Before we look ahead to what should be a heavily anticipated 2014 season for Oklahoma, one last reflection at the 2013 Sooners that went 11-2 and won the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Sooners Illustrated is doing a countdown of the top 20 plays of OU’s season after looking back at the “OU Film Review” series that ran on SoonersIllustrated.com following every game. Here are plays No. 13-16.
Play No. 16: Tapper runs down Boykin
The game: OU 20, TCU 17
Key players: DE Charles Tapper
This was a huge game for sophomore defensive end Charles Tapper, who finished the game with two sacks. Nothing was more impressive than seeing Tapper track down TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin late in the second quarter.
OU linebacker Eric Striker came free, flushing Boykin out of the pocket. It appeared he had a lot of running room and could pick up the first down when Tapper got him from behind, made sure he didn’t horse-collar tackle him and brought him down.
There aren’t a lot of defensive backs with the speed to bring down Boykin let alone a defensive end. That would be TCU’s last play of the half and guarantee the Sooners would hold the Frogs without a first down. Eighteen plays, 16 yards in the first 30 minutes.
Play No. 15: Bester passes, no, runs for touchdown
The game: OU 38, Texas Tech 30
Key players: WR LaColtan Bester
What else can be said about this play? OU had first-and-10 at the Tech 35 when the Sooners got LaColtan Bester involved in the offense again.
Quarterback Blake Bell handed the ball to Jalen Saunders, who then gave it to Bester. It was clear Bester was looking for Bell down the sideline.
Tech had it covered so Bester pulled it down, reversed field, picked up some great blocking and went 35 yards for the score. Whew, take a breath.
“Jalen Saunders had a great block on that play to spring it,” OU coach Bob Stoops said.
Play No. 14: Woods makes his contribution
The game: OU 45, Alabama 31
Key players: QB Trevor Knight, WR Derrick Woods
OU converted its first five third down opportunities but none was more special or timely than when Knight found redshirt freshman Derrick Woods on a 3rd-and-12 in the second quarter.
The Sooners were backed up and Sterling Shepard was out of the game momentarily with a shoulder injury. Knight helped get it back to manageable distance when he found Woods for 20 yards and a first down on a ridiculously difficult grab.
OU got contributions from a lot of players most didn’t see coming. Tight ends Brannon Green and Taylor McNamara each had a reception as well, the first of McNamara’s career as a Sooner. The conversion led to a field goal to make it 17-17 with 11:45 left in the first half.
Play No. 13: Sanchez finally gets one
The game: OU 41, Kansas State 31
Key players: DB Zack Sanchez
Redshirt freshman cornerback Zack Sanchez leads the team by far in pass breakups, but he had never snagged one for the interception.
That changed in the fourth quarter when Sanchez essentially sealed the deal and made sure Stoops made history with win No. 158.
Sanchez made a nice grab on a pick and went 74 yards with a convoy of blockers to the end zone to give OU a 41-24 lead with 11:47 left in the game. The Sooners would cruise the rest of the way.
***Click here for Part I of the series, plays No. 20-17***