Welcome back to another edition of our 2019 Countdown to Kickoff series! As of this fine Sunday, there are exactly nine weeks, or 63 days, until the Oklahoma Sooners make their official return to the gridiron. With that in mind, let’s take a look back at those who once donned the Crimson & Cream only to make an appearance on the biggest stage in American sports — the Super Bowl.
Let’s start at the beginning. On January 12, 1969, former OU CB Bobby Boyd started for the Baltimore Colts, while DT Carl McAdams suited up for the New York Jets in Super Bowl III. This was actually the first Super Bowl to be officially referred to as such, with the first two being retroactively re-titled. McAdams’ Jets beat Boyd’s Colts, and so began a long history of Sooners in the big one.
A total of six former Oklahoma players have each won two Super Bowls in their career. They are as follows: OT Ralph Neely (VI, XII) with the Dallas Cowboys, RB Kenny King and DL Reggie Kinlaw (XV, XVIII) with the Los Angeles Raiders, OL Chuck Thomas (XXIII, XXIV) with the San Francisco 49ers, DL Tony Casillas (XXVII, XXVIII) with the Dallas Cowboys and DB Darrius Johnson (XXXII, XXXIII) with the Denver Broncos.
No Sooner has more than two SB rings, and the most recent champ from OU was OT Lane Johnson in Super Bowl LII. His Philadelphia Eagles upset the New England Patriots, who were featuring another Oklahoma alum in DE Geneo Grissom.
With so many OU stars now in the NFL, chances are as high as ever that at least one of them will find themselves in an upcoming Super Bowl. Either way, that Sooner flavor on the brightest stage in football is likely to continue sooner rather than later.
Now let’s cover any days we missed since our last countdown post:
64 Days! - The beginning of the Gomer Jones era
After serving as an assistant under the legendary Bud Wilkinson for 17 seasons, Gomer Jones took Bud’s place in 1964 while also becoming the school’s athletic director. As it turned out, it would be a brief coaching career for Jones. With a record of 9-11-1 through the next two seasons, it was time for another change.
While retaining his role as AD, Jones hired Jim Mackenzie in 1966. Tragically, the first year head coach passed away following his first season, so in his place Chuck Fairbanks was promoted. As history would have it, the administrative moves Jones made in the late 60s ultimately led to three Oklahoma national championships under ‘The King’.
Sadly, Jones would not live to see those titles, as he suddenly passed away in 1971. He was 57. Still, the fruits of his labor will continue to nourish the football program for decades to come.
65 Days! - Lee Morris, Rodney Anderson and Marquise Brown make 65-yard plays
In the 2018 season opener, Oklahoma welcomed Lane Kiffin and the Florida Atlantic Owls to Norman. The Kyler Murray era was officially beginning, and it couldn’t have started more explosively.
The first of the three monstrous 65-yard touchdowns on the day was an Allen High School throwback special between Kyler Murray and Lee Morris. The physically imposing receiver showed he’s not just strong, but that he has some wheels as well. Check him out as he blazed down the field for six!
Kyler Murray finds Lee Morris who takes it 65 YARDS for the TD pic.twitter.com/OjHS6SpFaJ— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 1, 2018
Next, Rodney Anderson picked up right where he left off from his incredible run in the second half of the 2017 season. When he wasn’t sidelined with injuries, the Katy, Texas native really displayed an ideal blend of power, balance, and speed. If he reached the edge of the defense, it was basically over. Exhibit A:
It’s more than a shame that Anderson was lost for the season just a week after this opener, but at Oklahoma, offensive options come in abundance. Fortunately for the Sooners, there was not a more dominant combo in the nation than Marquise Brown and Kyler Murray. His nickname is Hollywood, and he lit up this secondary like the night sky on the Fourth of July.
6⃣5⃣ Days Until ⭕️ Kickoff.— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) June 28, 2019
Kyler Murray and Hollywood Brown celebrate their 65-yard touchdown connection last season against Florida Atlantic with a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors#OUDNA | #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/EahGwdhyKE
FAU walked into a buzzsaw that day. Everything was clicking for the Sooners, including the defense and special teams. When that happens, 65-yard scoring plays are practically inevitable.
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