On November 4th, 2017, the fifth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners met the 11th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in a Bedlam classic. This game had a different feel from the start because it was played in early November rather than early December/late November as it had been in recent years. Despite the unique timing of the game, it was Bedlam as usual as soon as the game kicked off. Both offenses looked dominant in the first half as the game ended up tied 38-38 at the midway point.
Although Baker Mayfield started out sloppy with an uncharacteristic interception on the first series of the game, he turned things around en route to three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown to close out the first half. On the other side, Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph was his characteristically sharp self, throwing for three first half touchdowns of his own. I am sure these gaudy offensive numbers led to locker room tirades by both Oklahoma Mike Stoops and Glenn Spencer. While we Sooner fans are still dealing with the ineptitude of Mike Stoops, Spencer was fired by Oklahoma State following the 2017 season (I'm sure 2017 Bedlam played a role).
In the second half, both offenses kept humming after a few early stalls, but the Sooner defense even showed some signs of life with some young talent inserted into the lineup. Freshman corners Tre Norwood and Tre Brown came into the game to replace veterans Jordan Thomas and Parnell Motley after they got torched by the Oklahoma State receivers in the first half. Norwood and Brown were far from flawless but held their own to give the Sooner defense a spark.
On the offensive side of the ball, the trio of Baker Mayfield, Rodney Anderson, and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown proved lethal. Mayfield threw for a staggering 598 yards on the day, Anderson ran for 111 yards, and Hollywood had a career day with nine catches for 265 yards (school record) and two touchdowns. My favorite play of the season was when Brown went deep for 77 yards to put the Sooners ahead 55-45, leading to Gus Johnson making one of the best calls of the season, yelling “Hollywood” all the way to the endzone.
In the end, Oklahoma was able to close out Bedlam like they usually do, with a win. Following Rudolph’s fourth-down overthrow, OU ended up winning an emotional roller-coaster of a game with a walk-off touchdown by running back Trey Sermon. Here’s the great Toby Rowland’s call of that one:
This game was interesting not only because of the offensive showcase, but also because Sooner fans were introduced to some players that could be key pieces in the 2018 campaign. Tre Norwood will likely be the starting corner opposite Parnell Motley, Marquise Brown will most certainly be a go-to receiver, and the Rodney Anderson/Trey Sermon could arguably be the best running back duo in college football. Bedlam 2017 was also the final nail in the coffin for cornerback Jordan Thomas, who went from being a borderline first round pick in the NFL Draft to playing in the CFL. For the sake of my own blood pressure, I hope Bedlam 2018 is a little more tame, but we will have to wait until November 10, 2018 to find out.