The Norman Transcript


January 3, 2008

It was over before it even started

By Clay Horning

Transcript Sports Editor

GLENDALE, Ariz. — History may claim Oklahoma lost Wednesday night’s Fiesta Bowl the moment Pat White took off around the left side for a 42-yard third quarter gain. Because the touchdown it set up on the very next play, a 14-yard reverse from Darius Reynaud, gave West Virginia a 21 point lead with only a quarter and change remaining.

But history would be wrong.

It’s impossible to know the exact time and place the Sooners lost their fourth straight entry into the Bowl Championship Series. All that’s certain is it happened sometime prior to the 7:23 p.m. kick. All that’s certain is, upon its arrival at University of Phoenix Stadium, this team wasn’t ready to play.

Irony, perhaps, or just a certain justice to it all, the Sooners, in moments they played their best, looked like the team that was supposed to win. But for the second straight season, even in the same stadium, it doesn’t matter.

Because of a horribly slow start, all the second-half heroics of a year ago couldn’t put the required distance between the Sooners and the Broncos’ bag of tricks. And because of the same this time around, and 83 other mistakes along the way, the biggest one of all, perhaps, from the head coach himself, OU could never dig itself out of the hole its game-time slumber created.

Worse, it’s not even a case of the Sooners finding themselves, only too late. OU started scoring. Sam Bradford gave the nation a preview of what Big 12 secondaries must face for years to come. But the Sooners never quit killing themselves with penalty after penalty after penalty and, there in the second half, defensive bust after defensive bust after defensive bust.

Indeed, there may have been one solitary moment, one window of opportunity in which OU afforded itself the chance to think about reversing its recently listless January football plight. Bu that was the moment, in a game filled with miscues, gaffes, snafus and comedic error that Bob Stoops chose to perpetrate the most costly one of all.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • _Y_R3186 Sooners succumb to Longhorns in run-rule shutout

    Oklahoma had its chances. The Sooners put eight runners on base Friday night against Texas, several times with no outs. And stranded every one of them....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU draws even in rout of West Virginia

    As Oklahoma’s players jogged back to the dugout following the top of the first inning against West Virginia, no one appeared overly excited. It was the classic case of masking the emotions....

    April 19, 2014

  • North’s Barrett on track for great stuff

    It was after the guy working the PA at John Jacobs Field Friday afternoon understood The Norman Transcript was in the house when he began singing the praises of Norman North’s Ben Barrett....

    April 19, 2014

  • Pistons Thunder Basketball Thunder set to take on unlikely rival in Memphis

    It’s become an unlikely rivalry. There is no reason for Oklahoma City and Memphis to have an ongoing feud, except that they do and the numbers seem to bear it out....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners advance to Super Six

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Oklahoma, Georgia and LSU advanced to the Super Six of the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships....

    April 19, 2014

  • Woodard powers through

    For most of Friday afternoon, Norman North’s Haley Woodard, the day after notching a goal and an assist against Edmond Santa Fe, was lying down and feeling  sick under the North track and field team’s canopy at John Jacobs Field....

    April 19, 2014

  • Can the Heat flip the switch?

    MIAMI — LeBron James was walking down the hallway that the Miami Heat call “Championship Alley” a few minutes after last season’s NBA Finals, when he decided the time was right to send a message. It wasn’t for his fans....

    April 19, 2014

  • No April, May or June Madness in NBA

    AP National Writer ATLANTA — If the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks were in any other sport, they might have a glimmer of hope for winning a championship. The NBA? No way....

    April 19, 2014

  • Warriors and Clippers take mutual dislike into playoff series

    LOS ANGELES — As much as the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors don’t like each other, they’re a lot alike in some ways....

    April 19, 2014

  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo