There are some Oklahoma wins over Texas that will live in Sooner lore forever.
Like when James Allen dove for the end zone in 1996 to upset the Longhorns. Or when Josh Heupel and the Sooners started “Red October” by thrashing Texas, 63-14, in 2000. And who could forget the time Roy Williams flew over the Texas offensive line, creating the “Superman” play, in 2001?
So, The Daily picked Oklahoma’s top five wins at the Cotton Bowl. Here’s what we came up with:
2000: OU 63, Texas 14
The 49-point Oklahoma victory was, at the time, the most lopsided win in the rivalry’s history, but the Sooners’ dominance stretched far beyond the Cotton Bowl.
The 2000 game was the start of what is known as “Red October,” which was a three-week stretch that saw the Sooners take down 10th-ranked Texas, second-ranked Kansas State and top-ranked Nebraska by an average of over 25 points.
The Sooners dominated the Longhorns in every facet of the game, with 534 yards to Texas’ 154 and three takeaways to Texas’ two. The biggest standout of the game was running back Quentin Griffin, who scored six of the Sooners’ nine touchdowns.
The victory cemented Oklahoma as a legitimate contender, and the Sooners went on to run the table and win their seventh national championship trophy.
1985: OU 14, Texas 7
Sooner fans have heard it before.
Then-head coach Barry Switzer, firing up his 1985 Sooners before their 14-7 win over then-No. 17 Texas, is a sight to behold in the world of OU football. The win itself isn’t high up in the ranks of best OU wins over the Longhorns, but the pregame speech will forever be heard on the speakers of Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
“Cut loose. Turn it loose today. Cut and slash, don’t worry about anything,” Switzer said. “You’re the best team. You don’t beat yourself and you’ll win today. You’re the best team. Turn it loose. Don’t play apprehensive. Don’t play it cautious, they’re scared.
“Like I told you yesterday, men, they’re scared. They’re damn scared. They’re scared and that’s not to our advantage. You’re up against a scared man — a scared team.”
1975: OU 24, Texas 17
The 1975 OU-Texas game was loaded with legends from both teams, such as running backs Joe Washington for the No. 2 defending champion Sooners and Earl Campbell for the No. 5 Longhorns. Despite the two teams’ star-studded backfields, the game ended up being dominated by the defenses, with neither team cracking 400 yards of offense and both combining for a total of seven turnovers.
With a 7-point lead, the Sooners faced a third-and-eight while pinned at their own 10-yard line late in the fourth quarter. Without a first down, it looked like Texas would have a chance to march down the field and tie the game.
Switzer made an unconventional play call and pegged Washington to do a quick kick to catch Texas off guard. With no one deep, the ball rolled 76 yards — the longest punt in the rivalry’s history — and the Longhorns were trapped deep in their own territory.
The play deflated the Longhorns, and they weren’t able to tie the game. The Sooners went on to win the game and eventually defend their national championship.
2001: OU 14, Texas 3
Just a year removed from Oklahoma’s 49-point win over Texas in 2000, it initially seemed absurd to think any victory would come close to it.
But it wasn’t the win. It was the moment — a moment etched into the memories of every Sooner fan since the first time they saw it. Roy Williams’ “Superman” tackle on Texas quarterback Chris Simms, which led to a Teddy Lehman pick six at the goal line, serves as Oklahoma’s version of the Jordan brand “Jumpman” logo that’ll last until the end of time.
With 2:06 left on the clock and a score of 7-3, the Sooners iced the game with what was definitely one of the greatest plays by any Sooner ever, winning 14-3.
1996: OU 30, Texas 27
The 1996 Red River Rivalry is maybe one of the most surprising results in the game’s history.
Oklahoma, led by then-head coach John Blake, came into the game 0-4 with losses to TCU, San Diego State, Tulsa and Kansas. Texas, on the other hand, was ranked No. 8 in the preseason and came into the game as heavy favorites against the Sooners, who were 22-point underdogs.
Texas jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and a 24-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. Jarrail Jackson led the Sooners’ comeback, returning a punt for a 51-yard touchdown halfway through the fourth, which was followed by a successful 2-point conversion by quarterback Justin Fuente to make it 24-21.
Then, with 4:30 remaining, Fuente led Oklahoma on a game-tying drive, when Jeremy Alexander made a 44-yard field goal to tie the game at 24 and send it to overtime — a new rule in college football that season. The Longhorns struck first, making a 43-yard field goal. All the Sooners needed was a touchdown to complete the upset.
Running back James Allen delivered the final blow, scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run to end the game and seal Oklahoma’s 30-27 win.