Oklahoma Football: Sooner Sugar Bowl Fun Fact
For the remainder of December, in the days counting down to the Sooners’ Jan. 2 game with Auburn in the 2017 Sugar Bowl, we will be enlightening and entertaining OU fans with an array of fun facts related to Oklahoma football and Sugar Bowl history.
We begin the series, appropriately, with a look back to OU’s first visit to The Crescent City, the city otherwise known by the nicknames “The Big Easy,” “Nawlins” or simply by the acronym “NOLA.”
The Sooners’ third postseason bowl appearance ever came in the 1949 Sugar Bowl. It was the 15th annual New Year’s Day Sugar Bowl game, and Oklahoma’s opponent in the game was the school ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press rankings that season. This was North Carolina’s second appearance in the Sugar Bowl in the previous three years.
The Sooners were the No. 5 team in the AP poll and were the underdogs in the game.
In those years, the game was played at Tulane Stadium. The Sugar Bowl was played at Tulane Stadium from 1934 through 1974. The 1975 Sugar Bowl game was moved to the newly constructed Louisiana Superdome, which at the time was the largest indoor sports facility of its kind in the United States.
The Sugar Bowl game has been played at the Superdome every year since then, except in 2006, when the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Katrina forced the game to be moved to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The New Orleans venue is now named the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Oklahoma struck first blood in the game, surprising the favored Tar Heels with a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Mryle Greathouse. The Sooners never trailed after that and went on to a 14-6 victory, improving their overall bowl record to 2-1 after three games.
The 1949 Sugar Bowl would be the first of three consecutive appearances by coach Bud Wilkinson’s up and coming Oklahoma Sooner powerhouse teams.
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