Two Storied Programs Meet in Fiesta

The Sooners face the Mountaineers in Glendale, Ariz. on January 2.

NORMAN, Okla. -- With the Sooners preparing to face West Virginia in the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, SoonerSports.com continues its coverage leading up to the game with a look back at both schools' bowl history.
 
Complete coverage of Oklahoma's trip to the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl from the team's departure for Arizona through post-game reaction will be available at Sooner Fiesta Bowl Central.
 

  Bowl History

With the 2008 Fiesta Bowl marking Oklahoma's 41st bowl appearance overall, OU is undoubtedly one of the most tradition-rich schools in the country. At 24-15-1 (.613), Oklahoma ranks No. 3 on the all-time bowl victories list.
 
The Sooners are going bowling for the ninth consecutive season, a school record. The Sooners have played in a bowl in each of Bob Stoops’ nine seasons, including six BCS bowls and three national championship games.

OU Bowl History | Oklahoma Football History & Tradition | Quick Facts
 
The Mountaineers have a rich football history of their own, with 27 all-time bowl appearances, including eight in the last decade. Under head coach Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia has gone to four consecutive New Year's Bowls for the first time ever.
 
 
Oklahoma
West Virginia
Overall Bowl Appearances
41
27
All-Time Bowl Record
24-15-1 (.613)
11-15-0 (.423)
Average Bowl Outcome
23-17, OU
27-21, Opponent
Most Common Bowl Game
Orange (18)
Gator (6)
Most Common Bowl Opponent
Florida State (4)
Georgia Tech (3)
Common Bowl Games
Sugar Bowl
4-2 (most recent - 2003)
1-2 (most recent - 2005)
Gator Bowl
2-1 (most recent - 1991)
1-5 (most recent - 2006)
Fiesta Bowl
1-2 (most recent - 2006)
0-1 (1988)
Sun Bowl
2-0 (most recent - 1993)
2-1 (most recent - 1987)
Bluebonnet Bowl
0-1-1 (most recent - 1970)
1-0 (1984)
 
 
  OU and West Virginia in the BCS

Oklahoma has made the BCS nearly an annual tradition, with the 2008 Fiesta Bowl marking OU's sixth BCS bowl appearance in the last eight seasons. Oklahoma is tied with Florida State, Ohio State and USC for the most BCS appearances.
 
The BCS is not completely unfamiliar territory for theMountaineers. Just two seasons ago, West Virginia made its first appearance in a BCS game in the 2006 Sugar Bowl.
 
WVU pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the bowl season with a thrilling 38-35 victory over Georgia in Atlanta. The game was moved to the Georgia Dome from its usual location in New Orleans because of the devastation from Hurrican Katrina.
 
 Oklahoma in the BCS  Score  Location  Att.
 2007  Fiesta Bowl  Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42 (OT)  Glendale, Ariz.  73,719
 2005  Orange Bowl  Southern Cal 55, Oklahoma 19  Miami, Fla.  77,912
 2004  Sugar Bowl  LSU 21, Oklahoma 14  New Orleans, La.  79,342
 2003  Rose Bowl  Oklahoma 34, Washington State 14  Pasadena, Calif.  86,848
 2001  Orange Bowl  Oklahoma 13, Florida State 2  Miami, Fla.  76,835
 
 West Virginia in the BCS  Score  Location  Att.
 2006  Sugar Bowl  West Virginia 38, Georgia 35  Atlanta, Ga.  74,458
 
 
  Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl

The Sooners are making their fourth appearance all-time in the Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma's previous appearances in the Fiesta Bowl came in 1976 against Wyoming, 1983 against Arizona State and last season against Boise State.
 
1976 Fiesta Bowl | Oklahoma 41, Wyoming 7
 
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
F
UW
0
0
0
7
7
OU
14
6
7
14
41
Oklahoma posted back-to-back national championships in 1974 and 1975. Adding a third would be difficult with eight All-Americans, including Lee Roy and Dewey Selmon, graduating prior to the '76 season.
 
Oklahoma rolled early with wins against Vanderbilt, California, Florida State and Iowa State before a 6-6 tie against Texas in Dallas.
 
Losses to Oklahoma State and Colorado dimmed the Sooners' conference title hopes but OU rallied for three consecutive wins to finish the regular season at 8-2-1.
 
The Sooners beat preseason No. 1 Nebraska, 20-17, in Lincoln for OU's fifth-consecutive win in the series. Oklahoma shared the conference title with OSU and Colorado.
 
The No. 8 Sooners headed to Tempe to play WAC co-champion Wyoming coached by Fred Akers. Akers would later show up in Dallas as the Texas head coach in 1977.
 
The game was played on Christmas Day 1976, marking the second bowl game of the year for the Sooners. OU defeated Michigan, 14-6, in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day at the conclusion of the 1975 season.
 
This was a mismatch that was decided early on as Oklahoma rolled up almost 500 yards in total offense and cruised to an easy victory. The Sooners led 27-0 at the third quarter mark before the reserves added two more scores in the fourth period. The final was 41-7, OU.
 
Oklahoma did not punt the entire game, the only time in Sooner bowl history that had happened. The Sooner defense held the Cowboys to 204 yards and forced six turnovers including a Fiesta Bowl-record five interceptions.
 
QB Thomas Lott and CB Terry Peters were named Fiesta Bowl MVPs.
 
OU finished 9-2-1 and ranked No. 5 in the AP poll. Zac Henderson and Mike Vaughan were named All-Americans while Scott Hill and Daryl Hunt joined them as All-Big Eight selections.
 
Other notable players on the 1976 Fiesta Bowl team included Jerry Anderson, Sidney Brown, Mike Phillips, Anthony Bryant, Dean Blevins, Thomas Lott, Elvis Peacock, Horace Ivory, Kenny King, George Cumby, Greg Roberts, Chez Evans, Jaime Melendez and Karl Baldischwiler.
 
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1983 Fiesta Bowl | Arizona State 32, Oklahoma 21
 
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
F
ASU
0
11
7
14
32
OU
7
6
8
0
21
Under head coach Barry Switzer, the 1982 Sooners posted a mark of 8-4 overall and 6-1 in the Big Eight Conference. OU began the season 1-2 with losses to No. 19 West Virginia and No. 15 USC bookending a victory at Lexington against Kentucky.
 
The Sooners rallied to win their next seven games including a 28-22 victory in Dallas against No. 17 Texas.
 
The conference championship came down to a familiar script. No. 11 OU traveled to Lincoln to face No. 3 Nebraska. The Huskers posted a 21-10 halftime lead but Oklahoma's freshman tailback, Marcus Dupree, broke loose for 86 yards and a touchdown early in the third quarter. Nebraska's lead was cut to 21-17.
 
The Huskers answered, marching 80 yards for a score to go up, 28-17, but OU drove 78 yards to again tighten the score to 28-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
 
Nebraska's defense stiffened and twice denied OU in Husker territory in the final stanza to seal the game, 28-24. Nebraska would go on to beat LSU in the Orange Bowl, 21-20.
 
The Sooners accepted a bid to play Arizona State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 1983.
 
Meeting for the first time, OU and Arizona State essentially played a home game in Tempe for the Sun Devils although the Sooners wore crimson jerseys.
 
The magic of Marcus Dupree ran out as Arizona State rallied for 14 fourth-quarter points to win, 32-21. Dupree ran wild early, amassing 239 yards before recurrent leg injuries forced him out in the third quarter.
 
The turning point came when Oklahoma punter Michael Keeling could not get his punt away and was forced to throw an illegal pass. The Devils took over at the OU 43 and later scored when Darryl Clack raced 15 yards for the TD.
 
Marcus Dupree's 239 yards on 17 carries set a bowl record and Dupree was named Fiesta Bowl MVP. Oklahoma finished with 457 total yards (ASU had 429) including 417 yards rushing against the nation's No. 1-ranked rush defense.
 
Defensive tackle Rick Bryan was named an All-American and joined five teammates, including Dupree and linebacker Jackie Shipp, as All-Conference selections.
 
Other notable players on the 1983 Fiesta Bowl team included Kelly Phelps, Stanley Wilson, Steve Sewell, Paul Parker, Weldon Ledbetter, Bob Slater, John Truitt, John Blake, Keith Stanberry, Thomas Benson and Kevin Murphy.
 
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2007 Fiesta Bowl | Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42 (OT)
 
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
OT
F
BSU
14
7
7
7
8
43
OU
7
3
7
18
7
42
Boise State completed a perfect season and showed plenty of heart and resilience in edging the Sooners with an exhilirating 43-42 overtime victory.
 
In one of the most dramatic finishes in BCS history, the Sooners and Broncos combined for 22 points in the final 86 seconds of regulation.
 
OU rallied from an 18-point deficit midway through the third quarter, but Boise State countered by twice overcoming seven-point deficits.
 
The Broncos appeared to be finished when Oklahoma cornerback Marcus Walker intercepted a Jared Zabransky pass and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown to put the Sooners ahead 35-28 with 1:02 remaining.
 
Then the magic came on a stunning 50-yard touchdown play on fourth-and-18 in the final seconds of regulation. Zabransky hit Drisan James at Oklahoma's 35, and James pitched the ball to Jerard Rabb, who raced into the end zone with 7 seconds to play.
 
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said the Sooners were looking for a trick play. But he said the Broncos ran this one to perfection.
 
That play merely set the stage for more Broncos magic.

OU running back Adrian Peterson opened the overtime with a 25-yard touchdown run. The Broncos answered with Vinny Perretta's fourth-down touchdown pass to Derek Schouman. Down by a point, Boise State coach Chris Petersen decided to go for the victory.
 
On the decisive play, Zabransky looked at three wide receivers to his right, then handed the ball behind his back to tailback Ian Johnson, who raced untouched into the end zone.
 
Johnson carried 23 times for 101 yards and a touchdown, and Drisan James caught three passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns.

Paul Thompson threw a career-high three interceptions for the Sooners. He completed 19 of 32 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns.
 
  West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl

The Mountaineers are making their second trip to the Fiesta Bowl. West Virginia's only other appearance came in 1989, a 34-21 loss to Notre Dame.
 
1989 Fiest Bowl | Notre Dame 34, West Virginia 21
 
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
F
WVU
0
6
7
8
21
ND
9
14
3
8
34
The overcast sky set the tone of the day for West Virginia as more than 15,000 Mountaineer fans rooted for their team. Notre Dame scored on its first two possessions and held WVU without a first down through the first 20 minutes of the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl.
 
On the third play from scrimmage, Major Harris went to the sidelines with a slightly separated left shoulder. He continued to play although hampered by the effects of the injury. In addition to Harris, West Virginia lost John Stroia and Jim Gray to concussions and Undra Johnson to a knee strain, all first half setbacks for the Gold and Blue.
 
West Virginia’s only first half points came off of the foot of Charlie Baumann. He kicked field goals of 29 and 31 yards, making the score 23-6 at the half. WVU struck for a touchdown in the third quarter when Grantis Bell hauled in a Major Harris pass of 17 yards.
 
Two plays later momentum seemed to be swinging toward the Mountaineers when Willie Edwards intercepted a Tony Rice pass and returned it 14 yards to the Notre Dame 26. Great games can swing on a few plays being made at the proper time and the Fighting Irish made those plays on this day. Three straight plays for negative yardage forced West Virginia to punt and “Old Mo” was squarely back on the other side.
 
Reggie Rembert figured in the Mountaineers’ final eight points with a three-yard end-around and the resulting two-point conversion pass from Greg Jones.
 
Major Harris passed for 166 yards and one touchdown, but was only able to net 11 yards on the ground. Anthony Brown led the rushing attack with 49 yards. Dale Jackson led WVU’s tacklers with seven stops. Chris Haering and Robert Pickett each chipped in with six.
 
*Courtesy West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
 
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Please continue to visit SoonerSports.com for additional features leading up to bowl week.
 

Alonzo Dotson and the rest of OU's senior class are making their third BCS appearance.

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