Five of the Most Frightening Sooner Football Games Under Bob Stoops

4 of 6

Dec 31, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Boise State Broncos running back Jay Ajayi (27) following the game against the Arizona Wildcats in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl at Phoenix Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Wildcats 38-30. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

January 1, 2007 – Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42 (overtime)

It was a game that fans in the Sooner Nation will never get over, as much as they would like to. Boise State was a non-BCS school with a perfect record, and a history of beating good teams, that no one wanted to have to play, and that included Oklahoma. The Sooners drew the 12-0 Broncos as their opponent in the 2007 BCS Fiesta Bowl. It was billed as a David and Goliath matchup, which put additional pressure on the Big 12 champions. Call it fright, or whatever, but there was a lot of fearful Sooner fans heading into this no-win challenge. And it didn’t take long once the game got underway for their worst fears to be realized. Boise State had scored twice by the midpoint of the first quarter, putting the favored Sooners on their heels early. The Broncos kept the pedal down, building a 21-10 lead at the half and 28-17 at the end of three quarters. Oklahoma got a field goal by Garrett Hartley to open the fourth quarter and bring the Sooners to within eight points, the closest they had been since the first quarter. This is when things really got interesting. With 2:40 remaining in the game, OU began a drive on its own 23-yard line. Six plays and 77 yards later, the Sooners tied the game on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Paul Thompson to Quentin Chaney and a two-point conversion that came on the third attempt after successive penalties (a pass-interference call on Boise State on the first two-point try followed by an illegal shift penalty against OU). On Boise State’s very first play after the ensuing kickoff, OU’s Marcus Walker intercepted a pass by Jared Zabransky and took it 33 yards to the house. Just like that, the Sooners had taken the lead at 35-28 with just 62 seconds left in regulation.

But just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, it did. Faced with a near-death experience – fourth down and 18 yards to go and with just 30 ticks left in the game and, potentially, in Boise’s memorable season – head coach Chris Peterson dipped into his deep bag of tricks. The Broncos dusted off the old-fashioned flea-flicker play, which the Boise State offense executed to perfection, resulting in a 50-yard-pass-and-toss that ended in a miraculous game-tying score. It was a frightening turnaround for the Sooners, who just seconds before, were looking at pulling off a near miracle of their own and averting the one thing that every OU fan feared – a legendary major football power losing to a mid-major opponent.

The two teams combined for 22 points in the final 86 seconds of regulation, ending in a 35-all deadlock after 60 minutes of play. Despite Boise State’s gut-wrenching, desperation play that sent the game to overtime, Sooner fans still felt pretty good about their chances. And it seemed almost like a done deal when Adrian Peterson took a handoff from Thompson and wasn’t corralled until he reached the end zone 25 yards later, putting the Sooners up again by a touchdown and looking good to finish the job.

On its alternate overtime possession, Boise State advanced the ball to the OU 5-yard line, but once again was faced with a fourth-down play and one last chance to pull off college football’s version of “Miracle on Ice.” Ample time, however, for some more trickery. Bronco quarterback Zabransky took the snap, tossed the ball out in the flat to wide receiver Vinny Perretta, who found tight end Derek Schouman in the end zone for a touchdown. Then, instead of kicking the extra point to send the game to a second OT session, Boise State head coach Peterson deceived everyone one more time by electing to go for two points and the win. Enter the highlight now seen a million times since: the Statue of Liberty play, with Ian Johnson taking the ball, cleverly tucked behind Zabransky’s back, and skirting virtually untouched around the right side of the OU defense for the game-winning score. Game over and OUch!

It was the game that highlight reels have forever doomed Sooner fans to relive…over and over again.

Next: November 22, 2008 - OU vs. Texas Tech