In the 115th edition of Bedlam, the No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners made an emphatic statement against the No. 14 Oklahoma State Cowboys by way of a 41-13 victory. With the win, OU improves to 6-2 on the season (5-2 in Big 12 play) and climbs into second place in the conference standings.
It didn’t take long for the Sooners to get started on Saturday night. Spencer Rattler and the Oklahoma offense seized the game’s opening possession and marched right down the field for a touchdown. After that, OU’s defense forced the Cowboys into a three-and-out. TD, stop, repeat.
Speaking of Rattler, he clearly saved the best performance of his young collegiate career for Bedlam. Beyond the numbers, it was his veteran-like poise that stood out in this contest. Considering the defense he faced was a legitimate force to be reckoned with, his play was nothing short of spectacular. For the night, the redshirt freshman completed 17 of 24 passes for 301 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also added 14 yards and another score on the ground. Simply put, he was sensational.
For Oklahoma State, redshirt sophomore Spencer Sanders had a much different night than his talented QB counterpart. After turning the ball over early and later going down with an injury in the first half, he was sidelined by the staff until the game reached the fourth quarter. Backup true freshman QB Shane Illingworth wasn’t able to generate much more offense for the Cowboys, and full credit goes to OU’s D-line for taking advantage of a vulnerable OSU O-line by applying constant pressure in the backfield from start to finish.
I don’t believe it’s too much of a stretch to say that senior RB Rhamondre Stevenson has a case for being considered the best back in the Big 12 right now (other than perhaps Breece Hall). If it wasn’t for him missing the first five games of the season, he could very easily be at or near the top of the conference in every rushing stat category. Against, OSU, he rumbled to 141 yards on 26 carries while adding 54 receiving yards on three catches.
Kirk Herbstreit on Rhamondre Stevenson as he breaks another big run.— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) November 22, 2020
"He has acceleration for 245 pounds. You wouldn't expect that."
"You think he's a power back, but you give him a little bit of room he's gonna get up field in a hurry."#OUDNA | #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/GQ56XIRBlf
There were a lot fewer fireworks in the second half thanks to a scoreless third quarter, but in the final fifteen, Oklahoma exerted its will over Oklahoma State with a dominant running game and key conversions from Rattler. That being said, the real story down the stretch was the play of the Sooners’ defense. Not only did OU shut out the Cowboys over the last 30-plus minutes, OSU’s offense never really posed much of a threat. In the end, ‘Speed D’ held the opposition to just three of 14 on third down, 78 yards rushing and 246 yards overall.
As was alluded to previously, with Kansas State losing to Iowa State earlier in the day, OU now controls its own destiny to reach the Big 12 Championship Game. Only two more tests stand in the way between this team and the opportunity to play for a sixth consecutive conference title. Given the Sooners’ 0-2 start, it’s easily one of the more significant in-season turnarounds in quite some time.
Up next, Oklahoma hits the country road to battle West Virginia (5-3, 4-3) in Morgantown on Nov. 28. The Sooners have won their last eight meetings with the Mountaineers dating back to 2012, including a 52-14 blowout in Norman last season. Official kick-off time and TV information has yet to be determined.
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