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Oklahoma Memories

The 1989 OSU Football Season


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"...here's Gundy, giving to Sanders, over the right side, gets a block...he's at five, he's at one, he's the one, touchdown Cowboys!"

That was Bob Barry who from 1973 to 1991 was the radio play-by-play voice of the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

From the Oklahoma History Center, this is Oklahoma Memories. I'm Michael Dean.

Oklahoma State's 1989 season was very special for a number of reasons. During August two-a-days, no one would have suspected what would lie ahead for the Cowboy football team that year.

The season began at home with Miami of Ohio visiting Lewis Field and leaving after a 50-to-20 loss. That win for the cowboys was enough to propel the team into the AP Top Twenty at number 18. The Pokes would remain in the top twenty the rest of the season.
The next week, September 24th, Texas A&M came to Stillwater; they were handed a 52-15 loss. The Cowboys moved up to number 13 in the AP poll. October the 1st, Tulsa was the next victim with the Cowboys whipping the Golden Hurricane 56 to 35. October 8th the Cowboys took to the road, opening Big 8 play at Colorado. They left Boulder with a 41-21 victory but remained number 13 in the AP. Through those four games the statistics were amazing. Tailback Barry Sanders had 178 yards against Miami, 157 against A&M, an astounding 304 against Tulsa, and a 174 against Colorado. But the offense was balanced. Quarterback Mike Gundy completed passes to Hart Lee Dykes for 175 yards against Miami, 122 against Texas A&M.

That season the Cowboys suffered two losses. The first on the road in Lincoln as Nebraska won 63-42. The other loss was a close game at home in Lewis Field against Oklahoma...the final score in that one, 31-28. Going into that game the Cowboys had moved up to number 12 in the AP while the Oklahoma Sooners were ranked number 8.

The Cowboys cruised through the rest of the Big 8 beating Missouri for homecoming 49 to 21; at Kansas State 45-27; at home against Kansas 63-24; and closing out conference play in Ames against Iowa State beating the cyclones 49 to 28.

Following that game was a most unusual regular season finale, playing Texas Tech in the Coca Cola Bowl in Tokyo. A close game with Oklahoma State beating the Red Raiders 45-42, and Barry Sanders becoming the all-time NCAA rushing champion.

The season came to an end in the holiday bowl against another Cowboy team, the Cowboys from Wyoming; Oklahoma State beat them, 62-14. Barry Sanders lead the way.

"...Oklahoma State first down...ten from their own 33, they started the first possession from this half in their own 20. Two wide receivers to the left and one to the right, Sanders at tailback...From the 33, Gundy gives the ball to Barry Sanders, up the middle to the 35...he's at the 40...he's at the 45...he's at the 50, 45, 40, 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5...Touchdown Cowboys of Oklahoma State!"

It was another balanced attack with Sanders running for 222 yards and five touchdowns, while Gundy passing for 315 yards and two more touchdowns.

The Cowboys on that team set records that still stand. Barry Sanders, the most rushing touchdowns for a season, 37; Mike Gundy fifth on the single-season passing touchdown list with 19. Individual career passing yards, Gundy number one; career receiving yards, Hart Lee Dykes number two; rushing yards for a career, Barry Sanders number 5 on the all-time list; career total offense, Mike Gundy, number one; career scoring, Barry Sanders, number one; career touchdown passes, Mike Gundy, number two; career rushing touchdowns, Barry Sanders, number one.

Bob Barry is now in his fiftieth consecutive year of calling play-by-play for Oklahoma State, OU and one year at the University of Tulsa.

You can learn more about college athletics in Oklahoma by visiting the Oklahoma History Center, NE 23rd Street just east of the state capitol in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Memories is a production of the Oklahoma History Center, dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing our state's past. I'm Michael Dean.