1975 Oklahoma Sooners football team: Wikis

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1975 Oklahoma Sooners football
National Champions
Big 8 Champions
Orange Bowl, W 14-6 vs. Michigan
Conference Big Eight Conference
Ranking
Coaches #1
AP #1
1975 record 11-1 (6-1 Big 8)
Head coach Barry Switzer
Offensive scheme Wishbone
Base defense 5-2

Home stadium

Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
Seasons
« 1974 1976 »
1975 Big 8 Football standings
     Conf       Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 / 1 Oklahoma 6 1 0     11 1 0
#9 / 9 Nebraska 6 1 0     10 2 0
#16 / NR Colorado 5 2 0     9 3 0
Kansas 4 3 0     7 5 0
Oklahoma State 3 4 0     7 4 0
Missouri 3 4 0     6 5 0
Iowa State 1 6 0     4 7 0
Kansas State 0 7 0     3 8 0

Rankings: AP / Coaches

The 1975 Oklahoma Sooners football team represented the University of Oklahoma in the college football season of 1975-1976. The team was helmed by Barry Switzer in his third season as head coach. After sailing through their first eight games, Oklahoma suffered a surprising home loss to Kansas. With only two regular season games and a bowl trip left, any hopes for a repeat national championship looked slim.

OU defeated Missouri, 28-27, in Columbia before coming home to defeat second-ranked Nebraska, 35-10 to take the Big 8 Conference title. With the conference title in tow, the No. 3-ranked Sooners, in their first bowl game under Switzer, headed to the Orange Bowl to meet Michigan.

OU prevailed in that game with a 14-6 victory and got pushed to the top spot in the polls when both #1 Ohio State and #2 Texas A&M suffered defeats in their bowl games. Oklahoma won its 27th conference and fifth national championship. [1]

Contents

Schedule

Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result
09/13/1975* Oregon #1 Oklahoma Memorial StadiumNorman, OK W 62-7  
09/20/1975* #15 Pittsburgh #1 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK W 46-10  
09/26/1975* at Miami #1 Orange BowlMiami, FL W 20-17  
10/04/1975 Colorado #1 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK W 21-20  
10/11/1975* vs. #5 Texas #2 Cotton BowlDallas, TX (Red River Shootout) W 24-17  
10/18/1975 at vs. Kansas State #2 KSU StadiumManhattan, KS W 25-3  
10/25/1975 Iowa State #2 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK W 39-7  
11/01/1975 at vs. #19 Oklahoma State #1 Lewis FieldStillwater, OK W 27-7  
11/08/1975 Kansas #2 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK L 3-23  
11/15/1975 at #18 Missouri #6 Faurot FieldColumbia, MO W 28-27  
11/22/1975 #2 Nebraska #7 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK W 35-10  
01/01/1976* vs. #5 Michigan #3 Orange Bowl • Miami, FL (Orange Bowl) W 14-6  
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.

[2 ]

Season recap

Oklahoma had won the AP National Title in 1974 and began the year by thrashing Oregon 62-7 in Norman. OU played host to a Johnny Majors coached #15 Pittsburgh squad, sporting junior running back sensation Tony Dorsett (only a year away from the Heisman trophy and the collegiate rushing record), and they dominated, outscoring the Panthers 46-10. But a trip to unranked Miami was nearly fatal. The Sooners scored all 20 of their points in the second quarter and finished with just 163 rushing yards and 176 total, barely surviving a ten-point Hurricanes' fourth quarter en route to a 20-17 victory. That win was not enough to knock the Sooners to the second spot in the polls, but a one-point win over Colorado the following week was. Against the Buffaloes, the vaunted Sooner wishbone offense looked abysmal, and they surrendered a 14-point lead in the second half. A botched CU extra point in the final 79 seconds proved the difference. Ohio State took over the number one ranking. The Sooners, despite the close calls, came into Dallas atop a 24-game winning streak and a 33-game unbeaten streak and ranked #2 in the country.[3]

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Red River Shootout

Texas came into Dallas with a bona fide superstar in 225-pound sophomore fullback Earl Campbell. The fearsome runner had trampled everything in his path en route to 508 yards (8.1 ypc), including 198 yards against Washington. Behind the young Campbell, the Longhorns were leading the nation in rushing, total offense and scoring, averaging 44 points per game.

The Sooners had a leader in Steve Davis, an ordained minister that could run and pass. The halfbacks, Joe Washington and Horace Ivory were speedy and elusive. The receiving corps, paced by Senior Billy Brooks, was among the best of the wishbone era at OU. Of course, the greatest asset to the Sooners was not on offense. The 1975 OU defense was among the very best in a storied history, led by Lee Roy Selmon, who would go on to win both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award as the nation's best lineman.

It was the Sooner defense that made the Longhorns lose a fifth straight Red River Shootout. Neither offense exploded with big plays, both scoring hard fought points in the red zone. The game was best characterized by the hard hitting from both sides, which led to a considerable number of turnovers. The Longhorns fumbled the ball four times and gave away an interception. The Sooners lost two fumbles. The Sooner defense proved its mettle against the powerful Campbell, holding him to 95 yards on 23 carries. Although he was the game's leading ball carrier, he also marked the 21st straight time that a team failed to have a 100-yard rusher against the Sooners. The Sooners prevailed 24-17.[4]

November nightmare

After thrashing Kansas State, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State by a combined score of 91-17, the Sooners returned home. Inexplicably, a team that had run roughshod over equivalent teams, managed to suffer a 23-3 loss to unranked Kansas, a team that came into Norman with a 5-4 record. The Sooners were caught flat and were upset by the Jayhawks, knocking them from the #2 spot in the polls down to #7. In Columbia against #18 Missouri the following week, they needed a 71-yard touchdown run from Joe Washington on a critical fourth and one, a Washington run for a successful two-point conversion, and two missed field goal attempts by the Tigers in the final two minutes to eke out a 28-27 win. The struggles took their toll, and OU found themselves down another spot in the poll heading into the annual showdown against Nebraska. The defending national champs were reeling and in search of an identity. No game could have had nearly as much on the line as the final regular season game for the Big 8 Championship.[5 ]

Nebraska

Nebraska began 1975 mostly under the radar, but they were riding a 10-0 record and sporting one of the best passing quarterbacks in the nation in Vince Ferragamo, who had transferred a season before from California. He had completed 66 of 109 passes for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns, against only two interceptions. The Huskers had stepped into the #2 spot in the polls that the Sooners had vacated in their loss to Kansas.

The Cornhusker offense was balanced, averaging 265.6 yards rushing and 156.7 yards passing per game, and was among the nation's leaders in scoring, averaging 34.3 points per game. The Nebraska defense was allowing only 8.5 points per game. They had posted four shutouts, including their last two opponents to run their string to ten consecutive scoreless quarters. The Black Shirt D had held the same Jayhawks team that had upset OU earlier in the season to only 177 yards of total offense.

The Big Eight title, as usual, was on the line in 1975. The winner would play in the Orange Bowl with a possible shot at a national championship. Oklahoma, realizing all that was on the line, had worked with Fiesta Bowl officials for a potential bid in Tempe if they lost to the Cornhuskers. Nebraska had shunned the Fiesta officials, possibly shutting themselves out of the bowls in the event of a loss.

Ultimately, the Sooners came out of Norman with the conference title and the shot at a national title in the Orange Bowl, and it turned out to not even be close. Three turnovers in the fourth quarter had ended the Huskers' chances. Oklahoma scored on all three to make it five touchdowns from six Nebraska turnovers. The Sooners came away with a convincing and incredible 25-point victory over the second-ranked team in the land.

Once again, it was the Oklahoma defense that made the big plays when they needed to and controlled the Nebraska offense, limiting them to 245 total yards, only 70 on the ground. Ferragamo, who came into the game with high expectations, had completed 13 of his 25 passes for 146 yards. His four turnovers, however, had spoiled the game for Nebraska, and Oklahoma was on its way to face Michigan in the 1976 Orange Bowl.[6]

1976 Orange Bowl

UCLA upset top-ranked Ohio State earlier in the day, and Oklahoma knew that it had a chance for a national title in Barry Switzer's first bowl game as a head coach. It wouldn't be easy. The Wolverines were a punishing team, and made the Sooners know it early. In the end, a 39-yard end around by Billy Brooks and a nine-yard keeper by Steve Davis were enough for a 14-6 victory and a fifth national championship.[7]

Roster

Complete Roster of 1975 season

Quarterbacks

  • Tony Antone - Freshman
  • 2 Dean Blevins - Sophomore
  • 5 Steve Davis - Senior
  • 14 Kerry Jackson - Senior
  • 10 Thomas Lott - Freshman
  • 12 Joe McReynolds - Sophomore
  • Louis Patmon - Sophomore

Running backs

  • 34 Jimmy Rogers - Sophomore
  • Ken Crosswhite FB - Junior
  • Jimmy Culbreath FB - Senior
  • 46 Calvin Harris FB - Sophomore
  • 37 Larry Lawton FB - Junior
  • 42 Jim Littrell FB - Senior
  • Robin Roof FB - Junior
  • Doug Simcik FB - Sophomore
  • Larry Briggs - Senior
  • 25 Greg Byram - Freshman
  • 28 George Cumby - Freshman
  • Jerry Foster - Senior
  • 44 Mike Gaither - Freshman
  • Greg Hutchings - Sophomore
  • 32 Horace Ivory - Junior
  • 30 Kenny King - Freshman
  • 23 Woodie Shepard - Freshman
  • 20 Billy Sims - Freshman
  • Edward Williams - Sophomore
  • 24 Joe Washington - Senior
  • 4 Elvis Peacock - Sophomore

Receivers

  • 82 Billy Brooks - Senior
  • Bill Gill - Freshman
  • 33 Bud Hebert - Freshman
  • Lee Hover - Sophomore
  • Jimbo Owens - Sophomore
  • 11 Tinker Owens - Senior
  • Terry Williams - Sophomore

Tight ends

  • 83 Kent Bradford - Freshman
  • Howard Humphreys/Humphrey - Sophomore
  • Craig Lund - Junior
  • Reggie Mathis - Sophomore
  • 47 Wayne Petties - Freshman
  • John Randolph - Sophomore
  • 81 Keith Thomas - Junior
  • John Trest - Freshman
 

Offensive line

  • Phil Applegate T - Sophomore
  • 69 Ralph Kulbeth T - Junior
  • 68 Bill O'Gara T - Freshman
  • 67 Ron Ross T - Freshman
  • 73 Paul Tabor T - Freshman
  • 74 Phil Tabor T - Freshman
  • 94 Mark Wilson T - Freshman
  • Karl Baldischwiler OT - Sophomore
  • Sam Claphan OT - Sophomore
  • Reed Coody OT - Junior
  • 72 Jim Dodds OT - Junior
  • 75 Chez Evans OT - Junior
  • 78 Leo Martin OT - Senior
  • 79 Mike Vaughan OT - Junior
  • Jeff Ward OT - Sophomore
  • Lonnie Wright OT - Junior
  • Tyrone Armstrong OG - Sophomore
  • 65 Larry Duke OG - Junior
  • Jody Farthing OG - Sophomore
  • 63 Jay Holman OG - Sophomore
  • 60 Jaime Melendez OG - Sophomore
  • 66 Terry Webb OG
  • 58 Jeff Bodin C - Senior
  • 55 Dennis Buchanan C - Senior
  • 52 Todd Dutton C - Sophomore
  • Mike Spencer C - Junior

Defensive line

  • 88 Duane Baccus DE - Junior
  • Gary Bishop DE - Junior
  • 92 Victor Brown DE - Sophomore
  • Marshall Cantrell DE - Sophomore
  • 54 Jimbo Elrod DE
  • Kenneth Franklin DE - Sophomore
  • Mike Mitchell DE - Sophomore
  • 89 Mike Phillips DE - Junior
  • Terry Sherman DE - Sophomore
  • David Bentley DT - Junior
  • 71 Anthony Bryant DT - Junior
  • Brett Cargill DT - Sophomore
  • Joel Estes DT - Sophomore
  • Dave Hudgens DT - Senior
  • Harvey Johnson DT - Sophomore
  • 76 Richard Murray DT - Sophomore
  • Phil Roland DT - Sophomore
  • 93 Lee Roy Selmon DT
  • 56 Glenn Comeaux NG - Sophomore
  • Reggie Kinlaw NG - Freshman
  • Don Morton NG - Senior
  • 91 Dewey Selmon NG
  • 98 George Walrond NG - Junior
 

Linebackers

  • 49 Marty Brecht - Junior
  • 40 Bill Dalke - Sophomore
  • George Davis - Junior
  • 50 Barry Dittman - Freshman
  • Rusty Griffis - Sophomore
  • 80 Victor Hicks - Freshman
  • 85 Daryl Hunt - Freshman
  • Steve Kunkle - Senior
  • Danny McCullough - Sophomore
  • 57 Obie Moore - Sophomore
  • 59 Doug Morgan - Freshman
  • Ted Phillips - Sophomore
  • 43 Greg Roberts - Freshman
  • 39 Greg Sellmyer - Freshman
  • 38 Jamie Thomas - Senior
  • 48 Russ Williamson - Sophomore

Defensive backs

  • 17 Jerry Anderson CB - Junior
  • Vickey Ray Anderson CB - Sophomore
  • Roger/Rogers Owens CB - Sophomore
  • Jeff Brown DB - Sophomore
  • John Bunch DB - Sophomore
  • Tyrrell Jackson DB - Sophomore
  • Steve Larghe DB - Sophomore
  • Mike Pleasant DB - Sophomore
  • Mike Babb DHB - Freshman
  • 1 Zac Henderson FS - Sophomore
  • 27 Jerry Reese FS - Junior
  • 21 Sidney Brown LCB - Junior
  • 26 Frank Rohr LCB - Sophomore
  • 16 Terry Peters RCB - Sophomore
  • 31 Eric Van Camp RCB - Senior
  • 15 Mike Birks SS - Senior
  • 7 Scott Hill SS - Junior
  • 8 Myron Shoate SS - Sophomore

Kickers

  • 3 Tony DiRienzo K - Senior
  • 33 Bill Shirk K - Sophomore
  • Uwe von Schamann K - Freshman
† Starter at position     * Injured; did not play in 1975.

Courtesy of Soonerstats.com

Awards and honors

All-Americans

Individual award winners

Notes and references

External links


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