NEW ORLEANS —
And, finally, on a day OU couldn’t tackle, but managed to force more Alabama turnovers — five — than punts — four — Eric Striker finished it off with an homage to Roy Williams, while Geneo Grissom did his best to make Teddy Lehman proud.
It wasn’t a pass Grissom picked off, but a fumble he picked up, forced by Striker, who Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron never saw coming the way Chris Simms never saw Williams coming, he was there so fast.
If OU can keep him, Striker has two more years to make plays like that. Grissom has one and if he never scores another touchdown, he’ll never forget the one that capped Thursday night’s scoring, making the Sooners 45-31 winners.
All of which is to say nothing of the crazy catch Derrick Woods made, his second of the entire season, that gave Michael Hunnicutt the chance to kick a tying 47-yard field goal, or the first-and-30 Knight converted with passes to Shepard, Clay and Lacoltan Bester early in the fourth quarter, which just happened to be the kick-start to the drive that finished with his mindreading trick of Shepard.
There are hardly words.
OU was dead in the water after embarrassing itself at Baylor.
“That wasn’t us,” Stoops said defiantly, after midnight Thursday, and it turns out he was right.
It all began with Saunders’ first-half closing punt return for a touchdown against Iowa State. Knight came back to life in the second half of that game and the Sooners were off and running.
An underdog at Kansas State, OU prevailed. A bigger underdog for Bedlam, Blake Bell came back to life and the Sooners prevailed again. A still bigger underdog against the Great Saban’s Crimson Tide and it was OU that won by two touchdowns, turning the oddsmakers on their ears by 30 points.