2-1 Army took No. 5 Oklahoma to overtime, falling 28-21 after a fourth-down stop in the first extra frame.
The Black Knights entered as 31-point underdogs, meaning an upset would’ve counted as one of the biggest in college football history.
Wait, what? How’d we get here?
Army ate clock, as you’d expect, controlling more than 34 of the game’s first 44 minutes. The Black Knights held the yardage advantage as well, racking up 266 rushing yards before the third quarter began.
They then opened the fourth with a goal-line stand of the Sooners’ offense.
Army drive chart tonight in regulation:• 16 plays, 75 yards, 9:31 – Touchdown• 16 plays, 75 yards, 8:54 – Touchdown• 8 plays, 32 yards, 2:57 – Punt• 3 plays, 1 yard, 1:47 – Punt• 19 plays, 85 yards, 10:47 – Touchdown• 17 plays, 65 yards, 10:06 – Interception— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) September 23, 2018
During the ensuing VOYAGE of an Army drive that wound another 10 minutes off the clock, OU forced a third-and-14 and capped it with an INT by Kenneth Mann, giving the Sooners the chance to escape.
The Sooners reached the red zone and set up for a walk-off field goal … WHICH OU MISSED. TO OVERTIME WE WENT.
The Sooners opened OT with a TD from Kyler Murray to Ceedee Lamb.
Army got a chance to equalize, but Oklahoma pressure forced another INT. The Sooners escaped.
This score is a stunner, but it’s not that big of a surprise that the Black Knights have it close, at least.
Service academies have long been incredible as underdogs against huge spreads.
What is really, really, really wild, though: this is all happening to OU on OU pay-per-view.
That means any Sooners fans who are watching this game live via legal means paid $54.99 to do so. That’s an annual thing for one OU game, basically, though few people outside of Oklahoma noticed it until right now, I bet. The Oklahoman explains:
Each Big 12 member gets to hold back one game per season to distribute as it sees fit. […] OU-Army is the Tier 3 game controlled by OU – which means it’s controlled by Fox.
OU’s contract with Fox Sports Net (Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Southwest, etc.) created a quasi-Sooner network, SoonerSports.tv. Fox televises a bunch of basketball games, baseball games, softball games, gymnastics meets, wrestling duals and other sports, plus coaches shows and other content. The Sooners are guaranteed about 1,000 hours of programming per year and have made about $5 million per season.
But part of that agreement is that Fox controls that one football game per year.
We’ll continue to update this post with major score updates.
Army is riding high after last year’s 10-win campaign, but the Black Knights are missing one thing from their recent revival; a marquee win. Army hasn’t beaten a ranked team since 1972. On Saturday, Oklahoma will have the chance to run that streak of loss against Top 25 programs to 46 straight.
The Sooners clock in at No. 5 this week thanks to a 3-0 start to their 2018 season. Oklahoma has transitioned from Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield to Kyler Murray behind center without much of a lapse in coverage, pasting Florida Atlantic and UCLA to open the season before outdueling Iowa State in a 10-point Week 3 victory. Murray is averaging nearly 288 yards per game and boasts a 8:1 TD:INT ratio so far this season — another big performance will keep OU’s spot in the top five secure.
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
TV: OU pay-per-view and the American Forces Network
Odds: Oklahoma is favored by 31.5 points.
Kyler Murray was, dare we say, Mayfield-esque against the Cyclones.
A big fourth-down stand propelled Army to a win over Hawaii in Week 3.
Oklahoma self-reported a bunch of NCAA violations this week, and they were all non-issues.
Kenneth Brinson will need to be on top of his game if he’s going to drag down Murray in the backfield Saturday.
Can Army seriously do this?
Probably not! Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw was the heart and soul of the Black Knights’ 2017 revival, but he graduated after the season. That leaves America’s No. 1 service academy (alphabetically) in the hands of Kelvin Hopkins Jr. Hopkins has been an effective triple option quarterback but with the increased emphasis on chop blocks limiting what those run-heavy offenses can do, he’ll have to make some magic happen to upset the Sooners on their home field.
Per the numbers alone: Oklahoma by 27.3.
The Read Option
A daily-ish mini-column on the college football thing of the day, with some other stuff too.