Oklahoma State put together what many thought was a game-winning drive. Then the Cowboys gave up a game-winning drive the Oklahoma in the final two minutes, with the decisive 7-yard touchdown pass from Blake Bell to Jalen Saunders coming with 19 seconds to go.
The result was a heartbreaking Bedlam defeat for the Cowboys, which squashed their hopes of capturing a second Big 12 title and trip to the Fiesta Bowl for the second time in three seasons.
Berry Tramel calls this loss “cataclysmic.”
OSU’s defense was largely regarded as the best in the Big 12 this season. A look at what happened on that final Sooner drive.
Before OU’s late touchdown, how special teams mistakes cost OSU
Mike Gundy dodged questions about the importance of consistently winning Bedlam earlier this week. He did again Saturday.
Kevin Peterson on the last drive: “I felt like we just got caught up in the moment a little bit. People running around, missing assignments.”
Berry’s up-and-down grades reflect an up-and-down game
Answering the four questions from our pregame reporter roundtable
Where do the Sooners have the biggest advantage?
Three out of four of us said special teams, but generally focused on kickers Michael Hunnicutt and Ben Grogan. Turns out it was the other special teams areas that kept OU in the game and put the Sooners in position to win in the final two minutes. Saunders struck in Bedlam again with a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown, while the Sooners also scored on a fake field goal. Jed Barnett also helped the early field position battle by pinning OSU at the 1 twice.
If you can pick one key player other than quarterbacks, who would they be?
We had several names thrown out for this question. OU got its big plays from Saunders, though Sterling Shepard (seven catches, 112 yards) also deserves praise. OSU got a big day on offense from Desmond Roland (144 rushing yards, two touchdowns, one receiving touchdown) and several impact plays from Caleb Lavey (five tackles, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble).
How much will the cold weather impact the game?
There were so many crazy things that happened in this game that hardly anybody talked about the weather after it was all over. The conditions certainly were awful, but there were no noticeable tangible examples where a play was clearly impacted by the weather. Other than when OSU students threw snowballs at OU players after the game.
Will the result of this game say something bigger about the state of these two programs, both overall and in recruiting?
Win or lose, OSU has still established itself as a prominent program in college football. But winning Bedlam is important, no matter how much Gundy wants to downplay it. He’s 1-8 as the Cowboys’ head coach and winning this game consistently is the next step he needs to take with his program.
Saunders’ touchdown catch. Though Gilbert’s near-interception — which sent Boone Pickens Stadium into a frenzy — certainly warrants mention. The Cowboys thought they had won the game right there.
Player of the game
Saunders found the end zone twice, but Bell was the hero again. The starter-turned-third-stringer-turned-emergency-option completed 10-of-16 passes and directed the Sooners’ game-winning drive.
OSU will find out its bowl destination Sunday night. Sounds like it will be the Cotton Bowl against Missouri.