History Lesson: Oklahoma vs. Miami
NORMAN, Okla. -- Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of college football is its rivalries, specifically the longstanding battles for pride between either intrastate schools or schools from neighboring states.
While the Sooners annually participate in one of the greatest rivalries in college football with the University of Texas, OU is renewing another rivalry this weekend when it hosts the University of Miami at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
While it may not be classified as a rivalry in the traditional sense -- the two teams have not met since the 1987 season and have only faced off five times in their history -- it is undoubtedly a rivalry based simply on the magnitude of the games the two teams have played and the rich football tradition both schools exhibit. Three times in the history of the series, Oklahoma has entered the game as the top-ranked team in the country, while the last two meetings have pitted No. 1 vs. No. 2.
Saturday, the No. 5 Sooners welcome the Hurricanes to town for the first time since Oklahoma's 1985 national championship season. As you look ahead to this weekend's contest, SoonerSports.com brings you a look back at the history between the two schools.
|1988 Orange Bowl | No. 2 Miami 20, No. 1 Oklahoma 14|
Oklahoma's hopes for a second national championship in three years were shattered by Miami, 20-14. Entering the contest as the nation's leader in six different statistical categories, OU was held to an un-Sooner-like 179 yards rushing and just 255 total yards.
The Hurricanes took the opening kickoff and moved 65 yards in eight plays for a 7-0 lead and never looked back. The Oklahoma defense stiffened, holding Miami scoreless through the remainder of the first half, and the Sooners got even late in the second quarter with a touchdown as time expired. OU drove 49 yards in 15 plays to a third-and-goal on the one-yard line with only nine seconds on the clock. Quarterback Charles Thompson optioned perfectly to Anthony Stafford, who swept right and crossed the goal line for the equalizer.
It was all Miami in the third quarter, however, as the Hurricanes drove to a field goal and a touchdown on their first two possessions of the second half to take a 17-7 lead. Miami added a field goal with 3:41 remaining in the contest before the Sooners dug deep into their bag of tricks to come up with a fumble-turned-touchdown scamper by offensive guard Mark Hutson to give the Oklahoma faithful a flicker of hope. Thompson took the snap at the Miami 29-yard line and laid the ball on the ground directly in front of him. Hutson scooped it up and rumbled into the end zone to bring the Sooners within six.
Oklahoma stopped the Hurricanes and gained possession at its own 23 with 56 seconds left, but there was no miracle as a quarterback sack produced a fumble and subsequent Miami recovery to solidify the outcome.
It was only the Sooners third loss in the last three seasons, all of which had come to the Hurricanes. Miami was crowned national champions while OU finished third in the final AP poll.
|September 27, 1986 | No. 2 Miami 28, No. 1 Oklahoma 16|
For the second straight year, Vinny Testaverde passed the Miami Hurricanes to an upset victory over Oklahoma. The loss not only snapped a 10-game winning streak but toppled the defending national champion Sooners from the top spot in the national polls.
The Sooners shut down the Hurricanes' rushing game but had no answer for Testaverde, who was near perfect while hitting 21 of 28 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns.
OU marched from their own 38-yard line to the Miami 17 on the first drive of the game before stalling, and the Sooners missed a chance to jump out in front when Tim Lashar's field goal attempt sailed wide. Instead, it was Miami who took the lead, with Testaverde capping an eight-play, 60-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to Alfredo Roberts with 5:42 left in the second quarter.
OU got on the board late in the half with a 31-yard field goal from Lashar, but the Hurricanes scored two touchdowns in the span of 3:08 in the third quarter to open up a lead. After scoring on a five-play, 48-yard drive, Miami took advantage of an Oklahoma fumble on the ensuing kickoff, scoring three plays later on a Michael Irvin five-yard touchdown catch.
The Sooners made a bid to get back in the game as Jamelle Holieway hit Keith Jackson to complete a 54-yard scoring effort, but Miami pushed its lead right back to 18 on the ensuing possession with another Testaverde-to-Irvin hookup.
Anthony Stafford capped a 71-yard drive with a two-yard plunge with 4:08 remaining, but it was too little too late for the Sooners.
|October 19, 1985 | Miami 27, No. 3 Oklahoma 14|
A razor-sharp passing performance by Vinny Testaverde led the Miami Hurricanes to a 27-14 upset over Oklahoma in the Sooners' home-opener on national television. Testaverde hit 17 of 28 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns as the visitors handed the Sooners their only loss of the season.
The Hurricanes, who entered the contest averaging more than five turnovers a game, played nearly perfect football, avoiding any turnovers and making a sham of national polls that failed to rate them in the top 20 the week of the game.
Even though Miami was almost perfect, it appeared the Sooners would keep up with the offensive fireworks as quarterback Troy Aikman hit six of seven passes with one TD before being injured in the second quarter. OU was forced to turn to freshman Jamelle Holieway, and while the rookie played extremely well in his debut, OU missed the come-from-behind capability of Aikman's passing.
Testaverde hit Michael Irvin for a 56-yard touchdown pass on Miami's second possession to give the Hurricanes an early lead, and after Aikman retaliated with a 14-yard scoring strike to Derrick Shepard, Testaverde gave the visitors a 14-7 halftime lead.
A field goal upped the margin to 10 before Testaverde went to the air again, this time solving a third-and-19 dilemma with a perfect 35-yard scoring strike to Brian Blades. Another field goal gave the Hurricanes a 27-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter, and Holieway engineered a 74-yard drive to give the Sooners their final points.
OU went on to capture its sixth national championship by defeating top-ranked Penn State in the Orange Bowl at the end of the season.
|September 26, 1975 | No. 1 Oklahoma 20, Miami 17|
After beginning the year with a pair of blowout victories over Oregon and No. 15 Pittsburgh, the defending AP national champion and top-ranked Sooners survived a scare at unranked Miami.
Trailing 7-0 after the first quarter, Oklahoma rallied to score all 20 of its points in the second quarter behind its defense. Duane Baccus blocked a punt to set up a 6-yard Elvis Peacock touchdown run before Mike Phillips set up a Joe Washington 3-yard TD run with a fumble recovery.
The Hurricanes scored 10 fourth quarter points to keep the Sooner faithful on edge, but after closing the margin to 20-17 with seven minutes remaining, the OU defense prevented the Hurricanes from gaining another first down.
Despite being outgained 289 to 176 in total offense, the Sooners escaped with a 20-17 victory to improve to 3-0 on the year.
OU went on to capture its fifth national championship later that season. The Sooners made their first bowl appearance under legendary head coach Barry Switzer, defeating Michigan 14-6 in the Orange Bowl. Ohio State, the No. 1 team in the country, lost in the Rose Bowl earlier in the day to give the Sooners an opportunity to win the title.
|October 6, 1973 | No. 6 Oklahoma 24, No. 17 Miami 20|
In Barry Switzer's first season as head coach, the Sooners overcame a 20-7 halftime deficit to the Hurricanes by scoring 17 unanswered points in the second half to take the 24-20 victory.
Miami opened up a lead in the first half thanks in part to a 79-yard Eldridge Mitchell interception return for a touchdown off an option pitch that was intended for OU halfback Tim Welch.
Quarterback Steve Davis scored on a 13-yard run and hit wide receiver Tinker Owens with a 52-yard touchdown pass to put OU ahead for good.
The Hurricanes were haunted by a missed extra point and a missed field goal by kicker Rod Huffman, which proved to be the difference.
No team played the Sooners closer than 17 points the rest of the season, as they finished unbeaten at 10-0-1 in Switzer's first year in Norman.