The 2019 regular season is officially in the books as the No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners (11-1, 8-1) battled the No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-4, 5-4) in the 114th edition of Bedlam and pulled away for a 34-16 win that wasn’t that close. With the victory, OU’s overall record in this in-state series grows even more lopsided, improving to 89-18-7.
Throughout the night, Oklahoma State’s Heisman Trophy candidate RB Chuba Hubbard was shut down by Alex Grinch’s defense for all intents and purposes. In total, the Canadian phenom finished with 104 rushing yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Speaking of Grinch, one can only hope the College Football Playoff committee is paying more attention to this revamped group than a certain contingent of talking heads employed by ESPN. In the last three second halves (at Baylor, TCU, at OSU), Oklahoma’s defense has held opposing offenses to just 10 points, including a mere field goal in Bedlam. Simply put, the adjustments the Sooners have made after halftime as of late have been nothing short of remarkable.
Now back to the topic of running backs, it was actually Oklahoma’s starter who stole the show. Redshirt sophomore Kennedy Brooks was practically an unstoppable force all night long, making OSU’s improved defense respect OU’s rushing game with every tote. On the night, Brooks racked up 160 yards and a TD on 22 attempts.
Perhaps the wildest play call of the game came at the start of the second quarter. CeeDee Lamb, Nick Basquine and Jalen Hurts ran this ‘Sooner Special’ to perfection, and Lincoln Riley once again proved he’s that dude.
Senior CB Parnell Motley almost single-handedly stymied Oklahoma State’s offense in the first half. With Oklahoma leading the Cowboys, 10-7, the Sooners’ veteran DB stripped OSU’s Braydon Johnson and was then able to recover the fumble he forced.
Motley had another chance to create a takeaway when he intercepted a lame duck of a pass from Dru Brown, but after a lengthy review, the Big 12 replay officials overturned the call on the field. It was a highly questionable (yet unsurprising) ruling that allowed Oklahoma State to continue driving, and ultimately led to a Cowboys field goal. Fortunately, football karma is real and Motley nabbed another Brown ball late in the fourth to effectively end the Cowboys’ night offensively.
The penalty situation was once again lopsided heavily in favor of Oklahoma’s opponent. Saturday night’s Big 12 crew flagged the Sooners nine times for 95 yards compared to three flags for 25 yards against the Cowboys. Much of it appears to be the right calls, but it’s been more than a little puzzling why it hasn’t come close to evening out.
Place kicker Gabe Brkic continues to be an unsung hero since being named the Sooners’ starter on field goal duty. Against Oklahoma State, the redshirt freshman knocked a 42-yard and 27-yard kick through the uprights in the first and second quarter, respectively. After Saturday he remains perfect on the season, improving to 14 makes on 14 attempts.
Jalen Hurts didn’t light up the box score like he has in the past, but in terms of taking care of the ball, he was as sound as they come for the first time in over a month. The senior QB’s regular season curtain call concluded with 13 of 16 passing for 163 yards and a touchdown. He also amassed 61 rushing yards and another score on 16 carries in addition to his four-yard receiving TD.
Next, Oklahoma heads to Arlington on Saturday, Dec. 7 to rematch the Baylor Bears (11-1, 8-1) for the 2019 Big 12 Championship. The Sooners are looking to win their fifth consecutive conference crown, and their 13th overall. The title game is set to kick off at 11 a.m. CT on ABC.
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