1979 Oklahoma Sooners football
Oklahoma Sooners logo.svg
Big Eight champion
Orange Bowl champion
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 3
APNo. 3
Record11–1 (7–0 Big 8)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorGalen Hall (7th season)
Offensive schemeWishbone
Defensive coordinatorRex Norris (2nd season)
Base defense5–2
Captains
Home stadiumOklahoma Memorial Stadium (Capacity: 71,187)
Seasons
← 1978
1980 →
1979 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 3 Oklahoma $ 7 0 0 11 1 0
No. 9 Nebraska 6 1 0 10 2 0
Oklahoma State 5 2 0 7 4 0
Missouri 3 4 0 7 5 0
Colorado 2 5 0 3 8 0
Iowa State 2 5 0 3 8 0
Kansas 2 5 0 3 8 0
Kansas State 1 6 0 3 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1979 Oklahoma Sooners football team represented the University of Oklahoma in the college football 1979 NCAA Division I-A season. Oklahoma Sooners football participated in the former Big Eight Conference at that time and played its home games in Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium where it has played its home games since 1923.[1] The team posted an 11–1 overall record and a 7–0 conference record to earn the Conference title outright under head coach Barry Switzer who took the helm in 1973.[2][3] This was Switzer's seventh conference title and fourth undefeated conference record in seven seasons.[2]

The team was led by All-Americans Billy Sims and George Cumby.[4][5] After winning the conference title outright, it earned a trip to the Orange Bowl for a bout with Florida State. During the season, it faced three different ranked opponents (In order, #4 Texas, #3 Nebraska and #4 Florida State). All three of these opponents finished the season ranked. It endured its only defeat of the season against Texas in the Red River Shootout.[3] The Sooners started the season with a four consecutive wins before losing to Texas and then won their remaining seven games.[3] Sims and J.C. Watts both posted for 100-yard games in the Orange Bowl.[6]

Sims led the nation in scoring with 138 points (based on per game average of 12.0, which includes 132 in 11 games).[7] Sims led the team in rushing with 1670 yards, Watts led the team in passing with 821 yards, Freddie Nixon led the team in receiving with 293 yards, Cumby led the team with 160 tackles and Bud Hebert posted 4 interceptions.[8] Billy Sims set numerous Oklahoma offensive records that still stand including career 200-yard games, single-season rushing touchdowns (tied)[9]

Schedule

DateOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 15Iowa*No. 3W 21–672,531[10]
September 22Tulsa*No. 3
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 49–1372,451[10]
September 29at Rice*No. 3W 63–2130,442[10]
October 6ColoradoNo. 3
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 49–2472,512[10]
October 13vs. No. 4 Texas*No. 3ABCL 7–1672,032[10]
October 20at Kansas StateNo. 8W 38–627,257[10]
October 27Iowa StateNo. 7
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 38–972,069[10]
November 3at Oklahoma StateNo. 7W 38–751,453[10]
November 10KansasNo. 6
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 38–071,882[10]
November 17at MissouriNo. 7W 24–2269,973[10]
November 24No. 3 NebraskaNo. 8
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK (rivalry)
ABCW 17–1472,516[10]
January 1, 1980vs. No. 4 Florida State*No. 5NBCW 24–766,714[10]
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

Personnel

1979 Oklahoma Sooners football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
G 75 Terry Crouch Jr
OT 59 Darrell Irvin Sr
RB 11 Fred Nixon Sr
OT 66 Louis Oubre
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
HB 22 David Overstreet Jr
QB 7 Kelly Phelps So
SE 24 Steve Rhodes Sr
RB 20 Billy Sims
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
OT 73 Paul Tabor
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
QB 1 J. C. Watts
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
G 76 Steve Williams So
RB 32 Stanley Wilson Fr
RB 40 Chet Winters Fr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DL 36 John Blake Fr
LB 28 George Cumby
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
DT 92 Keith Gary Jr
DT 72 John Goodman Sr
DB 6 Steve Haworth Fr
S 33 Bud Hebert
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
DE 83 Mike Joyce Sr
S 3 Darrol Ray Sr
DE 41 Mike Rilley Jr
DT 96 Richard Turner Jr
DE 88 Mike Weddington Fr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 9 John Hoge So
K 99 Mike Keeling Fr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

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

Roster

Season summary

Iowa

Iowa Hawkeyes at #3 Oklahoma Sooners
1 2 34Total
Iowa 6 0 006
Oklahoma 0 7 01421

at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma

  • Date: September 15
  • Game attendance: 72,531
  • [11]
Game information
First quarter
  • IOWA – Dennis Mosley 10-yard pass from Phil Seuss (kick failed). Iowa 6–0. Drive:

Second quarter

  • OU – Billy Sims 1-yard run (John Hoge kick). Oklahoma 7–6. Drive:

Third quarter

  • No scoring

'Fourth quarter

  • OU – Billy Sims 3-yard run (John Hoge kick). Oklahoma 14–6. Drive:
  • OU – J.C. Watts 1-yard run (John Hoge kick). Oklahoma 21–6. Drive:


Tulsa

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (2–1) at #3 Oklahoma Sooners (1–0)
1 2 34Total
Tulsa 0 3 10013
Oklahoma 21 7 02149

at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma

  • Date: September 22
  • Game attendance: 72,451

at Rice

#3 Oklahoma Sooners (2–0) at Rice Owls (1–2)
1 2 34Total
Oklahoma 21 21 14763
Rice 0 0 02121

at Rice Stadium, Houston, Texas

  • Date: September 29
  • Game attendance: 30,442

Colorado

Colorado Buffaloes (1–3) at #3 Oklahoma Sooners (3–0)
1 2 34Total
Colorado 7 0 31424
Oklahoma 7 28 7749

at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma

  • Date: October 6
  • Game attendance: 72,512
  • [12]
Game information
First quarter
  • OU – Billy Sims 1-yard run (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 7–0. Drive:
  • CU – Solomon 6-yard pass from Pugh (Field kick). Tie 7–7. Drive:

Second quarter

  • OU – J.C. Watts 11-yard run (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 14–7. Drive:
  • OU – Billy Sims 1-yard run (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 21–7. Drive:
  • OU – David Overstreet 1-yard run (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 28–7. Drive:
  • OU – Billy Sims 6-yard run (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 35–7. Drive:'

Third quarter

  • CU – Field 41-yard field goal. Oklahoma 35–10. Drive:
  • OU – Billy Sims 1-yard run (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 42-10. Drive:

Fourth quarter

  • CU – Davis 11-yard run (Field kick). Oklahoma 42–17. Drive:
  • OU – Winters 28-yard run (Keeling kick). Oklahoma 49–17. Drive:
  • CU – Green 1-yard run (Field kick). Oklahoma 49–24. Drive:

Oklahoma faced its former coach Chuck Fairbanks for the first time since his departure following the 1972 season.

vs Texas

See also: Red River Rivalry

#3 Oklahoma Sooners (4–0) vs. #4 Texas Longhorns (3–0)
1 2 34Total
Oklahoma 7 0 007
Texas 3 7 0616

at Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

  • Date: October 13
  • Game attendance: 72,032

at Kansas State

#8 Oklahoma Sooners (4–1) at Kansas State Wildcats
1 2 34Total
Oklahoma 3 0 142138
Kansas State 0 6 006

at KSU Stadium, Manhattan, Kansas

  • Date: October 20
  • Game attendance: 27,757
  • [13]
Game information

Iowa State

Iowa State Cyclones at #7 Oklahoma Sooners (5–1)
1 2 34Total
Iowa State 0 0 099
Oklahoma 7 10 14738

at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma

  • Date: October 27
  • Game attendance: 72,069

at Oklahoma State (Bedlam Series)

See also: Bedlam Series

#7 Oklahoma Sooners (6–1) at Oklahoma State Cowboys
1 2 34Total
Oklahoma 24 7 7038
Oklahoma State 0 0 077

at Lewis Field, Stillwater, Oklahoma

  • Date: November 3
  • Game attendance: 51,453
  • [14]
Game information
First quarter
  • OU – Billy Sims 4-yard run (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 7–0. Drive:
  • OU – David Overstreet 72-yard pass from J.C. Watts (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 14–0. Drive:
  • OU – Billy Sims 1-yard run (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 21–0. Drive:
  • OU – Mike Keeling 39-yard field goal. Oklahoma 24–0. Drive:

Second quarter

  • OU – Billy Sims 1-yard run (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 31–0. Drive:

Third quarter

  • OU – Billy Sims 11-yard run (Mike Keeling kick). Oklahoma 38–0. Drive:

Fourth quarter

  • OSU – Sullentrop 2-yard run (Anderson kick). Oklahoma 38–7. Drive:

Kansas

Kansas Jayhawks at #6 Oklahoma Sooners (7–1)
1 2 34Total
Kansas 0 0 000
Oklahoma 3 7 72138

at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma

  • Date: November 10
  • Game attendance: 71,882

at Missouri

See also: Missouri–Oklahoma football rivalry

#7 Oklahoma Sooners (8–1) at Missouri Tigers
1 2 34Total
Oklahoma 7 0 14324
Missouri 3 6 7622

at Faurot Field, Columbia, Missouri

  • Date: November 17
  • Game weather: 66 °F (19 °C)
  • Game attendance: 69,973
  • Box Score

Nebraska

#3 Nebraska Cornhuskers at #8 Oklahoma Sooners (9–1)
1 2 34Total
Nebraska 0 7 0714
Oklahoma 0 3 7717

at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma

  • Date: November 24
  • Game attendance: 71,180
Game information


[16] [17]

Orange Bowl (vs Florida State)

Main article: 1980 Orange Bowl

Orange Bowl: #4 Florida State Seminoles (11–0) vs. #5 Oklahoma Sooners (10–1)
1 2 34Total
Florida State 7 0 007
Oklahoma 0 17 0724

at Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

  • Date: January 1, 1980
  • Game attendance: 66,714

Rankings

See also: 1979 NCAA Division I-A football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
( ) = First place votes.
Week
PollPre12345678910111213Final
AP3 (4)33333877678553
Coaches Poll2 (2)3 (3)3333897777453 (1)

Awards and honors

1980 NFL Draft

See also: 1980 NFL Draft

The following players were drafted into the National Football League following the season.[18]

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
Billy Sims RB 1 1 Detroit Lions
George Cumby LB 1 26 Green Bay Packers
Darrol Ray S 2 40 New York Jets
John Goodman DE 2 56 Pittsburgh Steelers
Fred Nixon WR 4 87 Green Bay Packers
Paul Tabor C 5 130 Chicago Bears
Darry Hebert DB 5 179 New York Giants
Barry Burdet LB 9 235 New England Patriots
Mike Babb DB 11 284 Atlanta Falcons

References

  1. ^ "Memorial Stadium". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "OU Football Tradition – 42 Conference Titles". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 22, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "1979 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 c "All-American: George Cumby". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 23, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  6. ^ "Sooners Spoil Seminole Uprising". Orange Bowl Committee. Archived from the original on September 24, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  7. ^ "2009 Division I Football Records Book: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 47. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  8. ^ "2009 Football Record Book" (PDF). Big 12 Conference. p. 175. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  9. ^ "2009 Football Record Book" (PDF). Big 12 Conference. p. 166. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "1979 OU Football Season Schedule - SoonerStats - Historical scores, records, and stats for Oklahoma Sooners football, basketball, baseball, and softball".
  11. ^ "Sluggish Oklahoma Downs Iowa." September 16, 1979
  12. ^ Eugene Register-Guard. 1979 October 7.
  13. ^ Eugene Register-Guard. 1979 Oct 21. Retrieved 2018-Oct-28.
  14. ^ Palm Beach Post. 1979 Nov 4.
  15. ^ Eugene Register-Guard. 1979 Nov 18.
  16. ^ Eugene Register-Guard. 1979 Nov 25.
  17. ^ DataOmaha.com Archived October 19, 2020, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2020-Dec-06.
  18. ^ "1980 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 29, 2020.