OU rallies for wild win over OSU
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Sunday, November 25, 2012
11/25/12 at 5:03 AM
For complete Bedlam coverage.
NORMAN - When the longest, perhaps wildest Bedlam of them all ended, Bronson Irwin collapsed on Owen Field.
His Oklahoma Sooners had just beaten Oklahoma State 51-48 on Brennan Clay's 18-yard overtime touchdown run. Teammates and coaches were going berserk as "Jump Around" played for both them and the 85,824 fans, none of whom were about to leave the stadium.
Irwin, in a state somewhere between euphoria, disbelief and exhaustion, dropped straight to his back, smiled through his sweat and said: "I need some oxygen, bro."
It really was almost too much to take, or to comprehend.
OSU led 14-0 after 10 minutes. And 31-24 after 12 seconds of the second half, thanks to Josh Stewart's 75-yard touchdown catch. The Cowboys were up 38-27 late in the third quarter, and 45-38 until Blake Bell's 4-yard touchdown plunge on fourth-and-1 with four seconds left in regulation.
OSU even took a 48-45 lead one possession into overtime, after Clint Chelf threw off the hands of tight end Blake Jackson near the goal line on third down, and Quinn Sharp kicked a 26-yard field goal.
The Sooners took over at the 25-yard line and Trey Millard stumbled up the middle to the 18. Then, out of a split backfield, Clay took Landry Jones' shotgun handoff. A basic "inside zone play," coaches called it.
"Right up the middle pretty much," Clay said. "Trey came backside and kicked out their D-end. They had a big collision, so I paced it up a bit. Then Gabe (Ikard, OU's center) came down on the right and slammed down on their nose. I had to run through number eight."
Safety Daytawion Lowe.
"I remember him coming down," Clay contined, "and another guy from the left."
Safety Shamiel Gary. Clay shook him off his left leg, after breaking Lowe's tackle.
"I was just able to run through some trash and get into the end zone," Clay said.
Half the team made a beeline to Clay in the southwest corner of the stadium. The other half tore onto the field, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops leading the charge with his index finger raised. Safety Tony Jefferson was chasing him.
"He pulled his hamstring, I think," Jefferson said with a grin. "It was a good time out there, man."
In one play, the Sooners (9-2 overall, 7-1 Big 12) won a game they never led, until Clay crossed the goal line. They overcame last year's embarrassing Bedlam loss. They tied Kansas State for first place in the Big 12 Conference. They kept pace for a potential BCS bowl berth.
They sent seniors like quarterback Landry Jones (46-of-71 for 500 yards and three touchdowns) off their homefield victoriously.
"A lot of meaning behind this game," OU cornerback Demontre Hurst said in going out. "It was a big win for everybody."
That the Sooners defense was creased by Chelf (253 yards passing, another 63 rushing), running back Joseph Randle (113 yards and four touchdowns), Stewart (11 catches, 150 yards) and OSU's Bedlam-record point total? Here's how much that mattered to them:
Mike Stoops walked into the interview room, lit up like it was Christmas morning and said: "You guys have a good time? I never had so much fun in my life. What a classic."
Mike Gundy, whose Cowboys (7-4 and 5-3) were eliminated from Big 12 title contention, opened his press conference with: "I think everyone can agree that it was one heck of a game, but I'm disappointed that we came up on the short end."
Gundy said kind things about Chelf, who handled his first Bedlam remarkably. And about a running game that cranked out 201 yards. He noticed the mad celebration that ensued after Clay's touchdown and said: "I think there is a respect that is present now that maybe hasn't been before."
You can measure OSU's progress by both the Sooners' reaction to it all, and the Cowboys'.
"All that really matters is whether you got the win," Randle said, "and we came up short."
The Cowboys did so much to prevail. They ran effectively. They won the turnover battle (2-1). They hit OU early in both halves.
The problem was they gave up a huge special teams play. Jalen Saunders' 81-yard punt return pulled OU into a 38-38 tie seconds into the fourth quarter.
They never contained Jones or his wide receivers, three of whom (Saunders, Justin Brown and Kenny Stills) surpassed 100 yards. Jones took possession on his own 14 with 6:18 remaining, trailing 45-38, and threw his offense all the way to the OSU 4.
Finally, the Cowboys couldn't stop OU's run game when they absolutely had to, on the Sooners' final three plays.
Bell came out on fourth-and-1 from the 4, went left and bowled over cornerback Brodrick Brown to send the game into overtime. Millard and Clay took it from there.
"I'm very proud of my guys for hanging in there," OU coach Bob Stoops said, "working our way through a hard-fought game and coming up with the plays, in particular, down through the fourth quarter to win."
"I've never been in a game like that," cornerback Aaron Colvin said.
"One of the most special games I've played in," said Stills.
Asked when he realized he had ended it, Clay said: "Maybe when I threw the ball in the air. Maybe then... I can't describe the amount of joy I had."
NO. 14 OKLAHOMA 51, NO. 22 OKLAHOMA STATE 48, OT
OU UP NEXT: At TCU 11 a.m. Saturday TV: ESPN-25 Radio: KMOD fm97.5, KTBZ am1430 | OSU UP NEXT: At Baylor 11 a.m. Saturday TV: FX-35 Radio: KFAQ am1170
Original Print Headline: Pure Bedlam
Guerin Emig 918-581-8355
OU's Brennan Clay scores the winning touchdown in overtime against OSU in Norman on Saturday. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World
Oklahoma's Aaron Colvin breaks up a pass intended for Josh Stewart of Oklahoma State. MIKE SIMONS/ Tulsa World