Sooner offense thriving in tough spots
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Sunday, November 25, 2012
11/25/12 at 6:18 AM
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NORMAN - Oklahoma's offense has now faced do-or-die situations in consecutive weeks.
The Sooners passed both white-knuckle tests thanks to an offense that came up with clutch fourth-down plays for touchdowns.
OU sent Saturday's 51-48 victory over Oklahoma State into overtime thanks to a four-yard run by quarterback Blake Bell on fourth-and-1 with four seconds left.
Last week, the Sooners won the game when Landry Jones hit Kenny Stills with a five-yard pass on fourth down with 24 seconds left.
"We're strong. We're strong-willed. We can face adversity," said OU running back Brennan Clay, whose 18-yard touchdown run in overtime sealed the win. "We know this offense is very potent and we can score from anywhere on the field. You've just got to be able to play 60 minutes, and in this case, we played a little bit more than that. We came out with that victory."
OU was methodical with its final drive in regulation. The Sooners marched 17 plays (their longest scoring drive of the season) before Blake Bell plunged in with his fourth-down score.
"Get the first down or get into the end zone," Bell said, when asked about his final carry.
Was it one of his favorite runs?
"It definitely would be (a favorite) because it's a rivalry game," Bell said. "It's Oklahoma State. (Four) seconds left. Fourth-and-one. That's why I came to the University of Oklahoma, to play in games like this. That's why we play football. That's the kind of play that you love."
Landry Jones engineered the drive that started on the OU 14 with 6:18 left in regulation. The longest play was 12 yards as OU went down field.
"We knew that we had to score on that drive," Jones said. "I think our offense did what it had to do. We took it to fourth down inside the goal line and Blake came in and made a great run. It's something about this team. We get it done when we need to."
OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young had a sideline view of the drive and overtime.
"It was a heart-wrencher or a gut-wrencher or however you want to say it," Young said. "Any time you lose a game like this in overtime, awful is about the only thing that comes to mind. I thought our offense played so well.
"Unfortunately OU's offense played so well also. We just didn't play as well as we needed to play to come out with a win."
OSU managed to get to the OU 9 before stalling and settled for Quinn Sharp's 26-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime.
"We definitely didn't want to let them into the end zone," OU cornerback Aaron Colvin said. "We felt like our offense could score a touchdown."
It only took two plays. After Trey Millard's seven-yard run up the middle, Clay finished things with his 17-yard TD dash.
"I was able to run through some trash and get into the end zone," said Clay, who also had a key kickoff return against West Virginia to set up the winning score.
"I'm very proud of my team and my guys for hanging in there, working our way through a hard-fought game and coming up with the plays, in particular, down in the fourth quarter to win the football game," OU coach Bob Stoops said.
Original Print Headline: Sooner offense thriving in tough spots
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391
OU's Kenny Stills celebrates with Brennan Clay after beating OSU in Norman. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World