We’re now exactly twelve Saturdays away from the Oklahoma Sooners kicking off the 2017 season against UTEP on September 2 in Norman. Today, we begin our Countdown to Kickoff with a look back at the game-changing play by an unsung hero donning the number 84 — former walk-on wide receiver/place holder Grant Bothun — along with his trick-play cohort, kicker Michael Hunnicutt, in the storybook comeback Bedlam win of 2013.
With the Sooners struggling and down a touchdown late in the third quarter on a cold day in Stillwater, the riverboat gambler Bobby Stoops decided it was time to go big or go home and called a fake field goal that was executed to perfection by his unlikely heroes. Placeholder Grant Bothun stepped up and connected with kicker Hunnicutt for an eight-yard touchdown catch to tie the game at 17.
Bothun, who had played quarterback in his days at Rowlett High School in Texas, finally got his shot to shine in one of the biggest stages as an OU player, and he delivered in style. Hunnicutt was used to lining up at wideout in his high school days in Pearce, Texas, and also came out of the huddle ready to come through in his big moment. With nothing to lose and the team desperately in need of a boost, the Sooners’ legendary and innovative coach took a big gamble, and it paid off in full.
That play was the spark OU needed to set up a wild finish against Little Brother. The Sooners, of course, went on to win that storied Bedlam battle 33-24, with Blake Bell coming in to replace injured starter Trevor Knight and backup Kendal Thompson in heroic fashion. Bell’s fourth-quarter clutch drives led to an astonishing comeback win that knocked the Pokes out of the Big 12 race and propelled the Sooners to a BCS at-large berth in the famed 2014 Sugar Bowl against Alabama.