Oklahoma Sooners Defeat Ohio State (Again), Rousing 40 Years of Sooner Football Memories, by Mark Erickson

Forty years ago the #4 ranked Oklahoma Sooners traveled to Ohio to play the #3 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. I was home alone when I sat in my living room in Minnesota to watch the football game. This represented the first time I ever saw the exciting wishbone offense, which Oklahoma ran with QB Thomas Lott, FB Kenny King, RB Elvis Peacock (what a name!), and future Heisman winner, RB Billy Sims. This was a game between two storied programs led by legendary coaches, Barry Switzer and Woody Hayes.

Oklahoma took the lead 20-0 with Billy Sims bounding and leaping over would-be tacklers. Then Ohio State responded. With the Buckeyes leading 28-26 with six seconds left, German-born Uwe von Schamann set up for a 41 yard FG. von Schamann nailed it, which is forever called “The Kick” by Sooner fans. I was hooked by these Sooners, especially when my issue of Sports Illustrated arrived with leaping Billy Sims on the cover. As opposed to my native Minnesota Golden Gophers (who have not won a Big Ten title since 1967), the Sooner program has been blessed by having so many All-Americans and big-time bowl victories – too many to list – since I joined the Boomer Sooner Schooner.

I have several books about Sooner football in the sports section of my library. The Boz, by Brian Bosworth…yes, the “movie star.” Down and Dirty: The Life and Crimes of Oklahoma Football by Charles Thompson. He went to jail after getting busted for dealing cocaine while starring as a wishbone QB. Bootlegger’s Boy, by Barry Switzer. He is the only person to have won both a college national championship and a Super Bowl as head coach. Finally, professor Willie Morris wrote The Courting of Marcus DuPree. He was the nation’s top recruit coming out of high school and arrived on this planet the same year (1963) as me. DuPree hailed from Philadelphia, Mississippi, the town where three college students who were helping the Civil Rights movement, as chronicled in the movie Mississippi Burning, got murdered. DuPree’s kindergarten class was the first to desegregate in the town’s history.

Oh yeah, #5 Oklahoma just beat #2 Ohio State, 31-16, in Columbus behind Heisman hopeful, Baker Mayfield!!!

Mark Erickson

“The Kick” immortalized in a trading card.

Heisman-worthy OU quarterback Baker Mayfield

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