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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Led by Bob Stoops, No. 13 Oklahoma handles No. 15 Oregon in Alamo Bowl

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SAN ANTONIO — About an hour before the Alamo Bowl kicked off, Bob Stoops came strolling out of the tunnel and the ovation rose.

The cheers quickly evolved into a long, drawn-out “Stoooooooops” chant, and OU’s legendary coach acknowledged the ovation with a wave to all sides of the stadium.

The cheering from the Sooners’ side kept right on going through much of the first half before things tightened up after the break, as OU beat a depleted Ducks squad 47-32 in the Alamodome on Wednesday night.

Here are five takeaways from the Sooners’ win.

Father-son moment

The “Stoooooooops” chant returned in the second quarter, but this time it was for Bob’s son, redshirt junior receiver Drake Stoops.

On third-and-goal from the 6, Caleb Williams found Drake Stoops on a fade route, and he went up and hauled in the touchdown pass over Oregon cornerback Trikweze Bridges.

As Drake came off the field, he was met by his father, who gave him a bear hug and several pats on the helmet.

The touchdown, the first of three by the Sooners in the second quarter, put OU ahead 16-3.

It was Stoops’ second touchdown catch of the season. He also had one against Texas Tech on Oct. 30.

Defense: The good and the bad

The Sooners struggled to contain Oregon’s 5-foot-10 running back Travis Dye much in the first quarter.

Dye’s speed helped him gain 66 yards in the first quarter alone.

In the second quarter, though, OU’s defense bowed up. In the second quarter, Oregon had 102 yards — just one fewer than it had in the first quarter — but only 17 of those came on the ground. The Ducks didn’t have a drive longer than 39 yards in the second.

But Oregon opened things up, especially through the air, in the second half, scoring touchdowns on each of its first four second-half drives.

Those included touchdown passes of 66, 34 and 30 yards.

Oregon finished with 497 yards, 306 through the air.

Dye finished with 153 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Brooks and done

It’s no surprise the Sooners leaned heavily on running back Kennedy Brooks in the Alamo Bowl.

Brooks has been the Sooners’ offensive workhorse and was again Wednesday, with 14 carries for 142 yards and three touchdowns.

At one point early in the game, Brooks touched the ball on six consecutive plays.

During that stretch, he picked up seven yards on a third-and-6 after Caleb Williams checked down to find his running back open. Then he had a 10-yard run on the next play, followed by a 16-yard touchdown run.

In the second quarter, Brooks had a 40-yard carry to set up Drake Stoops’ touchdown catch three plays later.

Oklahoma interim coach Bob Stoops celebrates with running back Kennedy Brooks after his touchdown against Oregon.

Brooks rushed for 127 yards in the first half, setting a first-half bowl record for the Sooners, breaking Rodney Anderson’s 125 yards in the first half against Georgia in the 2017 College Football Playoff semifinal at the Rose Bowl.

Brooks moved into ninth place on OU’s career rushing list, passing Stanley Wilson.

Williams’ TD wiped out

Mario Williams broke free and the crowd roared.

Just moments after Jeremiah Hall converted a third-and-1 on a direct snap on the first play of the second quarter, Caleb Williams hit Williams for an apparent 51-yard touchdown.

But Ducks’ cornerback Avante Dickerson, trying to bring Williams down, instead ripped Williams’ helmet off his head with a facemask, immediately drawing a flag.

But it also drew a whistle.

The rules call for a stoppage of play once the ball carrier’s helmet comes off, regardless of the other circumstances of the play.

Williams wound up with an 18-yard gain and the Sooners ultimately settled for a 40-yard field goal by Gabe Brkic.

Turk comes up just short

Michael Turk had the record sealed up, it appeared.

But when OU’s fourth-quarter drive stalled, Turk was forced into action once again and his record chances came up just short.

Before the fourth-quarter punt, Turk’s season average was 51.29 yards, which would’ve broken an NCAA record set just recently when San Diego State’s Matt Araiza finished his season with a 51.19-yard average.

Turk needed a 48-yard punt to stay ahead of Araiza for the record, but his final punt went 47, pinning the Ducks at their own 7 but coming up just one yard short — not just on that punt but any this season — of breaking the mark.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Oklahoma defeats Oregon in Alamo Bowl in game coached by Bob Stoops

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