Oklahoma Sooners football
1 January 1972
| Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States|
Chris Schenkel, Bud Wilkinson
1946 Sugar Bowl, 1995 Sugar Bowl (January), 1982 Tangerine Bowl, 2014 Russell Athletic B, 2017 Sugar Bowl
The 1972 Sugar Bowl was a college football bowl played on January 1, 1972 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. The game featured the Auburn Tigers of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Oklahoma Sooners of the Big Eight Conference. This was the last Sugar Bowl played in January until 1977.
1972 Sugar Bowl (January) Wikipedia
Both teams were ranked in the top five in the polls, as this game was a tale of duality. Both teams averaged over 300 yards on the season, though Oklahoma's record setting 566 yards a game was more notable than Auburn's 393. Both teams started the season 9–0, with both teams losing late in the season to their respective arch-rivals, who were likewise undefeated and untied. Auburn lost to Alabama, and Oklahoma lost to Nebraska, the losses costing each team a conference title. Alabama and Nebraska ended up playing in the 1972 Orange Bowl for the national championship, essentially making this a runner-up game. Auburn was playing in their first Sugar Bowl game while Oklahoma was playing their 4th and first since 1951.
While he did not throw many passes (4), quarterback Jack Mildren used his legs to help win the game and the MVP award, running 30 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns. Leon Crosswhite helped start the scoring with a touchdown run on OU's first drive. Mildren scored three straight touchdown runs to make it 25–0 by the second quarter and after a punt return touchdown by Joe Wylie, it was 31–0, which ended up being the lead at halftime. Unger scored two rushing touchdowns in the second half to narrow the lead to 34–14, but Priutt made it 40–14 on his touchdown run as Auburn added a meaningless Pat Sullivan touchdown pass to make the final score 40–22. Oklahoma had more yards, fewer turnovers (2 to 3), and more first downs. Oklahoma won their first Sugar Bowl since 1950.
The Sooners would return in December to the Sugar Bowl once again and win, becoming the only school ever to win the same bowl game twice in the same calendar year. Auburn would wait 12 years for their next Sugar Bowl, winning that one.