So doing a full-scale film review seems to be counterproductive. Instead, going to look at the biggest play of the game that turned the tide once and for all.
OU didn’t come out sharp, no doubt about that. But the defense kept bending but not breaking. A 20-0 deficit never looked so small for what could have been.
The Tigers faced a fourth-and-three at the OU 34 yard line and opted to go for the first down. Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt’s pass was deflected into the air by OU’s Charles Tapper and intercepted by Tapper, who raced 50 yards to the end zone.
It would have been 20-7 with around eight minutes left in the first half. But Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was offside. Clemson picked up a first down and scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass later in the drive.
“You hope you had a spark there when Tapper was running for a touchdown,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “And then you’re deflated. It’s taken away. And then a few plays later we miss a tackle out on the perimeter again (Jordan Thomas), and the guy goes for a touchdown.
“So in the end, we had our shots, and we weren’t able to come up with the play to make it happen.”
A 14-point swing in a matter of seconds. OU committed five turnovers, including another pick-six by Trevor Knight, while not producing one turnover from the Tigers.
One play does not make a game, but the writing was clearly on the wall for OU after the non-Tapper touchdown. It was just one of a plethora of disappointments for the Sooners in 2014.