OU-OSU: Q4 Report
John. E. Hoover
NORMAN — It’s no longer too soon to start thinking about a six-peat.
Oklahoma dominated Oklahoma State on Saturday night in the 115th Bedlam meeting – the first ever after-dark Bedlam kickoff in Norman – and in doing so, the Sooners opened up a direct path to the Big 12 championship game next month, where a potential sixth consecutive conference title awaits.
OU cruised on a brisk night at Owen Field because the Sooners had the better Spencer at quarterback – OU’s Spencer Rattler was terrific, while OSU’s Spencer Sanders was harassed and injured early before coming back in in the fourth quarter – and because the Sooners had the better defense in what was billed as something of a defensive showdown.
With six minutes to play, the Cowboys had compiled just 184 total yards (OSU finished with 246 while Oklahoma had 492). OSU's total included just 78 yards rushing from an offense featuring college football’s 2019 rushing king (Chuba Hubbard had 44 yards on eight carries) and one of the game’s best receivers in 2018 (Tylan Wallace had just four catches for 68 yards on 10 targets).
Now OU turns its attention to next week’s road trip to West Virginia and the season finale at home against Baylor in two weeks. Winning those two games likely sets the Sooners up in a Big 12 title game rematch with Iowa State.
Led by their two latecomers – defensive end Ronnie Perkins and running back Rhamondre Stevenson, ho joined the team after a six-game NCAA suspension – the Sooners continue to look like a championship team, and completely different from the one that started Big 12 play 0-2.
Perkins had two quarterback sacks (including one on the first play of the game and one that knocked Sanders out of the game) and three tackles for loss, and Stevenson ran 26 times for 141 yards (and added 54 yards receiving, including a 45-yard screen pass on OU’s first possession).
Rattler was very good for most of his Bedlam debut, from a fast start (13-of-19 for 232 yards and two touchdowns in the first half to go with a TD run) to a fast finish (3-of-3 for 72 yards and two touchdown in the fourth quarter). He capped his night with 6:28 to play on a 31-yard touchdown pass to Theo Wease, who scored twice – his first touchdowns of the season. Rattler finished 17-of-24 for 301 yards and threw four touchdown passes.
Rattler’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Hall earlier in the fourth quarter broke the Cowboys’ back. Stevenson took the direct snap, then handed off to Rattler running to the right. Rattler faked a reverse pitch to a receiver coming around behind him, then found Hall wide open on the sideline. Hall covered the distance untouched to the end zone to give the Sooners a 34-13 lead.
After less than nine minutes of play, OU led 21-0 on two Rattler TD throws and his 9-yard TD run to open the game, but Oklahoma State got life late in the first quarter following a dead-ball penalty by Brendan Radley-Hiles, who was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after a third-down pass fell incomplete. Backup quarterback Shane Illingworth threw to Logan Carter in the end zone to make it 21-7.
Gabe Brkic made 40- and 29-yard field goals in the second quarter to extend the Sooners’ lead to 27-7, but more penalties on the OU defense – one on DaShaun White for a late hit out of bounds, and one on a pass interference against Tre Brown – came behind a 29-yard run from Hubbard and led to a 39-yard field goal by Brady Pohl that cut OU’s lead to 27-10. Pohl hit another later in the period to make it 27-13 at halftime.
Rattler put Oklahoma up 21-0 midway through the second quarter with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Theo Wease – Wease’s first touchdown of the year.
That drive was set up by an acrobatic interception by linebacker David Ugweogbu, who blitzed on the left side, jumped to tip Sanders’ pass, and fully extended to catch the ball just before it hit the ground.
Rattler’s throw to Wease was his second TD toss of the first quarter. He threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Mikey Henderson as the Sooners scored almost at will on their first three drives.
Rattler’s TD to Henderson was set up by a circus catch by Marvin Mims, who beat OSU cornerback Rodarius Williams for a 27-yard completion, leaped and landed on his back.
Rattler put the Sooners on the board first with a 9-yard touchdown run. He got a boost on that drive from Rhamondre Stevenson, who took a short screen pass 45 yards up the middle. Three plays later, Rattler converted a third-and-4 by zipping a pass over the middle to H-back Brayden Willis, playing in just his second game of the season and first since a Week 2 loss to Kansas State.