“If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, wouldn’t it be a Merry Christmas?”
I remember Don Meredith making that quote on Monday Night Football years ago when explaining how the outcome of a football game might have been had certain plays been made. The same quote pertains to the 2012 Oklahoma Sooners, as a handful of plays could have produced an undefeated season and a bid to the BCS Championship.
Some may ask why am I drudging up some stuff to piss fans off about the two losses this year, but if not for a few “straws that broke the camel’s back,” the Sooners had a damn good year.
OU held a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter against Kansas State, and the Sooners were backed up to their own 13-yard line. Landry Jones fumbled under pressure and the Wildcats recovered for a touchdown.
The Sooners marched to the KSU 1-yard line on the next possession, but Blake Bell fumbled the snap and K-State recovered. The Cats marched to a field goal. So, instead of OU taking a 10-7 lead, the Purple Kitties had a 10-3 advantage.
Jones had a pass picked off late in the third period at the OU 38, and the Wildcats scored a TD seven plays later for a 17-13 lead. Each team scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late for the Sooners.
Like the K-State game, OU jumped to a 3-0 lead against Notre Dame, but Cierre Wood’s 62-yard dash up the middle gave the Irish a 7-3 lead on the next series. Just before halftime, Oklahoma had an impressive drive and the crowd went nuts when Bell score on a 4-yard jaunt. But Bronson Irwin was flagged for holding. OU settled for a field goal, so instead of taking a 10-7 lead, OU trailed 10-6.
The Sooners tied the game at 13-13 when Bell scored on a 1-yard run midway though the fourth quarter. Two plays into the next series, Notre Dame’s Everett Golson fired a 50-yard pass to Chris Brown to the OU 15. The Irish took a 20-13 lead five plays later.
Mantei Te’o then intercepted one of Jones’ passes at OU’s 45 to set up an Irish field goal, and the Sooners never threatened again.
Hopefully, the Sooners can take heart that it was only a handful, and not a truck full, of ifs and buts that could have produced a 12-0 year.