Oklahoma Football: 30 Best Games in School History

28 of 31

Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners players, including injured linebacker Corey Nelson (with trophy) celebrate their 45-31 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Jan. 2, 2014 – Oklahoma 45, Alabama 31

When it became known that 11th-ranked Oklahoma was going to face two-time defending national champion and 3rd-ranked Alabama in the 2014 BCS Sugar Bowl, hardly anyone held out much hope that the Sooners could win. In fact, the Las Vegas handicappers had established OU as a 17-point underdog.

Coach Bob Stoops used that underdog role and the apparent lack of respect that the college experts were giving his team as a motivation factor. There was also talk around the college football world that the Crimson Tide were a little upset that they were overlooked for the BCS National Championship pairing.

Could it be that Alabama wasn’t going to take the Sooners very seriously?

The two teams traded a couple of scores in the opening quarter, but to most everyone’s surprise, the Sooners’ two scores were touchdowns while Alabama’s points came off of a touchdown and a field goal. As the first quarter ended, Oklahoma had a 14-10 lead.

An even greater surprise was to come in the second quarter. OU freshman quarterback Trevor Knight hooked up with Jalen Saunders on a 43-yard scoring pass, Sterling Shepard had a 13-yard touchdown run, and Michael Hunnicutt chipped in with a 47-yard field goal. All of that overcame a 17-14 lead that the Crimson Tide had forged in the opening minute of the second quarter, and the half ended with upset-alert streaming all around the internet.

Oklahoma went to halftime owning a 31-17 advantage, and it had become blatantly apparent that the Sooners were more serious about this game than their mighty SEC opponent.

Alabama unleashed a freshman running-back load named Derrick Henry (one in the same who won the 2015 Heisman Trophy) in the third quarter. He rumbled through the OU defense for a 43-yard TD run to cut the Sooner’s lead in half at 31-24, and that’s the way the final quarter began.

Oklahoma extended its lead back to 14 points early in the fourth quarter on Knight’s fourth touchdown pass of the game. Another dose of Henry, this time on a 61-yard catch and run, made the score 38-31 with plenty of time left in the game.

The Sooners sealed the game on their next possession, gaining 46 yards on four hard-earned first downs, a drive that ate over five minutes off the clock and left Alabama with under a minute to travel 82 yards in a last-ditch effort to save face as well as the game.

Bama quarterback AJ McCarron was sacked for a loss on the very first play after the change of possession and fumbled the ball. OU Geneo Grissom was there to scoop up the loose ball, and he walked into the end zone with a final exclamation point.

OU’s Knight played  the game of his life in this huge Sooner win. His final numbers for the night: a pair of 40-yard-plus completions, 32 of 44 passing for 348 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception.

Next: Sept. 12, 2015 - Oklahoma 31, Tennessee 24