Stoops uses trick play to outwit Crimson Tide
By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
September 7, 2003
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. Bob Stoops' call for a fake punt on fourth-and-10 in the third quarter was far from the only big play that decided Oklahoma's 20-13 victory over Alabama Saturday night.
Prior to the risky trick play, Sooners quarterback Jason White had connected on passes of 35, 46 and 44 yards, with two ending in touchdowns.
On the flip side of the game, Tide quarterback Brodie Croyle had three passes of 30 yards or more called back in the loss.
Croyle, who finished the game completing 24-of-42 passes for 195 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, appeared to hook up on a long bomb to receiver Zach Fletcher inside Oklahoma's 20-yard line two minutes into the second quarter.
The sophomore quarterback double pumped behind the line before letting a near 50-yard pass fly to the senior receiver. Fletcher appeared to haul in the toss, but he was called out of bounds.
The same two Tide offensive players appeared to hook up again for a 35-yard pass inside the Sooners' five-yard line. Fletcher was again ruled out of bounds, and Alabama was sent back to Oklahoma's 39-yard line.
The Tide just missed another big passing play two minutes into the second half. Croyle again found Fletcher on the sideline with a long pass, but the receiver bobbled the ball as he stepped out of bounds negating a 39-yard completion.
Not to be out done by White's throws for big yards, Oklahoma's defense made two interceptions and recorded five sacks in the win.
Cornerback Antonio Perkins opened the game picking off Croyle's first pass of the contest to set up the Sooners' first field goal. Perkins' interception was Alabama's first play of the game and came six seconds after the opening kickoff.
Donte Nicholson grabbed a pick of his own late in the third quarter to stop a Tide drive at the Sooners' five-yard line.
But we were able to come up with some big plays."