Four Horned Frogs entered the town of Norman, Okla., and were swallowed into a sea of red. Everything in the town was full of Os and Us. OU stickers. OU car flags. OU banners. OU T-shirts. We were definitely in the enemy’s den. We were definitely in Sooner country.You might not think there’s a big difference in purple and red, but when 80,000 people are wearing crimson and cream, your purple shirt stands out.
As we walked from our car, a Sooner student informed us that we were about to have a bad day. Thankfully, he was wrong.
We bought our tickets online, so we weren’t sitting with our TCU brethren. In fact, we couldn’t be farther from the TCU section. But, even sitting among 10,000 Sooner fans, they were polite.
Because, as everyone knew, we were about to have a very bad day. After all, they were the mighty Sooners.
The game started, and things went OK on offense. Tye Gunn and the Frogs led the offense for a couple first downs, and they were able to pin the Sooners deep in their zone. And then it almost came crashing down. Quarterback Paul Thompson dropped back and threw a pass deep to receiver Travis Wilson. The corner had fallen down, and Wilson was wide open.
Memories of last year entered my head.
But Thompson’s pass sailed past Wilson, and everything was OK. And, from that point on, I never thought about the 2004 defense. It was 2005 now, and the defense was back.
Oklahoma had great field position throughout the game, but every time, the Horned Frog defense was up to the task. And before we knew it, it was halftime, and we were up 10-0.
The looks from OU fans changed: Every red-shirted individual looked at me in utter confusion. How could the sixth-best team in the country lose to a team that went 5-6 last year?
But the Oklahoma fans were still confident. “Stoops’ll whip those boys into shape, and we’ll get out of here feeling good.” And they were almost right. At halftime, my friends and I discussed that we needed to stop OU on the first drive. We knew that if the Sooners drove on us, played to their potential and got the crowd back into it, it would all be over.
We were wrong. Oklahoma drove on us, played to their potential, and the crowd got into it as loud as I’ve ever heard.
TCU didn’t give up. They kept fighting and eventually turned the tide to regain the lead. That’s when things started to feel real.
I watched the clock slowly tick down, and my legs turned to jelly. Maybe it was anxiety. Maybe it was dehydration. Through the entire fourth quarter, I felt like a recovering drug addict because my legs wouldn’t stop shaking. I knew time was running out, and the OU fans knew it too. They were about to get beaten by, as one fan put it, the Fort Worth Bible College.
Then it happened. Jared Kesler sacked Thompson, and the game was over. We beat Oklahoma, and it felt incredible.
During the final seconds, all of us scrambled to take pictures in front of the scoreboard, which was good because it went black as soon as the clock hit zero. Even the scoreboard operator wanted out of Memorial Stadium as soon as possible.
Even though the OU fans were obviously upset with their team, they couldn’t have been nicer. Several of them walked up to us and congratulated us on our victory, and we said the only thing that would make them feel better: “Go out and beat Texas,” which usually caused a smile and a promise that they would.
A few more fans stopped us to rag on us a little bit, but it was always with good intentions. And I hope Oklahoma goes out and crushes every person on its schedule. For them and for us. Because I want that win to mean even more than it does now. I don’t ever want to hear the word fluke.
I watched every second of that game closely, then when I got home I watched it again. Oklahoma didn’t lose that game. TCU won, plain and simple. It was, by far, the greatest moment I’ve had since I’ve been at TCU, and that game was a big reason why I’m graduating in December instead of last May. I wanted to be a student when we beat Oklahoma, and even though it cost me $10,000, it was worth every penny.
Drew Irwin is a senior economics and broadcast journalism major from Dallas.