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College Football Classic Rewind: Blown Call Allows for Horns to Tie Sooners in Soggy Red River Rivalry 14

Posted on October 03, 2011 by A.J. Foss

The annual Texas-Oklahoma game is almost always one of the most anticipated games of the college football season, but the 1984 edition of the “Red River Rivalry” had even more hype as both teams entered the game in the top three of the AP Poll.

Texas was 3-0 and the #1 team in the country thanks to wins over then #11 Auburn and #4 Penn State.

Despite the fact they had lost 17 players to the NFL from the 1983 team that finished the season with a 11-1 record, the Longhorns were led by a number of seniors including quarterback Todd Dodge, wide receiver Billy Boy Bryant, defensive tackle Tony Degrate and all-American safety Jerry Gray, all under the direction of eighth-year head coach Fred Akers.

Oklahoma entered the game with a 4-0 record and a #3 ranking, but were hoping try to avoid their fourth straight four-loss season under head coach Barry Switzer, who had led the Sooners to at a least a share of the Big Eight championship in his first eight seasons and two national championships.

The Sooners’ rise to the top was due in large part to their defense, which had allowed only 38 points through the first four games, led by all-American defensive tackle Tony Casillas and freshman linebacker Brian Bosworth.

It would be a game dominated by the defenses as torrential rains had the Dallas area and caused players to slip and slide on the Cotton Bowl turf.

The wet conditions were a factor in the first turnover of the game as Oklahoma punter Mike Winchester dropped a perfect snap and could not get the punt off, giving the ball to Texas at the Sooners’ 26-yard-line. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
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      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

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      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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