That. Was. Bedlam.
The Oklahoma Sooners narrowly escaped with the 48-47 victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys in another thrilling edition of the Sooner State Series. This game had it all: big plays, lead changes, questionable officiating, and gutsy calls. In the end, the Crimson & Cream prevailed for the 88th time in 113 tries.
Kyler Murray stuffed the stat sheet as per usual, going 21-29 with 349 passing yards and a score, while adding 66 yards on 14 carries. The Sooners also rushed for 353 yards, which is the fourth consecutive game Oklahoma has eclipsed the 300-yards rushing threshold.
In the first half, it was about as back and forth as back and forth football gets. On Oklahoma’s first play of the game, Trey Sermon took the handoff 60 yards down the Cowboys’ sideline, putting the Sooners in the red zone right away. The Preacherman found the promised land a few plays later, getting OU on the board first, 7-0.
The real fireworks were just beginning, as Oklahoma State’s Taylor Cornelius connected with Tylan Wallace for a bomb down the field, then Justice Hill punched it in to tie the game up at 7.
Murray and the Oklahoma offense had an answer as they marched right down the field once again. This time Kennedy Brooks found pay dirt, effectively re-taking the lead for the Sooners, 14-7.
The Cowboys once again proved their mettle when they returned to the field. Cornelius found Tyron Johnson on a contested pass for a 31-yard TD catch. The game would be tied at 14 going into the second quarter.
The next drive would be Oklahoma’s longest in both plays (13) and time of possession in the first half (6:53), but it wouldn’t be enough to find the end zone for a third straight time. Still, Austin Seibert would put OU back up 17-14 with a 21-yard field goal.
This latest Sooner lead would be short short-lived, because 33 seconds later Cornelius found Wallace for a 49-yard shot right over the entire defense. With the score, OSU took its first lead of the game, 21-17.
Oklahoma would put together its best stretch of the game in the second, scoring on a 45-yard run from Brooks, a 36-yard Seibert field, and a 51-yard beauty from Murray to Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown. By the end of this stretch, the Sooners would lead 34-21 near the half.
MURRAY ➡️ HOLLYWOOD ➡️ THE HOUSE. pic.twitter.com/HXGX5w4Ach— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) November 10, 2018
Unfortunately, there was too much time left on the clock, and Oklahoma State would take advantage of the time and march down the field in under a minute, capping the drive off with a 10-yard touchdown run from Chuba Hubbard. OU would take the 34-28 lead into halftime.
In the third, the Sooners’ offense struggled to get going out of the gate, and the defense continued to give up chunk plays. The Cowboys easily moved the chains, eventually regaining the lead at 35-34.
It wasn’t until the very end of the third that the Oklahoma offense woke up again. A nifty move from Hollywood Brown to make two defenders miss followed by a deep shot to No. 5 once again put the Sooners in scoring position. Then as the clock ran out, Brooks took the handoff for five yards and the TD.
The scoring wasn’t over there, as OSU once again moved the ball at will with little resistance. A 10-play, 75-yard drive culminated with another Hubbard score, but the subsequent PAT was missed, leaving the game tied at 41.
Sooner Magic, folks.
Murray and the OU offense appeared to be clicking again on the next possession, then the officials stepped in. An apparently blatant face mask wasn’t called on an OSU defender, then right tackle Cody Ford was called for a phantom holding penalty that negated a Brooks run that would have put the Sooners near the 10. A couple negative plays later and Oklahoma was forced to punt back to Oklahoma State.
As OSU was driving for what would have been a go-ahead score, the Sooner defense finally rose up and did something they haven’t done much this season: force a turnover. Oklahoma’s offense made the Cowboys pay for the fumble by leaning on the offensive line and going right down the field. Sermon came in on the goal line situation and left no doubt, pushing the Sooners ahead 48-41.
Things became dicey when Oklahoma State took the field again. Cornelius battled valiantly, routinely extending drives by converting third downs. With under two minutes to go, the Cowboys’ QB found star receiver Wallace to convert the 4th down and get within a point of tying the game. Mike Gundy elected to go for two and the lead instead of the extra point, but Tre Brown had other plans.
Up next is Senior Day for the Oklahoma Sooners (9-1, 6-1). The Kansas Jayhawks (3-7, 1-6) find themselves at the bottom of the Big 12 once again after falling to K-State. Barring any funny business, this game should serve as a solid tune-up for Lincoln Riley and crew ahead of the Black Friday showdown in Morgantown.
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