College Football

Oklahoma State Survives Bedlam, Downs Oklahoma 37-33

Oklahoma State
(Kathleen Batten / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Bedlam did not disappoint. In a game that had everything, Oklahoma State managed to beat rival Oklahoma to keep their playoff hopes alive. Bedlam is always one of the most intense rivalries in the country. But with both teams sitting at 10-1 coming in, everything was on the line this time around. Both teams created an electric atmosphere in Stillwater, making this one of the more exciting games of the year.

How it Happened

Both teams took a little while to settle into the raucous environment as they traded punts to start the game. However, the game would pick up in a hurry. Following the slow start, Oklahoma State took their second drive of the game 80 yards in just 1:29, capped by a 30-yard touchdown pass from Spencer Sanders to Tay Martin. The Sooners wasted no time answering. Caleb Williams took his offense 75 yards in just five plays, finding Brian Darby in the end zone to tie the game up at 7. Martin would find pay dirt again for the Cowboys with a 4-yard touchdown run, but Willams answered yet again with 29-yard TD pass to tie it right back up.

The already frenetic pace would only increase heading into the second quarter. After Oklahoma tied things at 14 a piece, Brennan Presley returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for the Cowboys. The kickoff return was the fifth touchdown scored in 13 minutes, and just like that, it was 21-14 Oklahoma State. The two teams would trade field goals before the first costly mistake of the game. With just two minutes left in the half, a Spencer Sanders pass would be intercepted by Oklahoma’s Woodi Washington, setting up the Sooners with a short field. Caleb Williams wasted no time capitalizing on the mistake, throwing his third touchdown pass to make it 24-24 headed into halftime.

Second Half

Things proceeded to get a little sloppy coming out of the locker room. Following an Oklahoma punt, Cowboy running back Dominic Richardson fumbled the ball inside his own 10. The ball ricocheted into the Oklahoma State end zone, where an offensive lineman managed to fall on top of it, resulting in a safety. Despite forcing an OU punt, Oklahoma State returner Brennan Presley fumbled the return, and the Sooners recovered for a touchdown. Oklahoma now had a 33-24 lead early in the third.

After a missed Oklahoma State field goal and a turnover by each team, the Cowboys found an opening to get back in the game. Sanders, who had struggled running the offense after the first quarter, took a simple option play 37-yards for a touchdown. Suddenly, the Sooners lead was down to 33-31. The Oklahoma defense would step up, forcing a Cowboy punt, but they would suffer a special teams disaster of their own. Returner Eric Gray muffed the punt, and Oklahoma State fell on the loose ball at the OU 5 yard line.

The opening was just what the Cowboys needed, and they subsequently punched in the go-ahead score to take a 37-33 lead. Despite all the scoring, the rest of the game turned into a defensive battle. Neither team could move the ball for the remainming nine minutes of the game. A final sack of Caleb Williams on 4th-and-10 situation would seal an Oklahoma State win, and an 11-1 record for the Cowboys heading into the Big 12 title game.

What is Next for Both Teams?

Oklahoma State finds themselves in the best position position heading into the conference title game. With only one loss and a win vs Oklahoma under their belt, the Cowboys now have the chance to knock off another top team when they play Baylor in Dallas. With those two wins and a conference title under their belt, Oklahoma state has a legitimate chance to leap over Notre Dame and snag a spot in the College Football Playoff.

As Oklahoma, their fate is not as certain. The Sooners have a chance at the Sugar Bowl if Oklahoma State wins the conference, but even then, it is unclear whether they would get the nod over Baylor. With a very crowded top 15 picture, it is possible OU could miss out on a New Years Six Bowl altogether, which would be a disappointing way to end a strong season in Norman.

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