Oklahoma State came into Norman riding a seven game winning streak. After a tight first half, the Sooners finally pulled away to show why they’re the best team in the Big 12. Here’s how it happened.
They started things off tight with four punts before Oklahoma State finally managed to get on board with a field goal. The Sooners were getting beaten badly in the run game and were having trouble moving the ball in general. After three drives that netted Oklahoma a total of 21 yards, the Sooners finally remembered they had two Heisman candidates in Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook. The duo combined on a long pass near the sideline that Westbrook extended with a juke and took to the house for a 69 yard touchdown. With that touchdown, Westbrook set the single season Sooner record for receiving touchdowns in a season (16).
Oklahoma forced a punt, then Dimitri Flowers got himself open for a 67 yard reception that got Oklahoma into field goal range. They took advantage and extend their lead to 10-3. The Sooners had opportunities for touchdowns, but a penalty and a drop kept them to a field goal.
Oklahoma State struck next, cutting through the Sooners defense for a touchdown. The Cowboys struck again on their next drive and regained the lead 17-10. Oklahoma also lost Dede Westbrook after what appears to be a concussion, and the offense tinkered on the edge of a complete breakdown. The Sooners looked like they might run the clock out to end the first half, but Samaje Perine broke off a good run, and OU saw a chance to score. After a long catch by Jeffrey Mead, Geno Lewis made a great reception up the middle for a ten yard touchdown reception. OSU ran the clock out from their, neglecting to go for a Hail Mary play.
After halftime, the Sooners found their legs. Specifically, they found Samaje Perine’s legs; the junior took the first snap from scrimmage 66 yards. A few plays later, Perine broke through for a touchdown from the one yard line. The Sooners took a 24-17 lead that they would never surrender.
The Sooner defense held tough and forced a three-and-out, and the offense responded with a well-rounded thirteen play, 80-yard drive for another touchdown, this one completed with a touchdown pass to Joe Mixon.
Oklahoma State managed a field goal in response, then recovered a fumble before driving down to try to score again. This field goal was wide-left, though, and the Sooners took back over up 31-20. That score wouldn’t last long, however, as Joe Mixon took the next play for a 79-yard touchdown run, the longest of his career.
After a long kickoff return that could have put Oklahoma State back in the game, the Sooner defense stepped up once again. They forced a turnover on downs that gave OU the ball back with 8:28 left to play. Oklahoma finished the game strong with a back-breaking drive that took the clock to zero. The drive would have ended sooner, but Perine had mercy on the Cowboys and kneeled on the two-yard-line when he could have easily scored. It might have been meant as a nice gesture, but it also shows a truth about the gap in the Big 12: the Sooners are good enough to leave points on the board and still win comfortably. They could have scored another touchdown to be flashy, but when you’re used to winning, you know how to do it with class. The Sooners will have to settle for an 18-point win over their in-state rivals.
After a slow start, Perine finished with 239 yards on 37 carries and a touchdown. Mixon added 99 more yards, as well as his touchdown. Mayfield was great once again, going 13/19 with 288 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. The Sooners will carry their nine-game winning streak into their bowl game. For now, it’s hard not to be happy about a good Bedlam win. Oh yeah, and also that 10th Big 12 Championship.