers and stifling Texas Tech on three of their six 4th down conversions, and just one of their thirteen 3rd down conversions. The defense held Crabtree out of the endzone the entire game, Crabtree’s first game without a touchdown all season.
Though the crimson clad gentlemen on the field pulled their weight, they weren’t the true stars of this legendary Sooner Magic Moment. That freezing November night, the 85,000+ packed into Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium were the ones in the spotlight. Because every time it felt cold, every time the Sooners needed something big, the entire place was just getting ready for four shrill electronic tones.
Then House of Pain Happened.
Sooner Magic Moment
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops had challenged the Oklahoma fans, particularly the student section, to make their presence felt at the game. Despite having one of the best programs of all time, and a noted home field advantage, the Sooner crowds had been lacking in Stoops’, players’, and even many fans’ minds. November 22, 2008 will forever be the exception.
Fueled by the challenge from Stoops, the palpable magnitude of the game itself, and the sheer necessity to stay warm, the Sooner crowd raucously jumped around to House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” The energy was infectious. The players felt it on the sidelines and on the field, and in turn routed the No. 2 Texas Tech Red Raiders 65-21, and the final score still doesn’t do the Sooner dominance justice.
Stoops gave one of the game balls to the fans after the rout.