With a limited roster that now features an eight-man rotation, a second game in three days didn't seem to bode well for the shorthanded Cowboys.
“I was really concerned how much we'd have in us,” said OSU coach Travis Ford. “Yesterday at practice – I wouldn't call it a practice – they were tired. We didn't get back in here until after 11 Saturday night, after a really physical game against Texas.”
Once the game started, Ford essentially used just seven players, with Marek Soucek getting but one minute due to matchup issues.
“And they showed some resiliency,” Ford said. “They picked up the game plan very quickly. We did some different things that we wondered if they could pick up in one day. And they did a good job with that.”
After playing two games in three days, the Cowboys are off until a Saturday visit to No. 4-ranked Baylor.
Ford said he'd give his players “a couple days off” this week amid preparations for at Bears squad that is 15-0 and one of just three major college unbeatens remaining.
With a roster full of rookies, OSU didn't carry much Bedlam experience into Monday night's meeting. Only Keiton Page and Markel Brown had played against the Sooners. And Page had to provide some background on the Bedlam term to freshman Le'Bryan Nash.
Nash, however, warmed to the rivalry.
“You don't want to be the little brother, and that's what I had on my mind,” Nash said. “Cameron Clark's a good friend of mine, so I'm going to brag about it against him. It's great to get a Bedlam win.”
There was another piece of business to tend to for the Cowboys as well. Through this school year, OSU stood 7-0 against the Sooners in all sports meetings before Monday. Now it's 8-0.
“We were all looking on Twitter, and we saw that none of our sports teams had lost to Oklahoma this year,” Nash said. “We didn't want to be the first one to lose.
“It was a good win. Glad we got it.”
Just 30 minutes before tipoff, Gallagher-Iba Arena was looking empty, suggesting one of the worst Bedlam atmospheres in ages.
The teams had stiff football competition from the BCS Championship game on TV and a difficult start time at 6 p.m.
Eventually, however, the arena filled in, with an estimated crowd of 9,000 settling into the seats.
“I thought it was great,” Ford said. “They got loud when they needed to get loud. The students showed up. It meant a lot to us.”