Oklahoma State tops Alabama in OT in Independence Bowl

Friday, December 29, 2006

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) -- Oklahoma State tried to give away the Independence Bowl to Alabama. Dantrell Savage and Jason Ricks took it back for the Cowboys.

Ricks kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8.9 seconds remaining to give Oklahoma State a 34-31 victory over Alabama on Thursday night.

Savage took a screen pass from Bobby Reid for 26 yards on third-and-9 to the Alabama 15, and ran for 7 yards on the next play to set up Ricks.

Alabama tried to ice Ricks with three timeouts, but the sophomore sent the kick through the uprights and he snatched off his helmet and ran to the sidelines with it extended over his head.

The kick saved the Cowboys (7-6) from a fourth-quarter collapse and gave them both a winning record and their first bowl victory since 2002. Oklahoma State blew a 14-point lead, handing the Crimson Tide two touchdowns off turnovers.

Alabama (6-7) was playing in its NCAA-record 54th bowl game and looking for its 31st bowl victory -- another NCAA record -- but for much of the night the Crimson Tide's vaunted postseason history seemed a distant memory. Bama played flat until late in the fourth quarter.

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