NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said he was playing the percentages when asked at his weekly press luncheon about calling timeout with 46 seconds left on Saturday at Baylor.
After the Bears ran the ball up the middle on first down for four yards, content to run out the clock and head to overtime, Stoops' plan was to get a defensive stop, force Baylor to punt and the Sooners would drive for a game-winning field goal.
“I was playing to win,” Stoops said. “They were on their own 20. We have the wind, they're against it. To me, that's a 15-yard swing. Michael (Hunnicutt) made a 53-yarder with the wind at Kansas State, a similar type wind.
“We just stopped them two straight series. They didn't have any timeouts. I felt if we could get a stop we could get field position and have a chance for a field goal. Landry (Jones) had been hot. I felt even if they were able to get a first down there wouldn't be enough time.”
After the timeout, the Bears changed strategies.
Quarterback Robert Griffin dropped back to pass, then scrambled for 22 yards.
On the next play, Griffin scrambled for eight more yards followed by a 12-yard pass to Kendall Wright. A game-winning TD drive culminated with a 34-yard TD pass to Terrence Williams with: 08 left.
“On the first scramble our player (in the flat) runs off to the deep middle,” Stoops said. “If he stays in the flat, he's going to be right there to come up and get him off the scramble like we had done earlier in the game. He didn't do it. That's how it goes. You take a gamble. I was playing to win.”
Was Stoops surprised Baylor coach Art Briles changed strategies?
“I was surprised,” Stoops said. “I thought he'd run it one more time and then throw it. But to be totally honest I wasn't totally surprised. In the end, we were in good coverage. (Griffin) pulls it down and our flat defender didn't stay in the flat.”