STILLWATER — Last year's Bedlam victory was a watershed moment for the Oklahoma State football program.
A 44-10 beat down of rival and traditional power Oklahoma that clinched the school's first Big 12 title and announced the Cowboys had arrived as a prominent national program. Perhaps the best night of the best season in Cowboy football history. A victory that Mike Gundy calls the greatest of his career.
As this season's Bedlam battle in Norman approaches, OSU players and coaches shared their memories of that magical night in Stillwater and what it meant for the Cowboy program.
LEADING UP TO THE GAME
Coach Mike Gundy: “I was convinced that we had the best team, and I was just hoping the hangover from Iowa State didn't affect our play in that game. Our guys practiced good on Tuesday and Wednesday, and we felt better at the end of the week. You'll never know, but would we have played that well if we had beaten Iowa State? I don't know. Maybe not. The loss at Iowa State may have sparked a little different spirit in those guys for that game.”
Running back Jeremy Smith: “The coaches told us way before (the game), probably that Tuesday, ‘We're going to run this ball, and nobody's going to stop us.' And that's how it was. (Joseph Randle and I) both went over 100 yards, which was incredible.”
Safety Daytawion Lowe: “I remember the focus. The atmosphere around campus, there was just a lot of excitement going into the game.”
RUNNING OUT OF TUNNEL
Smith: “That was pretty disrespectful (for the OU players) to be hanging where we come out of. That kind of fired us up even more, for them to be on our home field and to do stuff like that. As you saw, we went out there and took care of business.”
DURING THE GAME
Offensive coordinator Todd Monken: “People don't remember that was the only game (Brandon) Weeden hasn't thrown a touchdown pass (in his OSU career). We ran the ball. After the Iowa State game, we made a conscientious effort (to say), ‘I don't care, we're not going to turn it over. We're not going to just not give a (darn) and throw the thing around and lose the game. We're going to make (OU) play good football.'”
Defensive end Cooper Bassett: “We got out ahead and really just had control of the game throughout. Because of that, by the time the fourth quarter got around, you were a little bit more relaxed and kind of just enjoying the moment.”
AFTER THE GAME
Bassett: “My mom, my dad and my little brother rushed the field and found me. To share that with them, that's the thing that sticks out most about that game.”
Offensive lineman Lane Taylor: “You see it on TV — they rip down the goal posts and all that stuff. But to actually see it in your own stadium, and you caused it, was pretty cool.”
Lowe: “Boone Pickens came in (the locker room) and he was dancing. That's one memory I'm never going to forget. It was kind of similar to the Coach Gundy dance, but he had his own little swag to it.”
WHAT IT MEANT
Gundy: “There's been a number of wins here that helped us take steps to get to the point where people respected us on an annual basis, and last year's win against Oklahoma is as big as any of them.”
Monken: “You can only hope that sometime when you're at a school, you can play the last game to win the league championship. What it means for so many people that have been here and living in the “Sooner” state. That's what it means more than anything. It's one thing to beat somebody (and you finish) 7-5. But when you beat them and it's for the (Big 12) championship and it's for a BCS game, of course that's what makes it special.”
Bassett: “I had people afterwards telling me their grandparents were crying at the end of the game. For people in Oklahoma, we don't have a pro football team. If you're a football fan, you either bleed crimson and cream, or you bleed orange and black. As a kid growing up (an OSU fan), it meant so much to me. I was either so jacked up to go to school the next Monday and wear all my orange, or I was dreading all the Boomer Sooner I was going to hear. So I know what it means to people.”