It was Pruitt's third reception, but the OU passing attack—75 yards—was not nearly enough to take the pressure off the running game. Pruitt could manage only 53 yards on the ground, which was creditable considering how rough the going was, and the OU total offense was only 238 yards, 296 fewer than its average going into the game.
One thing that hampered the Sooners was the slickness of the AstroTurf, which had been rained on that morning. Every time you looked up, Pruitt or Wylie was slipping down. Davis sat down suddenly a couple of times himself, but in general the Buffaloes were far more surefooted—no doubt because they were wearing a new 47-cleat shoe, developed especially for wet carpeting. Oklahoma had arrived with special steel-tip cleats which were also supposed to suit the conditions, but after slipping and sliding too much in pregame warmups they went back to their dry-turf shoes, and slipped and slid too much on them during the game.
Which made everybody around Boulder feel wonderful. Maybe it wasn't the shoes that kept the Colorado people from slipping; maybe they were so high they didn't touch the turf much. They had been aroused by Mildren's reported remark that Colorado was a choke-up team, and by the nefarious activities of O'Shaughnessy, the spy. Colorado Head Coach Eddie Crowder, an All-America quarterback at OU in 1952, refused to shake the hand of Oklahoma's Chuck Fairbanks before the game, and, when the Buffaloes huddled inspirationally before the opening kickoff, Crowder took a running leap into the midst of them, whereupon coach and players all jumped up and down and almost couldn't stand how worked up they were. Colorado's student population, which tends to look more like besiegers of the 1968 Democratic Convention than rooters for any imaginable college eleven, joined right into the spirit of the occasion, leaping and rah-rahing in the stands as though it were the most relevant thing in the world.
So much for the intelligence career of Steve O'Shaughnessy. He is, or at least was at last notice, a law student at Colorado—and was a 1971 Oklahoma cornerback. During the week O'Shaughnessy's roommate, who could live with the secret no longer, went to the Colorado athletic department and told it that O'Shaughnessy had been scouting the Buffs and reporting nightly to Fairbanks. O'Shaughnessy was apprehended, the case was made public and the reaction around Boulder amounted to roughly three times the national outrage over the Watergate case.
"The information that O'Shaughnessy supplied was of a general nature," Fairbanks maintained after the game. "You know, how does CU look? What's their spirit like?" The presumable answer: "High."
"This spy thing proves the questionable worth of spying on the opposition," said Crowder. "The incident did much more for us than it did for them."
So why hasn't it worked that way for McGovern? How are you going to figure it?