No championship was on the line in Friday’s John Hancock Bowl.
That didn’t matter to Oklahoma, which felt as though it won one anyway.
The No. 19 Sooners (9-3) rolled to a 41-10 victory over Texas Tech (6-6) to record their fourth convincing victory over a Southwest Conference opponent this season. Oklahoma, of the Big Eight, is 2-0 in the Hancock Bowl; Texas Tech is 1-8.
“We beat them pretty bad,” said Oklahoma quarterback Cale Gundy, who completed 15 of 26 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns. “I know some of my teammates will tell you we are Southwest Conference champs.”
“We are the SWC champions of 1993,” said Sooner nose tackle Ricky Wren. “Southwest Conference champions--Oklahoma Sooners.”
Coach Gary Gibbs would not touch such statements, however.
“Unless we merged in the last 30 minutes, I will stay away from claiming the SWC title,” he said. “But we are a very solid football team on solid footing.”
Gundy, the game’s most valuable player, withstood a ferocious pass rush to set a school record for touchdowns in a bowl game.
He was sacked six times and endured several rattling hits, but again proved he could dominate the Red Raiders. The first and only other time the two teams met, in a 1992 season opener, Gundy set school records for consecutive completions (12) and passing yards (341).
“You have to give Gundy a lot of credit,” said defensive end Shawn Jackson, who sacked Gundy once. “We tried to put pressure on him, but he kept coming back.”
Gundy’s throwing was complemented by the running of freshman Jerald Moore. He rushed 15 times for 85 yards and two touchdowns--a 32-yarder midway through the fourth quarter and a six-yard burst as the game ended.
The running back who drew the most attention entering the game, Texas Tech’s Byron (Bam) Morris, wasn’t a factor. He rushed 27 times for 95 yards and the Red Raiders’ only touchdown.
It was only the second time Morris, the nation’s second-leading rusher, was held under 100 yards this year.
“Oklahoma’s a good team,” Texas Tech Coach Spike Dykes said. “They didn’t make any mistakes and outplayed us early.”