In their own words: Oklahoma players, coaches break down Bedlam battering of Pokes
There's no longer any doubt as to who owns gridiron supremacy within state lines.
On Saturday evening, the Oklahoma Sooners welcomed the Oklahoma State Cowboys to Owen Field for a highly consequential showdown under the lights. However, the matchup that many touted as a potential firefight ended up a blowout, as the Sooners throttled the Pokes 41-13 behind their wunderkind quarterback and spirited defense. Spencer Rattler threw for four touchdowns and ran for another, and the oft-maligned Sooner secondary surrendered just 15 pass completions. With the victory, Oklahoma rose to No. 14 in the latest AP poll.
Here are the best quotes from each player and coach that spoke to the media after Saturday's victory.
Rattler set the pace with his five total touchdowns, three of them coming in the first quarter as the Sooners built an insurmountable advantage. However, the redshirt freshman was quick to defer the praise to his teammates.
I told myself I needed a big game, especially in this one. I came out here and trusted the process. The guys around me played really well and helped me out. The o-line blocked well, the receivers caught the ball, the defense played well. It’s not just me. Everybody played well and it contributed to the stat sheet.
Owen Field was raucous for Oklahoma's first home night game in the history of the Bedlam series. The Cowboys, perhaps flustered by the rowdy crowd, looked discombobulated in the early stages. Several penalties and negative plays from the Oklahoma State offense helped the Sooners race out to a 21-0 lead. Lincoln Riley acknowledged that the atmosphere made it much easier for his team to build momentum.
That place was rockin'. I don’t care how many people were in there. The guys played well and really fed off of it. All of this talk about not having a home field advantage with limited people in the stadium... If you were in the stadium tonight, there was a home field advantage, which is pretty special. Very appreciative of that.
David Ugwoegbu gave the crimson-drenched crowd a jolt of early energy with a first-quarter interception. The sophomore linebacker deflected a Spencer Sanders pass at the line of scrimmage, then chased down the fluttering pigskin and dived full-extension to secure it mere inches from the turf. Officials reviewed the play, but eventually upheld the ruling, and Ugwoegbu had his first career pick.
I saw the quarterback throw the ball, so I got my hands up. At first when I tipped it, I thought it was behind me and almost did a full 180. Then I saw the ball out of the corner of my eye. When I dove on it, I knew for a fact it wasn’t going to get overturned. My hands are sure.
Theo Wease, who hadn't reeled in a touchdown catch all year, found the end zone twice on Saturday night. His first scoring play came on a 9-yard strike from Rattler in the first quarter, and the sophomore wideout added a 31-yard catch and run to the promised land in the fourth period.
It felt good. I didn’t really think too much about it. I don’t ever think about stats at all. It’s just how I can help the team win. My number was called twice tonight and I just took advantage of the opportunity.
Jeremiah Hall said the Sooners weren't fazed by the ballyhooed Oklahoma State defense, which entered the game as the Big 12's best statistical unit.
They're a great defense, but we're a great offense. That's the attitude that we have; we have a standard on our offense and it is like no other in this nation. So shoutout to Okie State; they have a great defense but we have an even better offense.
Oklahoma State put together a garbage-time drive late in the fourth quarter, and had first-and-goal inside the Oklahoma 5-yard line. However, the Sooners held their ground and forced a turnover on downs from Sanders and the Pokes. Though surrendering a touchdown would have had no impact on the game's outcome, Alex Grinch was thrilled with his defense's effort to deny the end zone to their foe.
I can't make you finish. We can talk to you about it. We can explain it to you. We can tell you how important it is, and we can talk about standard of what we want to be as a program, and specifically as a defense. But at some point, you got to take ownership in yourself and say, 'this is how I'm going to play the game, and I'm an Oklahoma Sooner and I decided to play defense.' I mean, it's either thumbs up or thumbs down, and that's four quarters' worth that you want on film."
And finally, Ronnie Perkins didn't shy away from asserting that the Sooners are the conference's unquestioned lead dogs.
We the best defense in the Big 12. That’s all. We’ve been hearing a lot about their defense throughout the week. No disrespect to them at all. It sounds kinda crazy to say, but defense runs through Oklahoma in the Big 12 too now. Offense and defense.
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