NORMAN — Facing a second straight Bedlam loss and the season’s third home defeat, Oklahoma turned to a pair of newcomers.
Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders, along with OU veteran Kenny Stills, became Oklahoma’s first-ever trio of 100-yard receivers Saturday, when the Sooners came from behind to beat Oklahoma State 51-48 in overtime on Owen Field.
Brown, a senior, and Saunders, a junior, are both first-year Sooners, transferring from PennState and FresnoState, respectively, before the season began.
“The new guys that transferred in have certainly made a difference for their offense,” said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy.
The Sooners played from behind all night — they never led in the game until Brennan Clay’s 18-yard touchdown run in overtime ended the contest — but managed to find ways to keep up with OSU’s high-octane offense.
Now, Oklahoma remains in the hunt for an outright Big 12 championship. If the Sooners win next Saturday at TCU and KansasState loses at home to Texas, OU becomes the sole conference champion.
If both teams win, they’ll share the Big 12 title, but K-State will earn a Fiesta Bowl berth because of its 24-19 win at OU on Sept. 22.
Saturday, Oklahoma’s offense racked up 618 total yards and 44 first downs — second-most in NCAA history — but struggled to find the end zone for much of the second half.
Midway through the third quarter, the Cowboys opened an 11-point lead after the last of Joseph Randle’s four touchdown runs.
OU added a field goal from Michael Hunnicutt before, early in the fourth, the Sooners tied the score at 38 when Saunders ran back a flashy 81-yard punt-return touchdown, followed by Brown’s two-point conversion catch.
Brown returned the vast majority of OU’s punts this season before Saturday.
“We had been talking about that the last couple of weeks,” OU coach Bob Stoops said.
“‘Let’s get Jalen some catches back there because of how dynamic he is.’ It didn’t surprise us that he would squirt out of there.”