STILLWATER — A lot of prognosticators believed that Oklahoma State would get the better of Oklahoma in this season’s version of Bedlam on the football field. But, like me, I didn’t think it would be as lopsided as it was, with the Pokes winning 44-10.
The Cowboys knew they had to not only win, but win big in Saturday night’s Bedlam game against the Sooners at Boone Pickens Stadium. In the first half, they did just that.
The Pokes scored the game’s first 24 points en route to a 24-3 lead at halftime, with OU place-kicker Michael Honeycutt’s 48-yard field goal as time expired in the first half kept the Sooners from being shutout in the first half.
At least in the first half, the play of the game was provided by the OSU defense. Trailing 10-0, OU was driving, facing a third-and-6 at the OSU 19. OSU linebacker Alex Elkins sacked OU quarterback Landy Jones at the OSU 32. On the play, OSU defensive end Jamie Blatnick picked up the loose ball and rambled 59 yards to the OU 1 with 4:42 left in the first half.
On the next play, OSU running back Joseph Randle took it in from there. With Quinn Sharp’s extra point, OSU had a 17-0 lead. The play seemed to totally turn the game well into OSU’s favor.
And it only got worse for the Sooners. After OSU scored on its first possession of the first half on Sharp’s 37-yard field goal to make it 27-3 with 12:02 left in the gthird quarter, disaster struck OU again.
On the very first play from scrimmage, Jones went back to pass, and the ball slipped out of his hands. Johnny on the spot was OSU defensive end Richetti Jones, who scooped up the loose ball at the OU 5 and took it to paydirt. After Sharp’s PAT, OSU had a 34-3 advantage - scoring 10 points in six seconds.
“It was 10-0, you’re still hanging in there, and we were moving the ball,” OU Coach Bob Stoops said. “Every time we got near the scoring zone, we’d get something. We had the holding, which pulls us back. We had the dropped pass over the middle — a couple of them. It just ruins your drives. Then, we get (defensive) pressure from (OSU’s defense), the running back busts the protection — he has the linebacker, and he doesn’t take him. So, Landry, trying to make something happen, ends up fumbling the football — touchdown. The other one out of the halftime, (the ball) just came right out of his hand, and there you have it. There’s 14 points, and all of the sudden that 10-0 game is gone. Right there, those were major. Those are hard to overcome.”
OSU in BCS, But Not Big One
Just as jubilant as OSU fans were Saturday night after OSU’s thumping of OU, they were a little disappointed come Sunday night when it was announced that OSU was still No. 3 in the BCS Poll behind No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama.
That meant that the Tigers, coached by former OSU Coach Les Miles, and the Crimson Tide will play for the BCS Championship Jan. 9, 2012, in New Orleans.
No. 3 OSU still got a pretty good reward, a trip to the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 5, 2012, at Glendale, Ariz., at the home of the Arizona Cardinals, to meet No. 4 Standford.
“I don’t understand the eye test,” OSU Coach Mike Gundy said. “I don’t know what that means. That would have done it for Secretariat I guess. They wouldn’t let her have a shot at it. I don’t understand what the eye test has to do with anybody making a decision on who should be in that game. Their reasons are based on something that could drive television markets. Our team was disappointed for five minutes until we said, ‘Listen, you’re in a BCS bowl. You get to go play in the Fiesta Bowl.’ We wanted to put all that to rest because we are excited for going to Glendale and playing Stanford. I’m not going to stand up here and say that there wasn’t some disappointment with our players because there was. They wanted to play and they wanted a shot at it.”
Remembering Plane Crash Victims
While Bedlam makes one cheer for either OU or OSU, for one moment at halftime, amenities were forgotten. Both OU and OSU bands shared the turf at Boone Pickens Stadium in a musical tribute to OSU Women’s Coach Kurt Budke, OSU Women’s Assistant Coach Miranda Serna and Sen. Paul Branstetter and his wife, Paula of whom were killed in a plane crash last month west of Little Rock, Ark. while returning from a recruiting trip.
At the memorial service late last month, OU Women’s Coach Sherri Coale and OU Athletic Director Joe Castiglione were in attendance. That just goes to show that Bedlam athletics takes a backseat when loss of life happens — and that there’s more to life than sports.
Kudos go out to OU and OSU for the heart-warming halftime tribute to our own fallen.