Nov. 27, 1999
NORMAN, Okla. (AP)-- Josh Heupel threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, and Oklahoma's defense controlled Oklahoma State throughout a 44-7 victory that helped erase the sting of recent years and solidified the Sooners' bowl position.
Oklahoma (7-4, 5-3 Big 12) most likely will play in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio or the Insight.com Bowl in Tucson, Ariz. It will be the Sooners' first bowl trip since 1994 -- four head coaches ago.
The seven victories are their most since 1993, when they finished 9-3. Oklahoma went 5-0 at home, outscoring its opponents 222-23.
Oklahoma State (5-6, 3-5) had won two in a row and three out of four against Oklahoma. But the Cowboys lost the field position battle much of the day and failed to move the ball consistently.
Oklahoma kept pressure on quarterback Tony Lindsay, frequently flushing him from the pocket. He was intercepted him three times, including one returned 43 yards for a score by cornerback Mike Woods. The Sooners also got an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown by J.T. Thatcher to finish the scoring.
Heupel was 22-of-32 passing for 287 yards. He threw a 3-yard scoring pass in the first quarter, a season-best 73-yarder in the third and scored on a 7-yard run in the fourth.
Oklahoma State's only touchdown came on a 23-yard interception return by linebacker Terrell Knauls.
The emotion of the game was evident early. Heupel fumbled on Oklahoma's first snap, giving Oklahoma State the ball at the Sooner 10-yard line. But Nathan Simmons fumbled on the next play and Oklahoma took over at the 18.
Oklahoma took advantage of a shanked punt to score first. The Sooners needed just three plays to cover 34 yards, with Heupel throwing the short TD pass to Brandon Daniels one player after hitting him on a 24-yard completion.
Oklahoma's field position advantage helped give the Sooners the lead for good late in the first half. After taking over at their 45 following a punt, they scored 10 plays later on a 4-yard run by Seth Littrell to take a 14-7 lead.
Heupel found Fagan on the third play of the second half. Fagan got past Marcus Jones at the line of scrimmage and was wide open down the middle.
Oklahoma State drove to the Sooner 34 on the next possession but wound up punting. The Cowboys were forced to punt again after reaching the OU 38 later in the third, essentially sealing the outcome.
The interception return by Woods and the punt return by Thatcher came three minutes apart late in the fourth quarter.
Special teams mistakes hurt Oklahoma State early. Terance Richardson, one of the Big 12's top punt returners, fielded a first-quarter punt at the 3-yard line and was tackled right away. Later in the quarter, Jamaal Fobbs caught a kickoff three yards deep in the end zone and only made it out to the 6.