Close call on final play goes agaisnt Sooners

Tech running back Taurean Henderson reaches to score the game-winning touchdown against Oklahoma ... or did he? In the end, the officials said yes and the Red Raiders survived with a 23-21 win over the Sooners Saturday in Lubbock, ending OU's four-game winning streak and Cotton Bowl hopes. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Texas Tech running back Taurean Henderson reached the ball over the goal line as time expired to give the Red Raiders a 23-21 win over Oklahoma ... or did he?

The answer to that question was put into the hands of the official in the replay booth after the play was originally ruled a touchdown on the field, and the answer was yes.

"To be honest, I didn't think he was in. But if they say he was in, he was in," said Oklahoma linebacker Rufus Alexander, who attempted to stop Henderson on the final play of the game.

"Nobody was underneath him," said Alexander on Henderson as he stuck the ball out over the goal line while laying on the ground. "The lineman was trying to pull on me and he reached the ball out. I think he was down.

"We've got to do something about it and not let them get there," said Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables when asked about the call. "I'd like to think that after a while those would go your way, but you have to create those breaks for yourself too.

"I'm not in a position to talk about it," Venables said, when pressed further about the final play. "Our guys upstairs thought there was a chance it would be overturned, but it wasn't."

In the end, Tech's final drive, which consisted of three different plays that were reviewed by the replay booth, put a major damper on a fourth-quarter Oklahoma comeback and a solid effort by the defense against one of the nation's best offenses.

At the 14:35 mark of the fourth quarter, Texas Tech quarterback Cody Hodges found Bristol Olumua in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown connection that gave the Red Raiders a 17-7 lead with 14:35 to go.

And after failing to pick up a first down on three straight plays following Tech's scoring drive, things looked bleak for the Sooners.

However, Oklahoma's defense forced the Red Raiders to punt six plays later and the Sooners then responded with an 11-play, 89-yard drive capped by a magnificent scramble and 13-yard touchdown pass from Rhett Bomar to Malcolm Kelly with 5:57 to go.

Oklahoma's defense then answered the call again, shutting down Tech on three straight plays on their next drive and giving the offense the ball at the 49-yard line with 3:33 to go.

And once again, Oklahoma's offense responded with a 51-yard drive on nine plays, which was finished off by a 13-yard Adrian Peterson touchdown run that gave the Sooners a 21-17 lead with 1:48 to go.

But Garrett Hartley's kickoff went out of bounds, giving the ball to Tech at the 35-yard line, and the rest is history as the Red Raiders marched down the field and scored the game-winning touchdown on a controversial ruling by the official and replay booth on the final play.

"I'm very proud of my team, our team," said a dejected OU head coach Bob Stoops following the game. "Guys played hard the entire day and fought and took the lead. We just weren't able to finish it out. They say it's a game of inches a lot of times, and we just came up short on several occassions"

Stoops also said he wasn't in a position to question the officials' decision on the final play.

"I'm not going to sit here and criticize," said Stoops, who lost to his former offensive coordinator for the first time time in six games. "We have a system in place. You hope that it works or people make the calls that are correct, and that's what you have to assume that was done.

"For me to sit here without seeing anything, and even if I do I'm not going to sit here and use that as an excuse."

The Sooner defense, who stopped Tech on three different plays in the final minute inside the 5-yard line, held the Red Raiders to just 376 yards of total offense, which is 151 below their season average. They also held Tech 21 points below their season scoring average of 24.

But in the end, it still wasn't enough.

"Any time you lose it's frustrating, it's aggravating," Stoops said. "I told them to keep our character about us. It's a tough situation. It's a game of inches, we came up a few short. We've got to be tough about it. We've got a big game next week to finish out the year."

Scoring Summary:
First Quarter

---11:45 TT - Trlica,Alex 33 yd field goal, 8-64 3:15, OU 0 - TT 3

Second Quarter
---14:13 OU - Peterson, Adria 1 yd run (Hartley, Garret kick), 16-91 8:25, OU 7 - TT 3
---03:30 TT - Hicks,Jarrett 7 yd pass from Hodges,Cody (Trlica,Alex kick), 9-72 5:03, OU 7 - TT 10

Fourth Quarter
--14:35 TT - Olomua,Bristol 3 yd pass from Hodges,Cody (Trlica,Alex kick), 6-80 2:38, OU 7 - TT 17
--05:57 OU - Kelly, Malcolm 13 yd pass from Bomar, Rhett (Hartley, Garret kick), 11-89 4:08, OU 14 - TT 17
--01:33 OU- Peterson, Adria 13 yd run (Hartley, Garret kick), 9-51 3:13, OU 21 - TT 17
--00:00 TT - Henderson,T. 2 yd run (Hodges,Cody rush failed), 12-65 1:33, OU 21 - TT 23

RUSHING: Oklahoma-Peterson, Adria 29-108; Bomar, Rhett 7-25; Jones, Kejuan 5-23; Patrick, Allen 1-6; Gutierrez, Jaco 1-2; TEAM 2-minus 2. Texas Tech-Henderson,T. 16-109; Hodges,Cody 13-35; Woods,Shannon 1-3; Filani, Joel 1-minus 3.

PASSING: Oklahoma-Bomar, Rhett 12-26-0-118. Texas Tech-Hodges,Cody 24-37-2-232.

RECEIVING: Oklahoma-Kelly, Malcolm 4-49; Thompson, Paul 4-40; Jones, Kejuan 2-1; Iglesias, Juaqu 1-20; Runnels, J.D. 1-8. Texas Tech-Filani, Joel 6-82; Olomua, Bristol 5-52; Johnson, Robert 4-48; Amendola,Danny 3-28; Hicks, Jarrett 3-18; Woods, Shannon 1-5; A. Reed,L 1-4; Henderson,T. 1-minus 5.

INTERCEPTIONS: Oklahoma-Carter, Jason 1-9; Wolfe, D.J. 1-0. Texas Tech-None.

SACKS (UA-A): Oklahoma-Ingram, Clint 2-0; Ah You, C.J. 1-0; Dvoracek, Dusty 1-0. Texas Tech-None.

TACKLES (UA-A): Oklahoma-Williams, Darien 7-4; Latimer, Zach 6-1; Wolfe, D.J. 5-0; Alexander, Rufus 5-1; Ingram, Clint 5-1; Ah You, C.J. 3-0; Carter, Jason 2-2; Bassey, Eric 2-0; Onyenegecha, Chijioke 2-0; Dennison, Russell 2-0; Patrick, Allen 1-0; Coleman, Steven 1-0; Moore, Cordero 1-0; Ayodele, Remi 1-1; Smith, Reggie 1-1; Dvoracek, Dusty 1-0; Baker, Lewis 1-0; Freeby, Cody 0-1; Runnels, J.D. 0-1; Thibodeaux, Cal 0-1. Texas Tech-Slay,Dwayne 7-5; Session,F. 5-6; Dixon,McKinner 4-4; Dawson,Keyunta 3-2; Parker,Chris 3-0; Naziruddin,K. 2-2; Brinkley,S. 1-4; Meeks,Vincent 2-1; Saldi,John 2-1; Hudler,Chris 2-1; Garcia,Joe 1-0; Aycock, Greg 1-0; Schaefer,David 1-0; Cherry,Randall 1-0; Thrweatt,Fred 1-0; Williams,Paul 0-1; Hines,Anthony 0-1; A. Reed,L 0-1; Woods,Shannon 0-1.

More OU-Tech Stats

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories