Welcome back to another edition of our 2020 Countdown to Kickoff series! With yesterday’s official decision to move the Oklahoma Sooners’ season opener versus Missouri State up one week, we are now just 34 days out from the return of OU Football! Speaking of which, I want to trip in the way-back machine to revisit one of the most memorable moments of the Bob Stoops era — Andre Woolfolk’s ridiculous 34-yard reception against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
2000 represents a magical season for OU that holds a special place in the hearts of Sooner fans everywhere. As the second year of Bob Stoops unfolded, it was quickly apparent that this Oklahoma program was back and ready to contend for championships once again. On both offense and defense, the team was loaded with talent. And quite frankly it needed to be, otherwise an undefeated run through a daunting ‘Red October’ slate would have been nothing more than a fantasy.
After demolishing No. 11 Texas in Dallas and taking down No. 2 Kansas State in Manhattan, Oklahoma returned home to welcome its chief rival — Nebraska — to the familiar confines of Norman. The Frank Solich-led Huskers were No. 1 in the nation and the class of the college football. Winning this showdown would be no small task, of course, but the Sooners were game.
Thanks in large part to dynamic QB Eric Crouch, Nebraska jumped out to an early 14-0 lead before OU could even blink. For a moment it looked like this was the day Oklahoma’s dream run would come to an end, but as the story goes, that would not be the case. RB Quentin Griffin would cap off a drive that carried over into the second quarter to cut the deficit in half at 14-7. On the Sooners’ next offensive possession, Josh Heupel found WR Andre Woolfolk 34 yards down the field, and the rest is history. Take it away, Bob Barry Sr.
HE CAUGHT IT!— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) August 22, 2018
Andre Woolfolk with the incredible juggling act vs Nebraska.
Amazingly, while already down on the field, Woolfolk hauled in Heupel’s pass after failing to control it initially and inadvertently kicking it back into the air. Some call it luck, others call it Sooner Magic. Beyond the highlight nature of the play, it was also perfectly-timed. The crowd was roaring, and the momentum was swinging. A few plays later, the game was tied. OU never let up the rest of the way, putting the finishing touches on a 31-14 beatdown.
As a Sooner, Woolfolk will always be remembered for his incredible catch on that day, but his career on the football field turned out to be even more peculiar than that, as he eventually made the switch from wide receiver to cornerback. He started by playing double-duty as a junior before eventually making the transition to defense full-time. Ultimately, the move paid off big time, as he went on to become a first-round pick for the Tennessee Titans in the 2003 NFL Draft.
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