On a cool Saturday night, the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners were bested the No. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-1, 8-1) in Bedlam, 37-33. With the loss, OU falls to 10-2 on the season, finishes 7-2 in conference play and misses out on a chance to rematch OSU in the 2021 Big 12 Championship Game.
Despite a relatively strong overall performance from the Oklahoma State defense, Caleb Williams had himself a solid showing in front of an ultra-hostile environment. On the night, the true freshman dual threat accounted for 252 passing yards and three touchdowns on 20 of 39 attempts. He also added 36 rushing yards on 19 carries.
In the first half, things looked like they were shaping up into another classic Bedlam shootout, with OSU and OU trading scores back and forth. The Cowboys started things off with a 30-yard touchdown connection between Spencer Sanders and Tay Martin. Then the Sooners answered with a TD of their own from Williams to Brian Darby. Martin would score again before ‘Superman’ found Austin Stogner for a beautiful 29-yard reception in the end zone.
At 14 all in the second quarter, OSU quickly responded with a 100-yard kickoff return. After the teams traded field goals, Woodi Washington showed why he’s one of Oklahoma’s top defensive backs with two picks on the night, including one right before the break to set up the offense. Soon thereafter, Williams dropped a beauty of a pass to Brayden Willis to tie up the game going into the half.
The third quarter couldn’t have started much better for the Crimson & Cream. A Michael Turk punt pinned Oklahoma State near their own goal line, then Perrion Winfrey forced a fumble that was recovered for a safety. Then when it seemed like OU was about to give the ball right back on another punt, the Cowboys return man muffed the catch that would be picked up in the end zone by Justin Broiles for a special teams score.
Going into the fourth quarter, Oklahoma held a nine-point lead and all the momentum, but Sanders put his team on his back as he scampered for a 37-yard touchdown run. As another OU offensive possession was squandered immediately afterward, the Cowboys capitalized once again to retake the lead behind a Jaylen Warren run. Down the stretch, there were several chances for Lincoln Riley’s group to overcome the challenge of taking down the Pokes inside Boone Pickens Stadium, but ultimately, too many mistakes were made on offense, defense and special teams to get the job done.
Perhaps the greatest takeaway for most OU fans is the incredible lack of calls that would normally seem blatantly obvious to even the most casual of spectators. There were a multitude that drastically affected the game, including a would-be drive extending personal foul penalty that was eventually picked up inexplicably and this uncalled defensive pass interference that would have set the Sooners up with a first and goal opportunity on the final meaningful possession of the game. Every fanbase cries about the officiating in a loss, but the timing and selection of when to throw a flag in this contest seemed to be more than a little convenient if not peculiar.
Next, Oklahoma will stay home during conference championship weekend for the first time in years as it awaits its bowl destination. It’s not a position the Sooners thought they’d be in coming into the month of November, but the season-long inconsistency issues on both sides of the ball directly led to both losses that leave OU in an unfamiliar spot this postseason.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Lincoln Riley is not going to LSU, so that’s that.
Lincoln Riley: "I'm not gonna be the next coach at LSU. Next question."#Sooners— John E. Hoover (@johnehoover) November 28, 2021
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