Bedlam football: Unexpected plays, bold decisions lift OU past Oklahoma State

by Jason Kersey Modified: December 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm •  Published: December 7, 2013


photo - Oklahoma's Jalen Saunders (8) catches the go-ahead touchdown in front of Oklahoma State's Lyndell Johnson (27) in the fourth quarter during the Bedlam college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. OU won, 33-24. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Jalen Saunders (8) catches the go-ahead touchdown in front of Oklahoma State's Lyndell Johnson (27) in the fourth quarter during the Bedlam college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. OU won, 33-24. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

 On a day when Boone Pickens Stadium occupants shivered from the freezing cold and shook during a brief earthquake, it figures that Oklahoma’s 33-24 upset victory over Bedlam rival Oklahoma State was the built on unexpected plays and bold decisions.

Three Sooner quarterbacks saw significant action. Oklahoma scored two special-teams touchdowns, including an 8-yard pass from holder Grant Bothun to kicker Michael Hunnicutt late in the third quarter.

Junior quarterback Blake Bell, who started eight games this season but was relegated to third-stringer status Saturday, led a remarkable, last-minute touchdown drive that snapped the Cowboys’ seven-game winning streak and destroyed their Big 12 title dreams.

“I just think we did what we needed to do to win, and that's all that matters is that we came out on top on that scoreboard,” said senior running back Brennan Clay.

OU coaches certainly pulled out all the stops Saturday, when the Sooners won with the most complete team effort of the year, scoring touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.

Senior receiver Jalen Saunders tied the game at 7 late in the first quarter with a 64-yard punt return touchdown — his second such score in as many years against Oklahoma State — and junior punter Jed Barnett twice pinned OSU’s offense at its own 1-yard line.

Late in the third quarter, OU trailed 17-10 when it took over possession at its own 40-yard line for what became an unusual, exciting and critical scoring drive.

First, senior Brannon Green hauled in a 16-yard reception — the first catch by a true tight end this season. A few plays later, Saunders picked up 37 yards on a double reverse.

The Sooners lined up for a 25-yard field goal attempt when Bothun rolled to his left and tossed the ball to Hunnicutt, who held on for the tying touchdown despite a big hit from Cowboys linebacker Caleb Lavey.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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