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1971 Oklahoma Sooners football
Sugar Bowl Champions
Sugar Bowl, W 40–22 vs. Auburn
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 3
APNo. 2
1971 record11–1 (6–1 Big 8)
Head coachChuck Fairbanks (5th season)
Offensive coordinatorBarry Switzer (6th season)
Offensive schemeWishbone
Defensive coordinatorLarry Lacewell (2nd season)
Home stadiumOklahoma Memorial Stadium (Capacity: 61,836)
Seasons
← 1970
1972 →
1971 Big 8 football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 Nebraska 7 0 0     13 0 0
#2 Oklahoma 6 1 0     11 1 0
#3 Colorado 5 2 0     10 2 0
Iowa State 4 3 0     8 4 0
Kansas State 2 5 0     5 6 0
Oklahoma State 2 5 0     4 6 1
Kansas 2 5 0     4 7 0
Missouri 0 7 0     1 10 0
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1971 Oklahoma Sooners football team represented the University of Oklahoma in the college football 1971 NCAA University Division season. Oklahoma Sooners football participated in the former Big Eight Conference at that time and played its home games in Oklahoma Memorial Stadium where it has played its home games since 1923.[1] The team posted an 11–1 and 6–1 conference record to under head coach Chuck Fairbanks.[2][3] The Sooners finished the season ranked #2, losing only once, 35–31 to eventual national champion Nebraska in the 1971 Nebraska vs. Oklahoma football game, which has become known as Game of the Century.

In 1971, offensive coordinator Barry Switzer perfected the wishbone offense as it led the nation in both scoring (45 points average) and total yards (563 total yards average), and set an NCAA record by averaging over 472.4 (5196 in 11 games) rushing yards in a season.[4] The team holds the current school record with 7.07 yards per rushing attempt and 7.6 yards per play as well as the records for 469.6 rushing yards (5635 in 12 games counting bowl game) and 566.83 yards of total offense per game. The team also holds the single-season rushing touchdowns record of 62 and rushing touchdowns per game record of 5.17. The team's records of 711 single-game rushing yards and 785 total yards stood for nine seasons.[5] Jack Mildren's single-season record for yards rushing by a quarterback of 1140 would be broken three seasons later by Freddie Solomon.[6]

Greg Pruitt set the current national single-season record with 8.98 yards per attempt,[7] the school's single-game records of 294 rushing yards and 374 all-purpose yards. Meanshile, Jon Harrison set the single-season and career yards per reception with 29.1 and 27.0.[8] His 2066 single-season all-purpose yards record stood until Quentin Griffin broke it in 2002. Joe Wylie's kickoff return average record of 28.5 stood for 27 years.[9]

The team was led by three All-Americans: Pruitt,[7] Tom Brahaney[10] and Jack Mildren.[11] The team won its first nine games on a schedule that included five ranked opponents (In order, #17 USC, #3 Texas, #6 Colorado, #1 Nebraska and #5 Auburn). All five of these opponents finished the season ranked. The only loss was to Nebraska. They played Auburn in the Sugar Bowl and won 40–22.[3]

Pruitt led the team in rushing with 1760 yards, Mildren led the team in passing yards for the third straight season with 889 yards and also in scoring with 12 points, Harrison led the team in receiving with 494 yards, Mark Driscoll led the team in tackles with 134, and John Shelly led the team in interceptions with 5.[12]

ScheduleEdit

Date Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 18* SMU #10 Oklahoma Memorial StadiumNorman, OK W 30–0   53,545[13]
September 25* at Pittsburgh #11 Pitt StadiumPittsburgh, PA W 55–29   34,916[13]
October 2* #17 USC #8 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK W 33–20   62,351[13]
October 9* vs. #3 Texas #8 Cotton BowlDallas, TX (Red River Shootout) CBS W 48–27   72,032[13]
October 16† #6 Colorado #2 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK W 45–17   62,501[13]
October 23 at Kansas State #2 KSU StadiumManhattan, KS W 75–28   37,198[13]
October 30 Iowa State #2 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK W 39–7   60,477[13]
November 6 at Missouri #2 Memorial StadiumColumbia, MO W 20–3   55,098[13]
November 13 Kansas #2 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK ABC W 56–10   54,347[13]
November 25 #1 Nebraska #2 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Norman, OK (Rivalry) ABC L 31–35   62,884[13]
December 4 at Oklahoma State #3 Lewis FieldStillwater, OK (Bedlam Series) W 58–14   36,571[13]
January 1* vs. #5 Auburn #3 Tulane StadiumNew Orleans, LA (Sugar Bowl) ABC W 40–22   84,031[13]
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.

[14]

Game notesEdit

TexasEdit

by Quarter1234 Total
Oklahoma 14 17 7 10 48
Texas 14 7 6 0 27
[15] [16]


ColoradoEdit

by Quarter1234 Total
Colorado 0 0 17 0 17
Oklahoma 14 10 7 14 45
[17]


Oklahoma StateEdit

by Quarter1234 Total
Oklahoma 17 20 7 14 58
Oklahoma State 0 7 0 7 14
[18]


Awards and honorsEdit

Team players drafted into the NFLEdit

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
Jack MildrenDefensive Back2 46 Baltimore Colts
Al QuallisLinebacker8 191 Baltimore Colts
Roy BellRunning Back9 234 Dallas Cowboys
[19]

Awards & HonorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Memorial Stadium". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100628213311/http://www.soonersports.com/facilities/memorial-stadium_history.html. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  2. "OU Football Tradition". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 22, 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100622232057/http://www.soonersports.com/sports/m-footbl/archive/m-footbl-conf-titles.html. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "1971 Football Season". SoonerStats.com. http://www.soonerstats.com/football/seasons/schedule.cfm?SeasonID=1971. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  4. "Football Bowl Subdivision Records". National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 27. http://web1.ncaa.org/web_files/stats/football_records/DI/2009/2009FBS.pdf. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  5. "2009 Football Record Book". Big 12 Conference. p. 164. http://www.big12sports.com/fls/10410/pdfs/football/record_book.pdf?&DB_OEM_ID=10410. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  6. "2009 Division I Football Records Book: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records". National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 35. http://web1.ncaa.org/web_files/stats/football_records/DI/2009/2009FBS.pdf. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "All-American: Greg Pruitt". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100525145601/http://www.soonersports.com/sports/m-footbl/archive/aa-greg-pruitt-1971-72.html. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  8. "2009 Football Record Book". Big 12 Conference. p. 166. http://www.big12sports.com/fls/10410/pdfs/football/record_book.pdf?&DB_OEM_ID=10410. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  9. "2009 Football Record Book". Big 12 Conference. p. 173. http://www.big12sports.com/fls/10410/pdfs/football/record_book.pdf?&DB_OEM_ID=10410. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "All-American: Tom Brahaney". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100525150402/http://www.soonersports.com/sports/m-footbl/archive/aa-tom-brahaney-1971-72.html. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "All-American: Jack Mildren". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100525221017/http://www.soonersports.com/sports/m-footbl/archive/aa-jack-mildren-1971.html. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  12. "2009 Football Record Book". Big 12 Conference. p. 164. http://www.big12sports.com/fls/10410/pdfs/football/record_book.pdf?&DB_OEM_ID=10410. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 http://www.soonerstats.com/football/seasons/schedule.cfm?seasonid=1971
  14. "1971 Oklahoma Sooners Schedule". Soonerstats.com. 2008. http://www.soonerstats.com/football/seasons/schedule.cfm?SeasonID=1971. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
  15. "Sooners thunder past favored Longhorns, 48-27." Eugene Register-Guard. October 10, 1971
  16. 1971 Oklahoma vs. Texas recap - SoonerStats.com
  17. "Oklahoma Routs Buffs." Palm Beach Post. October 17, 1971
  18. "Oklahoma Ropes Cowboys, 58-14." Palm Beach Post. December 5, 1971
  19. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1972.htm
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