Oklahoma State Claims First Big 12 Title With Bedlam Win
Gerald Goodridge, News9.com
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- Perhaps exercising years of demons in one night, the Oklahoma State Cowboys capitalized on Oklahoma miscues and dominated the Sooners 44-10, snapping an eight-game losing streak in Bedlam and winning their first outright conference championship since 1976 in the process.
It also marks the second-largest margin of victory for OSU in the rivalry and the first win for Mike Gundy over Oklahoma as a player or a head coach. The Cowboys finish the regular season with an 11-1 record, the best in school history, while Oklahoma falls to 9-3 with the loss.
Landry Jones struggled mightily in the game, turning the ball over four times – two interceptions and two fumbles – three of which turned into points for the Cowboys. A first quarter interception turned into a Quinn Sharp field goal, while two fumbles led to two touchdowns – one of which was returned for a touchdown by Richetti Jones to put OSU up 33-3 in the third quarter.
The Sooners' signal caller wasn't the only one in the game with an unusual stat line in the contest, Cowboys' quarterback Brandon Weeden played his first game as a starter without throwing a touchdown pass. The senior completed 24 of his 36 attempts for 217 yards, without a touchdown or an interception.
However, it may not have been a struggle from the quarterback, but the fact that the OSU's pair of sophomore runners got the job done.
Joseph Randle shouldered most of the load for the Cowboys, carrying the ball 19 times for 151 yards, two shy of his season-high, and two touchdowns, while Jeremy Smith rushed 10 times for 95 yards and two scores.
The Cowboys were not only dominant offensively, but on the defensive side of the ball as well.
Oklahoma racked up 358 yards in the game, including 250 through the air, both well below their normal 547 total yards and 375 passing yards per game average. Additionally, the Cowboys forced five total turnovers in the contest, bringing its total up to 42 on the season, four shy of the NCAA single-season record.
With the win, the Cowboys kept their hopes for a berth in the National Championship game alive, but would need significant help from the voters. To jump Alabama in the polls, the Cowboys would need approximately 25 percent of the second-place votes in the human polls, coming in third in the remainder.
OSU will find out whether or not they will have a shot at LSU after the final BCS rankings are revealed Sunday evening on ESPN.