Throwback Game of the Week: 1999 Texas Tech vs OU
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The Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Tech football game from the 1999 season is one filled with a great deal of history, intrigue and urban legend. The game featured the end of one Texas Tech folk hero and the birth of another. It was the final game of the incredible career of Spike Dykes, and the very first start for Kliff Kingsbury.
Texas Tech was 5-5 in the 1999 season heading into the final game of the season and coming off of a 58-7 loss to the University of Texas. The OU game would be the final test of the season and the last chance for Coach Dykes to get a win. Oklahoma was a formidable team that year with a 7-4 record and eventual Heisman runner-up Josh Heupel at the helm. This OU team would go undefeated and win the National Championship just two years later.
The game itself opened up with a stalled offensive series and a blocked punt by Devin Lemons that gave Texas Tech the ball at the OU 30-yard line. On second down, Kliff Kingsbury took advantage of his first pass attempt as a starting quarterback at Texas Tech by throwing a touchdown to future NFL player, running back Sammy Morris.
Oklahoma offensive coordinator Mike Leach (yes, that Mike Leach) got his offense going on the next possession, but would miss a field goal in Texas Tech territory.
The following possession, Texas Tech offensive coordinator Rick Dykes would dial up a Kliff Kingsbury 70-plus yard flea flicker to his tight end Tim Winn that put Texas Tech in field goal range. Texas Tech led 10-0 in the first quarter.
OU would then score 21 unanswered points before Texas Tech’s field goal with 9 seconds left in the half. OU would take the lead into halftime 21-13 — and what a halftime it was.
Legend has it that three incredible things happened during this fateful halftime. Texas Tech Hall of Famer EJ Holub gave a Hall of Fame-caliber speech at halftime, head Coach Spike Dykes told his team that he was going to retire after the game and red shirt quarterback Kliff Kingsbury told his coach: “We got ’em right where we want ’em, coach.”
The rest, as they say, was history.
Texas Tech would storm back from eight points down to score 18 consecutive points, taking a 10-point lead heading into the 4th quarter. Texas Tech would hold that 10-point spread to the final buzzer, winning 38-28.
Here’s an interview below with QB1 Kliff Kingsbury, who used to sound a lot more like Matthew McConaughey. So much so I kept waiting for Kingsbury to tell John Harris the game was, “alright, alright, alright.”
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A few other stars of the game include Kevin Curtis, who was all over the field playing a hybrid safety corner linebacker role in Texas Tech’s 4-2-5 defense. The broadcasters mention at one point that Curtis averaged 18+ tackles per game over a five-game stretch. That’s incredible.
Sammy Morris finished finished with two touchdown receptions, and Kingsbury had three touchdown passes and a rushing score to go with his nine completions for over 250 yards.
If there was a Spike Dykes movie, this would be the final scene.