Sooners claim share of Big 12 title
FS Tony Jefferson celebrates the game-winning play
FS Tony Jefferson celebrates the game-winning play
SoonersIllustrated.com Publisher
Posted Dec 1, 2012
Joey Helmer


FORT WORTH, Texas — Free safety Tony Jefferson helped complete the trio of game-winning plays in three weeks for the Cali trio, breaking up the final pass in the end zone and helping OU clinch at least a piece of the Big 12 pie in a 24-17 Saturday victory over TCU at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

With TCU facing a fourth-and-13 and less than 30 seconds on the clock, Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin fired towards wide receiver Josh Boyce with cornerback Aaron Colvin covering and it appeared he had it, but Jefferson slid over and slapped it away.

And all in one play, it set up a wait-and-see scenario during tonight’s Kansas State-Texas game on whether or not they’ll win the title outright.

Regardless of the outcome, though, the Sooners were awarded a Big 12 Title trophy and rings as, at the very worst, shared champions.

To do so, they Sooners first had to break an early defensive stalemate that featured punts on the game’s opening five possessions and did so when quarterback Landry Jones hit running back Damien Williams for an 11-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter.

It stayed that way and even so appeared to be completely in OU’s control until late in the first half when Jones made a poor decision and TCU safety Sam Carter acrobatically picked off his pass and returned it back to the 6-yard line.

A play later, TCU tied it up on quarterback Trevone Boykin’s 6-yard spurt.

But as Jones has seemingly done all year, he brought them right back down the field for a scoring march.

Staring at a third-and-23 after a foolish personal foul penalty by offensive tackle Tyrus Thompson—he probably should have been ejected from the game—Jones found slot receiver Jalen Saunders over the middle of the field for a 24-yard touchdown.

That made it 14-7 at intermission.

The Sooners didn’t wait long to extend it after the break.

Williams busted through a gaping hole and blasted 66 yards untouched for his second touchdown of the day and fourth rushing touchdown of 60 yards or longer this season.

At that point, a two-score lead appeared completely safe, but TCU stormed right back.

Moments after Sooner punter Tress Way booted a 75-yard bomb that narrowly missed out on setting inside the 1, Boykin hit the streaking Brandon Carter 80 yards to pay dirt to cut the lead to 21-14.

Later in the quarter, OU got a big break—and slightly snubbed on the same play.

Sooner defensive end R.J. Washington bull-rushed through and hammered Boykin, jarring the ball loose, and linebacker Frank Shannon recovered and returned it inside the 20.

But, before being reviewed and overturned, it was called an incomplete pass on the field, negating the return.

Still, the Sooners set up shop at the 40 and converted the turnover into three when place kicker Michael Hunnicutt connected on a 34-yard field goal to run the count to 24-14.

If the other break was big, the Sooners caught a ginormous break early in the fourth.

Horned Frogs place kicker Jaden Oberkrom appeared to hook a 32-yarder inside the right upright, but officials said it hooked outside the upright and called it no good.

There was no replay.

It proved to be a key call as the rest of the game played out.

Wide receiver Justin Brown muffed a punt midway through the fourth quarter, which led to a 47-yard field goal, this time good from Oberkrom.

OU had a chance to ice it inside the three-minute mark, but Hunnicutt hooked a field goal of his own.

Boykin made them pay with a 46-yard strike to wide receiver Cam White and that set TCU up inside the 20.

The Sooners, however, came up with the winning four-down stand.

They’ll now await their destination, which figures to be the Sugar Bowl as co-champions.

There are a few other scenarios, including the Fiesta Bowl as outright champions, or a trade to the Sugar Bowl in that scenario or even still the Cotton Bowl if OU happens to get snubbed.

That will all be settled tonight.

As for now, the Sooners are co-champions and finish the regular season 10-2 with their eighth Big 12 Title.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.



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