NORMAN — Growing up, Tress Way dreamed of being on the other sideline of Bedlam.
Cheering the orange and black, Way hoped one day to earn a football scholarship to Oklahoma State. Yet despite developing into an all-state punter at Tulsa Union High School his senior year, a scholarship offer never came.
Instead, the Cowboys offered Way's good friend and punting camp rival, Quinn Sharp.
"I was real disappointed at the time," Way recalled. "But then a few weeks later, coach (Bob) Stoops offered.
"And my dad told me, 'Now you just get to beat them for the next four years.'"
Saturday at Owen Field, Way did all he could to aid in a beat-down of his former favorite team, as Oklahoma rolled past the No. 12-ranked Cowboys, 27-0.
Although the OU defense obliterated OSU's shell of an offense, Way turned out to be the most valuable Sooner of the day.
By averaging a school-record 58.8 yards on his six punts, not only did Way alter the field position in OU's favor early on when both offenses were stagnant, but he took OSU's best chance of scoring — punt returner Perrish Cox — out of the game.
Cox, who returned a punt for a touchdown last week against Colorado, was only able to field two punts for a total of six yards against Way.
But Way did more than just limit Cox's chances.
Case in point: With OU facing fourth down on its own 19-yard line in the first quarter and OSU coming off a decent offensive possession, the momentum was beginning to shift the way of the Cowboys.
But with the wind at his back, Way boomed a 74-yard punt over Cox's head that rolled all the way to the OSU 7. The Cowboys struggled to regain the field-position edge the rest of the game.
"That was unbelievable," Stoops said. "We're backed up. ... and he nails it and hits it over their head and changes the whole field. That was one of the bigger plays of the game, to change the field position in one play.
"A great punt."
But the 74-yard punt wasn't even Way's most impressive. Late the second quarter, Way launched another huge punt, this time into a 20-mile-per-hour wind. A Sooner false start, however, erased the play and moved OU back to its own 12-yard line. But Way came back and belted an even longer punt, this one a 57-yarder that Cox had to run backward to catch.
"I promise you, that's the best feeling for a punter, when the guy takes off running the other way," said Way, who added a pair of 62-yard punts and a 50-yarder to become the first Sooner punter ever to have five punts of 50 yards or more in a single game.
"To have a great day like that against them. ... it was really awesome."