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All-Oklahoma All-Bowl Team: The Best of the Bowls: Best of the Bowls
[December 17, 2006]

All-Oklahoma All-Bowl Team: The Best of the Bowls: Best of the Bowls

(Tulsa World (OK) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Dec. 17--Oklahoma State football fans likely remember Shawn Mackey because of one significant play.

In the 1987 Sun Bowl, Mackey tackled West Virginia tight end Keith Winn just shy of the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt with 1:13 remaining, preserving the Cowboys' 35-33 victory.

"That was my 15 seconds of fame," said the 38-year-old Mackey, who lives in Tulsa and works as a sales manager for a national insurance company.

Mackey was never an all-conference player or an All-American at OSU. But, because of the impact he made in the aforementioned bowl game, he was a lock for the state's all-time, all-bowl team selected in today's Tulsa World.

Only players who suited up for OSU, OU and Tulsa in postseason games were eligible for the list.

Players chosen were not selected because they were All-Americans or Heisman winners or even the best players on their teams, and the teams weren't picked with traditional lineups. Contributions in bowl games were the only factors taken into consideration, which means that this spotlight is reserved for postseason heroes like OSU tight end Barry Hanna, whose only touchdown of the 1984 season was a game-winning Gator Bowl reception; OU tight end Forrest Valora, who caught a game-winning two-point conversion pass in the 1981 Orange Bowl; and TU's Camp Wilson, who returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to secure a victory in the 1945 Sugar Bowl.

OU has the most representation on the all-bowl team because the Sooners have played in 39 bowls, more than OSU and TU combined.

Mackey, a Marlow native, was a redshirt freshman when he made the biggest play of his career. He started the next two seasons, wrecked a knee in the final game of his junior year and did not play as a senior because he said his heart wasn't in it. But, on Dec. 25, 1987, he displayed enough heart to give Cowboy fans a lasting Christmas memory.

Following is an all-time, all-bowl team populated by players who competed for Tulsa, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in postseason games. Only bowl performances -- not regular-season achievements -- were taken into consideration.


Best brother act: Lee Roy and Dewey Selmon (with help from linebacker Jimbo Elrod) stonewalled Michigan in the 1976 Orange Bowl to help OU win a national title. The Wolverines managed 201 yards and 12 first downs, scoring their only TD on a 2-yard drive following a fumble recovery.

Best clutch play: How many defensive linemen can say they won a game? OSU's Shawn Mackey can. He made a game-saving tackle on two-point conversion, helping the Cowboys beat West Virginia 35-33 in the 1987 Sun Bowl.

Best repeat performance: OU's Reggie Kinlaw recorded a team-best 11 tackles in the 1978 Orange Bowl, then made 11 more tackles in the 1979 Orange Bowl.

Best quarterback's worst enemy: OSU's Phillip Dokes knocked BYU quarterback Gary Sheide out of the game in the first quarter of the 1974 Fiesta Bowl. Dokes was chosen the game's outstanding defensive player and, two years later, he pressured another BYU quarterback (Gifford Nielsen) into a four-interception performance at the 1976 Tangerine Bowl.

Best harassment: TU's Willie Townes, a Mississippi native, played like a man possessed in a 1964 Bluebonnet Bowl victory over Ole Miss. During one series, Townes batted down two passes and threw a runner for a loss. He was chosen the defensive player of the game.

Best smashmouth performance: In the 1945 Cotton Bowl, OSU held TCU to 105 yards and five first downs. Who gets the credit? A newspaper account said tackle Ralph Foster "shredded" the TCU interior.


Best momentum play: Myrle Greathouse intercepted a pass and returned it 70 yards to set up a Jack Mitchell 1-yard touchdown run for OU's first touchdown in a 14-6 victory over North Carolina in the 1949 Sugar Bowl. It was the Sooners' first bowl under Bud Wilkinson.

Best homecoming: OU's Torrance Marshall, a Miami, Fla., native, was the MVP of a 2001 Orange Bowl victory over Florida State. The Sooners didn't allow an offensive point (the Seminoles' only points came on a safety) and completed an unbeaten national championship season.

Best bad hair day: Brian Bosworth, perhaps the only player in state history to spawn a haircut craze, made 13 tackles in a national championship-clinching victory over Penn State in 1986 Orange Bowl.

Busiest day: Nelson Coleman matched Michael LeDet's TU-bowl record with 14 tackles in the 2005 Liberty Bowl and he intercepted a pass to snuff Fresno State's final drive.

Best redemption: OSU's defense was porous in 1988, but the Cowboys allowed only 204 yards in a season-ending Holiday Bowl conquest of Wyoming. Sim Drain, who collected two sacks, was chosen the bowl's defensive MVP.

Best lockdown: OU's Rocky Calmus was credited with 10 tackles in the 2002 Cotton Bowl, when Arkansas was held to 50 total yards.

Best pickpocket: OU's Clint Ingram made a leaping interception at the 10-yard line with 33 seconds left to preserve a 2005 Holiday Bowl upset of Oregon.


Most significant hit: OU cornerback Jerry Anderson clotheslined Rick Leach in the 1976 Orange Bowl, knocking the Michigan quarterback loopy. Leach hit only 2-of-15 passes for 33 yards and the Sooners won 14-6 to secure a national championship. Scott Hill intercepted two passes in that game.

Best timely interceptions: OU's Carl Dodd returned an interception 82 yards for a touchdown to seal a 20-6 victory over Maryland in the 1956 Orange Bowl, capping an unbeaten national championship season. TU's Anthony Germany intercepted a pass in the 2005 Liberty Bowl and it set up a game-winning touchdown drive. Germany was chosen the defensive player of the game. OU's Bob Stephenson returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown that sealed a 26-24 win over Tennessee in the 1968 Orange Bowl.

Busiest defensive back: OU's Bud Hebert, making only his second start of the season, collected an Orange Bowl-record three interceptions in a 1980 win over Florida State and broke up a potential touchdown pass by knocking the ball loose from a receiver near the goal line.

Best double duty: In the first OU bowl game in which players had to go both ways, Larry Grigg played defensive back and scored the only touchdown of the game on a 25-yard run, helping the Sooners to a 7-0 win over Maryland in the 1954 Orange Bowl. In a 1958 Orange Bowl victory over Duke, OU's David Baker returned an interception 94 yards for a score and caught a 29-yard touchdown pass.


Best bowl quarterback: Josh Heupel is the state's all-bowl quarterback for a couple of reasons. He threw for more yards in a bowl than any OU, OSU or TU player, hitting 39-of-53 passes for 390 yards at Mississippi's expense in the 1999 Independence Bowl and, one season later, he quarterbacked a national championship team in the Orange Bowl.

Best running quarterback: Wishbone quarterbacks Steve Davis and Jamelle Holieway directed OU to national championships, but Jack Mildren set a Sugar Bowl record in 1972 by rushing for three touchdowns. His 149 rushing yards in that game are still the most by a Sooner QB in a bowl.

Best Gundy quarterback: It's a dead heat. OSU's Mike Gundy hit 20 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns in the 1988 Holiday Bowl, leading his team to a bowl-record 698 yards of total offense. OU's Cale Gundy completed 25 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns in the 1991 Gator Bowl, leading his team to a bowl-record 618 yards of total offense.

Best first-half quarterback: OSU's Rusty Hilger hit 12-of-17 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns in the first half of the 1983 Bluebonnet Bowl. He did not return after suffering a concussion late in the second quarter and still was named the MVP, despite Ernest Anderson's 143-yard rushing performance.

Best TU bowl quarterbacks: Jerry Rhome threw or a TU bowl-record 252 yards and was the outstanding offensive player in a 1964 Bluebonnet Bowl victory over Mississippi. Paul Smith completed a TU bowl record 66.7 percent of his passes for 234 yards and a score and he also ran for the winning touchdown in the 2005 Liberty Bowl, earning MVP honors.

Honorable mention: Josh Fields, who passed for more bowl yards (617) than anyone in OSU history, every OU quarterback who won a national championship and former Sooner J.C. Watts, who was twice an Orange Bowl MVP.


Biggest scorer: Anyone understand the grading system for offensive linemen? No? Just give OU's Mark Hutson props for scoring on a 29-yard fumblerooski play in an Orange Bowl loss to Miami. According to media guide bios, OU centers Jerry Tubbs and John Rapacz played significant roles in helping the Sooners win the 1956 Orange Bowl and the 1947 Gator Bowl, respectively.


Best playmakers: In two career bowl games, OSU's Rashaun Woods caught 20 passes for 387 yards. In three career bowl games, OSU's Hart Lee Dykes caught 21 passes for 339 yards. Woods set school postseason records with 11 catches for 223 yards in the 2003 Cotton Bowl.

Best attention-getter: Mississippi chose to double-cover TU star receiver Howard Twilley in the 1964 Bluebonnet Bowl and that opened the door for Bob Daugherty and Brent Roberts to combine for 17 catches and 188 yards. Twilley finished with as many extra point kicks (two) as catches. He also commanded extra defenders in the 1965 Bluebonnet Bowl and still managed eight receptions on a muddy field in a loss to Tennessee.

Best second fiddle: Ben Hart reeled in a 95-yard pass and amassed an OU bowl-record 165 receiving yards in the 1965 Gator Bowl. He was the second-most productive receiver on the field that day because Florida State's Fred Biletnikoff caught 13 passes for 192 yards and four touchdowns.

Best peak-at-the-right-time performance: TU's Ashlan Davis never had a 100-yard receiving day until his last game, when he caught eight passes for a school bowl-record 128 yards in the 2005 Liberty Bowl.

Honorable mention: OU's Jarrail Jackson set a school bowl record with 10 catches in the 1999 Independence Bowl. As a freshman, OU's Tinker Owens caught five passes for 132 yards and a touchdown to earn MVP honors at the 1973 Sugar Bowl. OU's Johnny Barr caught eight passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the 1968 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.


Best clutch plays by tight ends: OSU's Barry Hanna scored his first touchdown of the 1984 season when he scooted 25 yards down the sideline for a game-winning score in a Gator Bowl victory over South Carolina. Hanna caught eight balls for 92 yards and helped OSU secure a top 10 national ranking. OU's Forrest Valora caught a gamewinning two-point conversion pass from J.C. Watts in the 1981 Orange Bowl, helping the Sooners cap a come-from-behind victory over Florida State.

Best home run play by a tight end: OU's Keith Jackson caught a 71-yard touchdown pass in an Orange Bowl victory over Penn State that clinched the 1985 national championship.


Best farewell performance: OSU's Barry Sanders ran 29 times for 222 yards and five touchdowns in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. He took off his pads long before the game was over and his next carry was in the NFL.

Best bowl workhorses: TU's Ron Jackson ran 46 times for 211 yards and a Freedom Bowl-record four touchdowns in a 1991 victory over San Diego State, outshining Aztec running back Marshall Faulk. Steve Owens carried an OU postseason record 36 times in the 1968 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.

Best out-of-shape running back: Marcus Dupree ran for an OU bowl record 239 yards against Arizona State in the 1983 Fiesta Bowl, but recurring leg problems forced him to the sideline in the third quarter.

Best all-purpose backs: Quentin Griffin holds the OU bowl record for career receptions (25). He scored the only bowl touchdown for the Sooners' 2000 national title team and he carried 30 times in a 2003 Rose Bowl victory. Tommy McDonald scored a touchdown in a 1956 Orange Bowl victory over Maryland, becoming the first OU player to score a TD in every game of a season, and he did it during a national title season.

Best snow plow: Thurman Thomas carried 33 times for 157 yards and four touchdowns on a snowy day in El Paso, helping OSU win a 1987 Sun Bowl game against West Virginia. Thomas is the Cowboys' career bowl rushing leader with 409 yards in three games and was twice a bowl MVP.

Best 1-2 punch that almost nobody saw: Only 7,000 fans at the first and only Bluegrass Bowl (staged in 1958 on a baseball diamond in Louisville, Ky.) watched OSU's Forrest Campbell and Duane Wood combine for 43 carries and 221 rushing yards. Honorable mention: OSU's Terry Miller ran for 173 yards and four touchdowns in the 1976 Tangerine Bowl. OU's Fred Sims, who ran for 179 yards during the 1981 regular season, rushed for 181 in a season-ending Sun Bowl victory over Houston. Leon Heath ran for more career bowl yards than any Sooner (Lydell Carr is second on the list) and uncorked the longest run (86 yards) in school postseason history in the 1950 Sugar Bowl. OSU's Tatum Bell cashed 13 carries into 160 yards in the 2002 Houston Bowl. OU's Prentice Gautt averaged 15.7 yards per carry (on six attempts) in the 1959 Orange Bowl.


Best punt by a future NFL quarterback: Gus Frerotte's 54-yard punt in the 1991 Freedom Bowl was mishandled by a San Diego State player and Billy Cole recovered to set up TU's clinching touchdown.

Most versatile punters: OSU's Bob Fenimore punted four times for a 53.2-yard average, rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another in the 1946 Sugar Bowl. In addition to handling punting chores, TU's Glenn Dobbs passed for 239 yards, including the game's only touchdown, in a 6-0 victory over Texas Tech in the 1942 Sun Bowl. Dobbs also made a game-clinching interception with 1:30 remaining.

Best player, sort of: Cort Moffitt averaged 45.0 yards per punt and was selected TU's player of game in a lopsided Humanitarian Bowl loss to Georgia Tech three seasons ago. The Hurricane managed 144 total yards.


Best footwork: Tim Lashar kicked an Orange Bowl-record four field goals in a 25-10 victory over Penn State, helping the Sooners claim the 1985 national championship. OSU's Luke Phillips had a four-field goal performance in the 2002 Houston Bowl.

Biggest leg: OU's Michael Keeling hit a 53-yard field goal in a 1981 Orange Bowl win over Florida State. The Sooners won the game by a point. He hit a 49-yarder the next season during a Sun Bowl victory over Houston.

Best stalemate kick: Bruce Derr booted a 42-yard field goal in the last minute, allowing OU to salvage a 24-24 tie with Alabama in the 1970 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.


Biggest returns: TU's Camp Wilson returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to cap a 26-12 win over Georgia Tech in the 1945 Orange Bowl. OU's Joe Wylie returned a punt 71 yards for a score in a 1972 Sugar Bowl victory.

Copyright (c) 2006, Tulsa World, Okla.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.
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