STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Get ready for a Bedlam rivalry with some sizzle.
An outright Big 12 title is back in play for No. 14 Oklahoma after first-place Kansas State suffered its first loss of the season, and even No. 22 Oklahoma State could claim a share of the conference crown after winning five of its last six games to climb back into the Top 25.
The Sooners (8-2, 6-1 Big 12) certainly can't afford to breathe a sigh of relief after quarterback Landry Jones and receiver Kenny Stills had huge performances to rescue them in a 50-49 shootout against West Virginia, which had the most yards ever by an Oklahoma opponent with 778.
Switching from wide receiver to running back, Tavon Austin set a school record with 344 yards rushing for a Mountaineers offense that had been struggling on the ground. And Oklahoma State (7-3, 5-2) boasts the league's best run game, along with a third-string quarterback who's got the hot hand.
After two months of keeping his starting quarterback a secret, coach Mike Gundy even went as far as announced that Clint Chelf would take the first snap against the Sooners on Saturday in Norman.
"It's exciting but at the end of the day, it's just the next game that you've got to go win," said Chelf, who has won his first two career starts against West Virginia and then-No. 23 Texas Tech.
"It doesn't really matter who you're playing, you've got to go out and execute and play hard and hopefully come out with the win."
Much like Oklahoma did in borrowing Oklahoma State's three-back "diamond" formation a couple years ago, the Cowboys took a page from the Sooners' playbook in unveiling a short-yardage running package with an alternate quarterback on Saturday. J.W. Walsh, who Gundy had ruled out with a season-ending knee injury four weeks ago, returned and ran for one touchdown and threw for another out of a jumbo set with an extra offensive lineman and three backs.
"It adds a whole 'nother dynamic. To be able to do that and to mix up the offense, it just gives those guys a whole lot more to work on and allows us to be more successful and have a whole lot more productivity out there," Walsh said.