Sooners Football: Five Biggest OU Orange Bowl Wins

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Oct 11, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops (left) and head coach Bob Stoops signals from the sidelines against the Texas Longhorns during the Red River showdown at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Jan. 1, 1986 – Oklahoma 25, Penn State 10

The Sooners were the underdog entering the 1986 Orange Bowl, but only in the eyes of the pollsters. OU’s opponent, Penn State, was ranked No. 1. Oklahoma checked in at No. 3 nationally, having been victorious in 10 of its 11 games and claiming another Big Eight Conference crown. Despite the top-ranking, the oddsmakers liked the Sooners chances of knocking off the Nittany Lions.

Penn State jumped out in front 7-0 after the first 15 minutes, but Oklahoma came roaring back with a 16-point outburst in the second quarter to take a 16-10 lead into the locker room at the half.

The Oklahoma defense took over the game in the second half. The vaunted Sooner wishbone attack had sputtered and choked for much of the game, but the Sooner “D” was more than enough to put this game into the win column for Barry Switzer and Oklahoma.

OU’s Wishbone attack had gained only 31 net yards in the opening half and ended up with only 228 for the game, over 100 yards below its season average. Running back Lydell Carr  had 148 of that total by himself. OU forced five Penn State turnovers, four of them coming off of interceptions. Brian Bosworth was credited with 12 tackles.

Freshman quarterback Jamelle Holieway did complete a 71-yard touchdown pass to tight end Keith Jackson for one of the Sooner touchdowns.

That Orange Bowl win over top-ranked Penn State – upset or not – delivered Oklahoma its sixth national championship in football and the final one under Barry Switzer, who is tied with Bud Wilkinson for the most national championships while at OU, both with three.

Next: Jan. 3, 2001 - Oklahoma 13, Florida State 2