1978 Oklahoma Sooners football
Oklahoma Sooners logo.svg
Big Eight co-champion
Orange Bowl champion
Orange Bowl, W 31–24 vs. Nebraska
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 3
APNo. 3
Record11–1 (6–1 Big 8)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorGalen Hall (6th season)
Offensive schemeWishbone
Defensive coordinatorRex Norris (1st season)
Base defense5–2
Captains
Home stadiumOklahoma Memorial Stadium (Capacity: 71,187)
Seasons
← 1977
1979 →
1978 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 3 Oklahoma + 6 1 0 11 1 0
No. 8 Nebraska + 6 1 0 9 3 0
No. 15 Missouri 4 3 0 8 4 0
Iowa State 4 3 0 8 4 0
Kansas State 3 4 0 4 7 0
Oklahoma State 3 4 0 3 8 0
Colorado 2 5 0 6 5 0
Kansas 0 7 0 1 10 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1978 Oklahoma Sooners football team represented the University of Oklahoma in the college football 1978 NCAA Division I-A season. Oklahoma Sooners football participated in the former Big Eight Conference at that time and played its home games in Oklahoma Memorial Stadium where it has played its home games since 1923.[1] The team posted an 11–1 overall record and a 6–1 conference record to earn a share of the conference title under head coach Barry Switzer. This was Switzer's sixth conference title in six seasons since taking the helm in 1973.[2][3]

The team was led by All-Americans Billy Sims (who won the Heisman Trophy),[4] Daryl Hunt,[5] Reggie Kinlaw,[6] and Greg Roberts,[7] The Sooners started the season with nine consecutive wins before losing to Nebraska.[3] During the season, OU faced ranked opponents four times (#14 Missouri, #6 Texas, and #4 & #6 Nebraska); four different opponents finished the season ranked. Its only defeat came against Nebraska in their regular season match.[3] The Sooners were able to avenge that loss as an at-large selection to the Orange Bowl against conference co-champions Nebraska, who had claimed the automatic berth by virtue of their victory over OU.[8]

Sims led the nation in scoring with 132 points (based on per game average of 10.9, which includes 120 in 11 games).[9] Sims led the team in rushing with a record-setting 1896 yards, Thomas Lott led the team in passing with 487 yards, Bobby Kimball led the team in receiving with 207 yards, Hunt led the team with 157 tackles and Darrol Ray posted 8 interceptions.[10]

The 5001 yards rushing remain second in Oklahoma football history behind the 1971 team's 5635.[11] The defense set the school's all-time record with 28 interceptions and tied the record of 50 forced turnovers.[12] Daryl Hunt set the school record for career tackles.[13] Billy Sims became the only Sooner to post four 200-yard games in a season.[12] Sims' 1896 yards stood as the Sooner record until Adrian Peterson posted 1925 in 2004.[12]

Billy Sims became the sixth junior to win the Heisman Trophy. Sims was the nation's leading rusher and scorer for 1978. He averaged 160.1 yards and 10.9 points. He set the Big Eight Conference single season rushing record of 1,762 yards on 231 carries for an average of 7.6 yards. Sims was the only back in the nation's top 50 to average 7.0 per carry, and became the first player in Big Eight history to rush for more than 300 yards in three straight games.[14]

Schedule

DateOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 9at Stanford*No. 4W 35–2958,883
September 16West Virginia*No. 3W 52–1071,885
September 23Rice*No. 3
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 66–771,774
September 30No. 14 MissouriNo. 1
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK (rivalry)
W 45–2372,371
October 7vs. No. 6 Texas*No. 1ABCW 31–1072,032
October 14at KansasNo. 1W 17–1644,450
October 21at Iowa StateNo. 1W 34–649,862
October 28Kansas StateNo. 1
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 56–1972,105
November 4at ColoradoNo. 1W 28–752,506
November 11at No. 4 NebraskaNo. 1ABCL 14–1774,657
November 18Oklahoma StateNo. 4
W 62–772,339
January 1, 1979vs. No. 6 NebraskaNo. 4NBCW 31–2466,365
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

[15]

Roster

1978 Oklahoma Sooners football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
HB 43 Vickey Ray Anderson Sr
OT 63 Sam Claphan
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
G 75 Terry Crouch So
TE 80 Victor Hicks Sr
OT 92 Darrell Irvin Jr
WR 21 Bobby Kimball Sr
RB 30 Kenny King Sr
QB 6 Thomas Lott Sr
RB 11 Fred Nixon Jr
OT 66 Louis Oubre
Redshirt.svg
 So
HB 22 David Overstreet So
QB 7 Kelly Phelps Fr
SE 24 Steve Rhodes Jr
G 65 Greg Roberts Sr
RB 34 Jimmy Rogers
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
RB 20 Billy Sims
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
OT 73 Paul Tabor
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
OT 61 Jeff Ward
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
QB 1 J. C. Watts
Redshirt.svg
 So
G 76 Steve Williams Fr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
LB 28 George Cumby
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
DT 72 John Goodman Fr
DE 90 Rusty Griffis Sr
DB 33 Bud Hebert Sr
LB 85 Daryl Hunt Sr
DE 83 Mike Joyce Jr
DT 62 Reggie Kinlaw Sr
DE 58 Reggie Mathis Sr
CB 3 Darrol Ray Jr
DE 41 Mike Rilley So
DT 74 Phil Tabor Sr
DT 96 Richard Turner So
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 10 Uwe von Schamann Sr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured
    Injured
  • Redshirt
    Redshirt

Roster

Game summaries

Stanford

#4 Oklahoma Sooners at Stanford Cardinals
1 234Total
#4 Oklahoma 14 1407 35
Stanford 7 3109 29

West Virginia

1 234Total
West Virginia 0 307 10
• Oklahoma 17 14147 52

Rice

1 234Total
Rice 0 007 7
• Oklahoma 17 3577 66
  • Date: September 23
  • Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Game attendance: 71,774

Missouri

See also: 1978 Missouri Tigers football team and Missouri–Oklahoma football rivalry

Missouri Tigers at Oklahoma Sooners
1 2 34Total
Missouri 0 7 21423
Oklahoma 21 7 17045

at Oklahoma Memorial StadiumNorman, Oklahoma

  • Game attendance: 72,371

Texas

See also: Red River Rivalry

#1 Oklahoma Sooners vs. #6 Texas Longhorns
1 234Total
#6 Texas 0 370 10
#1 Oklahoma 7 1077 31
  • Date: Saturday, October 7
  • Location: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
  • Game attendance: 72,032
  • Game weather: Sunny
  • Television network: ABC

Statistics

Kansas

1 234Total
• Oklahoma 10 007 17
Kansas 0 709 16

Iowa State

1 234Total
• Oklahoma 21 670 34
Iowa St 0 600 6

Kansas State

1 234Total
Kansas St 0 7120 19
• Oklahoma 21 14021 56
  • Date: October 28
  • Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Game attendance: 72,105

Colorado

1 234Total
#1 Oklahoma 7 0147 28
Colorado 0 700 7
  • Date: November 4
  • Location: Folsom Field
  • Game attendance: 53,553

[16]

Nebraska

1 234Total
Oklahoma 7 070 14
• Nebraska 0 773 17

Oklahoma State

1 234Total
Oklahoma St 7 000 7
• Oklahoma 7 212113 62
  • Date: November 18
  • Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Game attendance: 72,339

Orange Bowl

1 234Total
• Oklahoma 7 7170 31
Nebraska 7 0314 24
  • Date: January 1
  • Location: Orange Bowl
  • Game attendance: 66,365

Rankings

See also: 1978 NCAA Division I-A football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
т = Tied with team above or below.
Week
PollPre12345678910111213Final
AP433 т111111144443
Coaches Poll222111111143443

Awards and honors

Postseason

NFL draft

The following players were drafted into the National Football League following the season.[19]

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
Greg Roberts Guard 2 33 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Reggie Mathis Linebacker 2 38 New Orleans Saints
Sam Claphan Tackle 2 47 Cleveland Browns
Kenny King Running back 3 72 Houston Oilers
Phil Tabor Defensive end 4 90 New York Giants
Victor Hicks Tight end 5 122 Los Angeles Rams
Daryl Hunt Linebacker 6 143 Houston Oilers
Thomas Lott Running back 6 144 St. Louis Cardinals
Uwe von Schamann Kicker 7 189 Miami Dolphins
Reggie Kinlaw Defensive tackle 12 284 Oakland Raiders

References

  1. ^ "Memorial Stadium". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  2. ^ "OU Football Tradition – 42 Conference Titles". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 22, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "1978 Football Season". SoonerStats.com. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d "All-American: Billy Sims". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "All-American: Daryl Hunt". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "All-American: Reggie Kinlaw". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d e "All-American: Greg Roberts". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  8. ^ "OU Stings Nebraska in Big 8 Clash". Orange Bowl Committee. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  9. ^ "2009 Division I Football Records Book: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 47. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  10. ^ "2009 Football Record Book" (PDF). Big 12 Conference. p. 175. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  11. ^ "2009 Football Record Book" (PDF). Big 12 Conference. p. 165. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  12. ^ a b c "2009 Football Record Book" (PDF). Big 12 Conference. p. 166. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  13. ^ "2009 Football Record Book" (PDF). Big 12 Conference. p. 167. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 12, 2004. Retrieved March 26, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "1978 OU Football Season Schedule - SoonerStats - Historical scores, records, and stats for Oklahoma Sooners football, basketball, baseball, and softball".
  16. ^ "Sims Ignites Oklahoma." Palm Beach Post. November 5, 1978.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 11, 2007. Retrieved April 16, 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Football".
  19. ^ "1979 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 29, 2020.