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Throwback Thursday: We Beat Bama



Oklahoma State heads to Mobile, Alabama on Friday night to face a first time opponent in South Alabama. The Cowboys don’t have a lot of history against teams from the state of Alabama. In fact they’ve only faced one four times, and all within the last 11 years.

We could look at the last time OSU went on the road to face a group-of-5 team in Alabama, but why bring up some terrible memories. Instead, this week, let’s throw it back to the first time Oklahoma State faced an Alabama team.

That would be the Crimson Tide in the 2006 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was Gundy’s first bowl appearance as OSU’s head coach. It was Coach Gundy’s second season at the helm and OSU entered the game coming off a 6-6 regular season and losers of three of their last four.

Let’s just fast forward to the part of the game that matters.

OSU had a commanding 31-17 lead with 14:00 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but mistakes over the next 5:19 of game clock helped Bama scored two touchdowns to tie the game. The first was a punt-return TD. The second touchdown was after Grant Jones fumbled the ensuing kick-off, which Bama recovered at OSU’s 20-yard line.

It came down to the final drive of the game. OSU marched down the field all the way to the Alabama 10-yard line. From there, the game fell on the leg of Jason Ricks. After Alabama called three timeouts in an attempt to “ice” him, Ricks finally got to line up for the game-winner. He didn’t disappoint.

“I saw the three timeouts on the scoreboard, and I had the feeling they would call all three,” Ricks said.

It was Gundy’s first bowl win at Oklahoma State, and capped his first of 11-straight winning seasons and 11-straight bowl appearances.

Notes from the game:

• The MVP of the game was linebacker Jeremy Nethon, who finished with 11 tackles including seven solo tackles.

• Alabama was led by interim coach and defensive coordinator Joe Kines. Head Coach Mike Shula had been fired before the bowl game. Nick Saban was hired during the off-season. I think that decision has worked out pretty well.

• Before hiring Saban, Alabama was turned down by then West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez.

• Here’s some fun names to remember: Bobby Reid, Dantrell Savage, Keith Toston, Brandon Pettigrew, and Adarius Bowman were all on this team.

• The Cowboys’ 34 points and 419 yards were the most allowed by the Alabama defense for the 2006 season.

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