NORMAN — The last several hits Oklahoma running back Brennan Clay sustained Saturday night were celebratory.
Down three points in the first-ever Bedlam overtime period, Oklahoma called Clay's number; he spotted a hole to his right, plowed through one Oklahoma State defender, stepped just out of another's reach and scored an 18-yard touchdown that secured a 51-48 victory.
Clay flung the ball into the air before a teammate grabbed him from behind, inciting an emotional on-field celebration for a Sooner squad that never led until that final touchdown.
With the rally and win, Oklahoma avenged last season's embarrassing Bedlam loss and held on to its hopes of a Big 12 championship.
“We're strong,” Clay said. “We're strong-willed. We can face adversity. We know this offense is very potent and we can score from anywhere on the field.
“You've just got to be able to play 60 minutes, and in this case, we played a little bit more than that.”
Oklahoma (9-2, 7-1 Big 12) can claim the league title outright with a win next Saturday at TCU and a Kansas State loss at home to Texas. If OU and K-State win, they'll share the Big 12 championship but Kansas State will earn a Fiesta Bowl berth by virtue of its 24-19 win Sept. 22 in Norman.
On Saturday, before a crowd of 85, 824 — the second-largest in stadium history — Oklahoma overcame a 14-point deficit in the first half and an 11-point hole in the second half.
Oklahoma State junior Clint Chelf, who began the season as the Cowboys' third-team quarterback, passed for 240 yards and a touchdown and ran for 63 yards. His performance was a key reason why the Cowboys (7-4, 5-3) led 45-38 with 10:37 left, and why the Sooner defense struggled again against a high-powered spread offense.
Baylor's gave Oklahoma a 42-34 scare in Norman on Nov. 10. The Sooners rallied in the fourth quarter to win 50-49 last weekend in West Virginia and did it again Saturday.
“Our offense has been helping us out tremendously,” safety Tony Jefferson said. “There's just some small, minor mistakes we can fix. They're fixable issues. Monday we're gonna have to fix that.”
Oklahoma picked up 44 first downs — second most in NCAA history — and a stunning 618 yards of total offense. Quarterback Landry Jones passed for 500 yards and three touchdowns.
But the Sooners didn't score an offensive touchdown in the second half until Blake Bell's do-or-die, fourth-down touchdown run from the 4 with four seconds showing.
In overtime, the Sooner defense held OSU to Quinn Sharp's 26-yard field goal on the first possession, setting the stage for Clay's game-winner. The junior from San Diego has struggled through injuries and high expectations through his first two years on campus, but broke out with a career-high 157 yards in a Nov. 4 win at Iowa State.
On Saturday, Clay gained 59 yards on 13 carries, even leaving the game for a few plays at one point after a hard hit. After the game, Clay was celebrating on the field with Stills when Jefferson ran up to join his friends. Jefferson knocked Clay to the ground in celebration.
“Emotions were high,” Jefferson said. “It touched me in the heart to see my dude — my main dude — make a play like that. I know he's excited and I'm happy for him.”