NORMAN — Bob Stoops didn't like his football team very much a week ago. So much so that he almost admitted it.
But today, Stoops likes his Sooners. Likes them very much.
The Sooners beat Oklahoma State 49-17 Saturday, and here's how they did it. By being tough. By being smart. By being physical. By being all the things they weren't in Lubbock, Texas, a week ago.
"Playing tough and physical is a choice,” said OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson.
The Sooners chose the championship side Saturday. Play like this, and the Sooners can win a fifth Big 12 title next Saturday in San Antonio, against Missouri.
Play like this, and the Sooners are as good as any team in America, even if the national championship hopes are gone.
OU's defense put the clamps on the Zac Robinson Gang, allowing OSU's offense only 10 virtual points — one touchdown came on a 1-yard drive — and 299 total yards.
The signature moment of this 102nd Bedlam was an epic goal-line stand, in which the Sooners stuffed OSU beginning with first-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
"Oh man, that's one of the best in history,” said Sooner defensive end Alonzo Dotson.
OU's offense pushed OSU's defensive front all over Owen Field, rushing for 307 yards, including a career high 202 from Allen Patrick.
"They just knocked us back and pummeled our guys,” said State coach Mike Gundy. His Cowboys this season have been decent against the run but burned to a crisp by the pass.
No matter. This game was about attitude, and you set attitude running the ball.
"Last week, we took some plays off,” Wilson said. "That wasn't our style of football.” At 2:45 p.m. last Monday, the earliest crack Wilson had at his players, "I addressed that in a very aggressive way.”
So the Sooners went back to rock 'em-sock 'em football in practice.