Oklahoma players watched clips of Patriots' Super Bowl comeback win vs. Falcons before playing Baylor
The Patriots' comeback from a 28-3 deficit in the Super Bowl was fresh on the Sooners' minds before they played the Bears
Baylor now has something in common with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.
Following Oklahoma's dramatic Saturday in Waco, Texas, both the Bears and Falcons have blown 28-3 leads in their biggest game in a season. The Falcons, of course, blew a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, losing 34-28 on Feb. 5, 2017. It would have been the franchise's first Super Bowl win. Instead, the collapse has become such a meme in the football community that even when Baylor was dominating Oklahoma, the jokes were ripe for the plucking:
Obviously, Baylor isn't the only team besides the Falcons to blow such a lead. And if there's one thing we know about the Sooners, it's that almost no lead is safe. But the reason this comparison is being made is that, in a wild twist of foreshadowing, Oklahoma players were apparently shown clips of that Super Bowl comeback in the week leading up to the Baylor game.
From the Norman Transcript:
"We watched a few clips," said cornerback Parnell Motley, whose forced fumble was part of the rally. "[We watched] Virginia (basketball), the struggles they went through, when they lost to a 16-seed (in 2018) and when they almost did (in 2019), but they redeemed themselves. Another (clip) they watched was the Patriots and the Falcons (Super Bowl) and it was just the same scenario. It's crazy how ironic it is. They were up 28-3. We watched how the Patriots faced adversity and how things went. It was a great win, my team responded."
Oklahoma's win was indeed a tale of two halves. The Sooners scored their first touchdown in the second quarter and trailed 31-10 at the half, but then outscored Baylor 24-0 in the final 30 minutes. It still wasn't a perfect half -- quarterback Jalen Hurts fumbled the ball at the goal line that took a touchdown off the board -- but the defense did its part by allowing only 16 offensive plays from Baylor. The Bears' defense was clearly gassed by the end of the game, but to their credit, they forced Oklahoma to win every play. The Sooners ran 95 plays over the course of the game and there were no quick strikes to be found.
Still, it was a magical comeback that kept Oklahoma's College Football Playoff hopes alive and previewed what could be a fun Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 7.
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