Oklahoma football: Sooners go boom, boom, Boomer in Bedlam

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 04: Quarterback Baker Mayfield
STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 04: Quarterback Baker Mayfield /

In a game of all-out offense and controversial calls down the stretch, it was defensive play by this no-quit Oklahoma football team in the closing minutes that helped garner yet another Bedlam victory for the Sooners.

The game went back and forth for four full quarters with both offenses marching up and down the field and with very little the two defensive units seemingly could do to keep either team out of the end zone. In the end, the Sooners got into the end zone one more time than the Cowboys and added a pair of field goals to go with it for an 62-52 victory in a game that for a long while looked like the winner was going to have to score 70 or more points.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State combined for 114 points and 1,446 yards of total offense. The total points is the most in the 112-game history of this longtime in-state rivalry series.

Baker Mayfield set an Oklahoma school record with a career-best 584 yards passing, completing 24 of 36 passes, five for touchdowns, and two interceptions. The two-time Heisman Trophy finalist and arguably the front runner now to win the award this season, averaged 16.6 yards per pass completion.

Sophomore junior-college transfer Marquise Brown was on the receiving end of nine Mayfield passes for a career best 265 yards and two touchdowns, including an 84-yard touchdown catch that put Oklahoma up 28-17 early in the second quarter.

Mason Rudolph, also had a banner day throwing the football. Rudolph matched Mayfield’s five touchdown passes, completing 28 of 54 throws for 448 yards. He also was intercepted twice, one in the end zone that wiped out an Oklahoma State scoring opportunity at the end of a 72-yard drive in the third quarter.

Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill gained 228 yards rushing Mayfield’s counterpart on the Oklahoma State side, Mason Rudolph, also had a banner don 30 carries and averaged 7.6 yards per carry, putting a lot of stress on an Oklahoma defense that also had to be mindful of the Cowboys talented group of big-play receivers.

Everyone knew that this Bedlam matchup  was going to be in the hands of the two best quarterbacks in the Big 12 and arguably in the nation, and it is safe to say that Mayfield got the best of this widely anticipated matchup.

Oklahoma Sooners Football
Oklahoma Sooners Football /

Oklahoma Sooners Football

The score was tied 38-38 at halftime. Both teams were forced to punt on their opening possession of the second half. An Oklahoma State fumble by Rudolph on the Cowboys’ second possession of the second half gave the ball to the Sooners on the OSU 10-yard line. The Oklahoma defense stiffened, though, and Oklahoma was forced to settle for a 36-yard field goal by Austin Seibert. That field goal proved to be the deciding factor in the game.

The Sooners would add another long touchdown drive in the third quarter on a 43-yard pass from Mayfield to Rodney Anderson to go up by 10, 48-38, after three quarters.

That 10-point margin held up in the final quarter, with both teams scoring a pair of touchdowns in the final 15 minutes.

With Oklahoma holding on to a 55-52 advantage at the 9:38 mark of the fourth quarter, Mayfield led the Sooners on a 12-play, 72-yard drive deep into Oklahoma State territory. On third-down-and-goal-to-go from the Cowboys’ 12-yard line, Mayfield’s pass was picked off in the end zone by Oklahoma State defender Chad Whitener, who returned the ball to the OU 17-yards line, stopping a potential Oklahoma scoring drive and giving the Cowboys new life and a chance to tie or win the game with just 2:53 remaining in the game.

On a third-and-20 play from the Oklahoma State 45-yard line, a pass by Rudolph appeared to be intercepted by OU defensive back Tre Brown at the Sooner 36-yard line. A targeting call on the Sooners’ Will Johnson, however, was ruled to have taken place on the defenseless intended Oklahoma State receiver before the interception, ultimately wiping out the OU pick and, worse, extending the OSU drive and setting them up with a new set of downs and the ball on the Oklahoma 40-yard line with a minute and a half left in the game.

The Cowboys were closing in on field-goal range, which would have tied the game, and with precious time ticking off the clock. With the controversial targeting call going against the Sooners, it was beginning to look very much like the home team was on its way to seizing victory from the proverbial jaws of defeat.

But that’s when the Oklahoma defense, with its back to the wall,  made the defensive stand of the game for the Sooners. On a third-and-eight from the Sooner 38-yard line, Rudolph’s pass attempt to Dillon Stoner fell incomplete, and on fourth down, Rudolph pass was overthrown into the end zone, turning the ball over to Oklahoma on downs.

Two plays later the OU true freshman running back Trey Sermon broke through the Oklahoma State offensive line and outraced the Cowboy secondary for a 53-yard game-clinching touchdown run.

OU’s Anderson had 111 yards rushing to go over the 100-yard mark for the third consecutive game.

Oklahoma’s season record improves to 8-1 and, more important, the Sooners College Football Playoff hopes remain alive, with another huge game next weekend at home against 8-1 TCU, which is likely to be No. 6 behind No. 5 Oklahoma when the new Playoff rankings come out on Tuesday night.