Alabama vs.Oklahoma State

  Date: 12/28/2006  
  Score: 31-34  
  Alabama vs. Oklahoma State

SHREVEPORT, La. – Ending the 2006 season in the PetroSun Independence Bowl, Alabama scored two late touchdowns to erase a 14-point deficit, but a 27-yard field goal by Oklahoma State’s Jason Ricks with 13 seconds left pinned a 34-31 loss on Bama at Independence Stadium.

Alabama trailed at halftime, 24-14, after OSU capitalized on an early Alabama fumble to grab an early 7-0 lead when Dantrell Savage scored from one yard out. Alabama responded with a 72-yard scoring drive with John Parker Wilson connecting with Matt Caddell on a slant pattern to tie the score. Wilson finished the day 18-of-33 passing for 168 yards and a touchdown.

DJ Hall extended his school record for single-season receiving yards with five catches for 42 yards, giving him 1,056 yards on the season. Kenneth Darby had a careerhigh four catches for 30 yards and Caddell caught three for 33 yards and a touchdown.

After OSU extended its lead to 17-7 in the second period, Alabama answered with an 80-yard drive ended by a one-yard run by Tim Castille to pull the score to 17-14 before OSU led by 10 at the half, 24-14.

After the Tide opened the third quarter with a 24-yard field goal from Jamie Christensen to pull the score to 24-17, OSU extended its lead to 31-17.

Alabama’s comeback came quickly. Javier Arenas returned a punt 86 yards for a score to pull the Tide within seven, 31-24, with 10:50 remaining. The touchdown was the longest punt return in Independence Bowl history. On the ensuing kickoff, Chris Rogers forced a fumble and recovered it on the OSU 21-yard line. Five plays later, Wilson tossed a screen pass (ruled a lateral) to right tackle Andre Smith, who carried the ball two yards into the end zone, tying the score 31-31 with 8:41 remaining.

After trading possessions, the OSU offense strung together a 10-play, 74-yard drive to the Alabama 10 with 13 seconds remaining, and Ricks’ 27-yard field goal split the uprights for the 34-31 verdict.