Oklahoma football: Remembering one glorious game on this day in 2000

NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 19: Running Back Quentin Griffin #22 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs the ball against the Iowa State Cyclones during the game on October 19, 2002 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 19: Running Back Quentin Griffin #22 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs the ball against the Iowa State Cyclones during the game on October 19, 2002 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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There is quite a bit of trepidation throughout Sooner Nation this week about the annual Texas-Oklahoma football game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday.

The Sooners come into this year’s Red River rivalry game with a number of injuries to key personnel. Add to that the problems that have surfaced in the Oklahoma defense the past two week despite appearing much improved in three consecutive wins to start the 2002 season.

After being ranked as high as No. 6 in both national polls just two weeks ago, the Sooner have plummeted completely out of the top-25 after back-to-back Big 12 losses to Kansas State and TCU. The 31-point loss at TCU last weekend was the worst loss to a Big 12 opponent since a 29-point loss at home to Baylor in 2013.

In the Big 12 era (1996 to present) 13 of the 23 games between the Sooners and Longhorns have been decided by 10 points or less, including eight of the last nine. But they haven’t all been that close.

If you are a Sooner fan, one of the most memorable Oklahoma wins over Texas occurred on this date (Oct. 7) in 2000. OU came into the game ranked 10th in the country, according to the Associated Press poll, one place ahead of No. 11 Texas.

Oklahoma had lost to Texas the year before, 38-28, in Bob Stoops’ first season as the Sooners’ head coach but came into the 2000 Red River Rivalry game with four consecutive wins to start the season. Texas entered the contest with a 3-1 record, having been upset by Stanford in Week 2 of the season.

The Sooners set the tone early, scoring on their opening possession on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Josh Heupel to Andre Woolfolk and then again later in the quarter on short TD run by Quentin Griffin.

Oklahoma led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and then exploded for 28 unanswered points to make the score 42-0 before Texas scored for the first time on a seven-play 80-yard drive with three minutes to go in the first half. Griffin added a couple more touchdown runs in the third quarter and another in the fourth to complete the Oklahoma scoring and domineering 63-14 ambush of their longtime rivals.

The 63 points were at the time the most points ever scored by the Sooners against Texas and the most lopsided victory over the Longhorns since the rivalry series moved to Dallas permanently in 1929. That lasted just three more years, when Oklahoma routed Texas by a 42-point margin, 65-13.

Seven of the Sooners’ nine touchdowns were scored on the ground, six by Griffin, who set a program record for touchdowns in a single game. Oklahoma rolled up 534 yards of total offense, while the Sooner defense held the Texas running game to minus-seven yards and just 154 offensive yards for the game.

The Sooners didn’t realize it at the time, but that 2000 blood bath over Texas would lead to follow-up wins over No. 2 Kansas State and No. 1 Nebraska in the two subsequent games and a perfect 13-0 national championship season.

For a complete account of the game click here.

After the game, an elated Bob Stoops told reporters, “We weren’t here to set any record or any of that. We just wanted to keep playing well for 60 minutes and see what happens at the end.”