Bluebonnet Bowl



Oklahoma 24
Alabama 24 

Oklahoma Fight Song

Alabama Fight Song

HOUSTON (AP) Coach Chuck Fairbanks of Oklahoma wouldn't mind sudden-death playoffs to eliminate tie games in collegiate football- especially in bowl games.


Al least that is the way Fairbanks felt Thursday night after a 24-24 tie between his young Oklahoma Sooners and the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 12th Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.


"It seems we should have kept playing," Fairbanks said, adding that "right now, I would favor sudden-death."


Both Fairbanks and Coach Bear Bryant of Alabama indicated their own decisions to go for field goals instead of touchdowns in the final minute of play may have cost their teams a victory.


With one second to play, a 34-yard field goal attempt by Alabama's Richard Ciemny was wide. Just 58 seconds earlier, Oklahoma's Bruce Dorr had kicked a 42-yarder to nail down the tie.


"I feel I cost them the game by not trying to score at the end," said Bryant, who was seeking his 200th collegiate victory, a mark attained by only five coaches.


"I tried to play safe and it was the wrong thing to do," Bryant said.


Fairbanks went for Derr's successful kick because of a chance the Sooners, by covering an onsides kickoff, could still get the ball again.


"We had a fourth down and long yardage situation- fourth and 11- and I felt we might get the ball back," Fairbanks said.


But 'Bama covered the onsides kick and moved on to setup Ciemny's kick that was deflected a bit by Johnny Shelley, Sooner safety.


An Astrodome standing room-only crowd of 53,822 witnessed the dramatic final minutes as Alabama overcame a 21-7 Oklahoma lead.


Greg Pruitt, a sophomore speedster, had given Oklahoma its 14-point lead by taking pitchouts from quarterback Jack Mildren and racing 58 and 25 yards for second-period touchdowns.


With 14 seconds left in the half, however, 'Bama's Scott Hunter passed five yards to David Bailey to make it 21-14 and Ciemny made it 21-17 with a 20-yard field goal five plays after the Tide covered an Oklahoma fumble on the second-half kickoff.


Then, with 7:36 remaining in the final period, Alabama fooled the Oklahoma defense completely when it ended a 75-yard surge by having Johnny Musso, a ground-gaining tailback who netted 138 yards in 27 carries, take a handoff and pass 25 yards to Hunter for a touchdown that gave the Tide a 24-21 lead.


A first period 7-7 tie had resulted from a four-yard pass from Hunter to Randy Moore and a two-yard touchdown run by Joe Wylie, another of the seven sophomores in Oklahoma's starting offensive unit.


Hunter completed 13 of 26 passes for 174 yards as the Crimson Tide rolled up a total offense of 428 yards. Oklahoma, with sophomore Leon Crosswhite gaining 111 yards in 20 carries and Pruitt adding 97 in eight plays, finished with a 415 total.


Pruitt took the game's outstanding back award while Jeff Rouxie, a 'Bama linebacker, was named the top lineman.


Alabama's Johnny Musso plunges for yardage as quarterback Scott Hunter (12) watches.


Bama receiver David Bailey leaps to make reception.


Richard Ciemny just missed a potential game winning field goal with one second to play.


Attendance- 53,822


Scoring Summary


First Quarter

UA- Moore 4 yard pass from Hnnter (Ciemny kick)

OU- Wylie 2 run (Derr kick)


Second Quarter

OU- Pruitt 58 ran (Derr kick)

OU- Pruitt 25 run (Derr kick)

UA- Bailey 5 yard pass from Hunter (Ciemny kick)


Third Quarter

UA- FG Ciemny 20


Fourth Quarter

UA- Hunter 24 yard pass from Musso (Ciemny kick)

OU- FG Derr 42


Individual Statistics



OU- Crosswhite 20-111, Pruitt 8-97

UA - Musso 27-138



OU- Mildren 5-7-66

UA - Hunter 13-26-174



OU- Harrison 2-45

UA- Bailey 4-86