MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

August 4, 2009

OU, Army agree on series

NORMAN, (AP) — Credit the Heisman Trophy for helping to reunite two of the football programs who’ve taken home more of the awards than almost anyone else.

Oklahoma and Army announced Tuesday that they will play a two-game football series with games in Norman on Sept. 22, 2018, and at West Point, N.Y., on Sept. 26, 2020. The game here will be the first meeting between the tradition-rich programs since 1961.

Sooners athletic director Joe Castiglione said discussions about the series popped up when he and his Army counterpart, Kevin Anderson, were seated together at the Heisman ceremony last December. Castiglione was there accompanying quarterback Sam Bradford, who won the trophy, while Anderson was with an Army contingent marking the 50th anniversary of Pete Dawkins’ Heisman win.

“We’re always looking for very interesting matchups and I think if you follow what we’ve done over time, we’ve really tried to uphold certain traditions of what makes college football special,” Castiglione said.

“While that series may not strike fear right now in a lot of people’s minds, I’m so grateful for the willingness and the working relationship that we have with the U.S. Military Academy to schedule a series like that.”

Only Ohio State, Notre Dame and Southern Cal — with seven apiece — have more Heisman Trophies than Oklahoma (5) and Army (3).

In the first game between the two programs, it was Heisman winner Glenn Davis who helped Army defeat Oklahoma 21-7 at West Point in 1946. Bud Wilkinson’s Sooners won the other two matchups, 28-20 in Norman in 1959 and 14-8 in 1961 at Yankee Stadium.

Castiglione said the new series made sense as a rare chance for Oklahoma to play in the Northeast and because there’s “a great affinity for military in our state.” The Sooners will host Air Force next season in the completion of a home-and-home series begun in 2001. Castiglione said he “would love” to set up a series with Navy.

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