Whether it was Clint Chelf, Joseph Randle, Josh Stewart or any other Oklahoma State offensive player, Oklahoma's defense didn't offer much resistance for much of the first three quarters.
In the fourth, though, the Sooners kept the Cowboys from moving the ball much at all, helping them get back in it and pull out a 51-48 overtime win at Owen Field.
Oklahoma State was held to a three-and-out on three of its four fourth-quarter possessions after going three-and-out just twice through the first three quarters.
“We gave ourselves the chance to get back in the game and then at the end we even forced a field goal to win the football game,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said.
OSU converted on 7 of its 15 third-down conversions.
“They went back to doing what was successful early in the game and we were ready for it,” Sooners cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “We kind of knew what was coming there at the end.
CLOCK MANAGEMENT FAVORS OU IN FOURTH
With the rapid pace of much of the game, it didn't seem likely that when the Sooners got the ball with just more than six minutes remaining, that the drive would be the final one of regulation.
But the Sooners ran out all but four seconds of the clock with a 17-play drive that forced the game into overtime.
“That was not necessarily the plan at the first part of the drive but as it went on, that's kind of the scenario that played out,” Sooners co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We felt that we had a chance to get a couple of runs in there and stay ahead of the chains and stay out of some third-and-long situations where they were dropping in and making it tough on us.”
Each team called one timeout on the drive.
The Sooners faced third down three times on the drive. The final two were third-and-one (one successful, the other setting up Blake Bell's fourth-down touchdown to force overtime).
The first, though, was on third-and-eight from the Sooners' 27.
Jalen Saunders hauled in a 10-yard pass to give OU a first down but Stoops said he was considering going for it if the play wasn't successful.
“I was having a pretty good talk with myself on what to do,” Stoops said.
STILLS RELISHES TD, CELEBRATION
Kenny Stills' first Bedlam touchdown was a big one.
Stills had been held out of the end zone for his first two games against Oklahoma State but late in the first half, came up with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Landry Jones to send the game to halftime tied 24-24.
Jones' pass bounced off Cowboys defender Justin Gilbert, hit Stills' facemask, then Stills tipped the ball over his head, turned and made the catch in the end zone.
Late in the first quarter, with the Sooners trailing 14-0, Stills dropped what would've been a touchdown pass on third and goal and the Sooners had to settle for a field goal.
Stills dropped three passes.
“I had a few drops there and that's pretty uncharacteristic for me,” Stills said. “I really wanted a TD after dropping the one earlier.”
Stills, from California, arrived at OU with little concept of the Bedlam rivalry but certainly understands it now.
“Some games, I'm out there talking to guys on the other side and it's friendly,” Still said. “This is not one of those games. There's nothing friendly about it. You know it means a lot to the people around here and it means a lot to us.”
KING WINS KEY AWARD, INJURED
Before Saturday's Bedlam game, Sooners senior defensive lineman David King was presented with the Don Key Award.
The award is presented to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of Key on the field and in the classroom.
The celebration wasn't a long one for King, who injured his leg early in the game and did not return.
Key was a three-year starter for the Sooners until cancer surgery ended his football career in 1981.
The award was established the next year.
King has started every game this season after being a part time starter in each of the two previous years.
King is the first solo award winner since 2009 when Brody Eldridge was given the award.
In 2010, Jeremy Beal and Adrian Taylor split the award. Last year, Ryan Broyles, James Hanna, Travis Lewis and Corey Wilson were given the award.
Jalen Saunders' punt return for a touchdown gave the Sooners two 80-plus yard put returns on the season. The only other time in Sooners history they accomplished that was in 2002 when Antonio Perkins returned two more than 80 yards. ... The crowd of 85,824 was the second-largest in stadium history. ... Stoops compared the game to the 2010 Big 12 Championship Game against Nebraska where the Sooners fell behind 17-0 before winning 23-20.