Sooner Magic Still Works

Oklahoma running back Renaldo Works (47) breaks into the open while Alabama cornerback Anthony Madison (9) pursues during the second half of Oklahoma's 37-27 win over Alabama Saturday in Norman. The run setup Oklahoma's go ahead touchdown late in the game.

Before Saturday Oklahoma had never beaten Alabama.

And after the Tide erased Oklahoma's 23-3 halftime lead by scoring 24 straight points it looked like the Sooners would remain winless against Alabama.

But a little slice of Sooner Magic and the fleet feet of Renaldo Works on OU's final drive gave the Sooners their first-ever victory over Alabama with a 37-27 win Saturday in Norman.

After Alabama extended the lead to 27-23 with a 45-yard field goal at the 3:37 mark, Works and the Oklahoma offense marched the ball down the field on a seven play 80-yard drive for the winning score.

Works busted spectacular runs of 29 and 39 yards after catching shovel passes from quarterback Nate Hybl and Kejuan Jones scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 8-yard run with 2:11 remaining.

"Renaldo got a game ball," said Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops. "He came up big in the fourth quarter. I'm really proud of him, stepping in and making such a big play. It was a great effort."

"Our team was down and I just wanted to help as best I could. I felt that we could still get back in the game but we just needed to attack," said Works.

"My line just blocked well. Nate pitched the ball to me and I just did the best I could. I wanted to help the team."

The Sooners then extended the lead to 37-27 when redshirt freshmen defensive back Eric Bassey picked up a fumble and returned it 45-yard for the games final score.

"I tip my hat to Oklahoma for the game they played today because they played like a true champion and made one extra play," said Alabama Head Coach Dennis Franchione. "It was a hard fought, physical game between two tradition-rich teams."

"It is a great comeback win. Hopefully in the end, you always want to win, win big and have no troubles," said Stoops. "When you look through the whole season that we're going to play, this may be a really great win for us ... to win like we did when we had to.

"Everyone knows there's a big difference between winning and losing. Some teams can win when they have to at the end and others have trouble doing it. I appreciate and respect our players and coaches who hung in there. It didn't look good in the second half but we hung in there and made plays when we had to (in order) to win."

Oklahoma looked like they were going to run away from Alabama in the first half scoring 23 straight points after the Tide took an early 3-0 lead.

The Sooner defense was dominant in the first half holding 'Bama to just 64 yards of total offense, but the Tide came back in the second half and rolled up 224 yards of offense in their comeback.

Sooner quarterback Jason White tore the ACL in his right leg late in the first quarter and was replaced by Hybl, who was fantastic in the first half helping the Sooners build a 20-point lead with his favorite target Mark Clayton.

Clayton and Hybl hooked up midway through the first quarter for a 32-yard touchdown pass and then again in the second quarter, this time a 51-yard strike that put Oklahoma up 16-3.

Hybl found Clayton again late in the second half for a big gain down to the 'Bama two-yard line that set up Kejuan Jones' first score at the end of the first half to put OU up 23-3.

Hybl threw for 162 yards total in the first half and finished 16-of-30 for 251 yards overall.

"Everybody was frustrated," said Hybl on the Sooners' second half offensive woes. "No one knew quite what to do. It wasn't long ago that we were on Owen Field in that same situation. Nobody was going to walk off that field feeling the way we did last season."

"That wasn't just another team out there," said Stoops. "I don't care what anyone else says ... sanctions or no sanctions. They just won the SEC Championship just a few years ago. That's a proud program. They have a lot of good players and I knew it was going to be a battle."

"Sometimes you have to scramble to win. I appreciate players who find a way to win. In the fourth quarter, you have to have the attitude that you're still going win."

OU-Alabama Box Score

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