In a strange Bedlam football game, Oklahoma dominated the first quarter, then saw their offense go ice cold, before holding on to beat Oklahoma State 28-13 at Owen Field in Norman on Saturday night.
The Sooners scored the most points they’ve ever scored in the first quarter of a Bedlam game, and set school records for total yards (299) and passing yards (224) in the first quarter of any game.
After the 28-0 first period, OU’s offense struggled.
In the second half, OU punted eight straight times, and had six straight three-and-outs.
Oklahoma State’s offense moved the ball, but time after time couldn’t finish drives, and OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders threw four interceptions.
OSU outgained OU in total yards, 484-434, and had the time of possession edge of nearly 38 minutes.
OU was just 1-for-14 on third down conversions.
Oklahoma got the ball first and quickly went 75 yards in six plays for a touchdown.
Dillon Gabriel passed to Eric Gray for 20 yards, then deep to Drake Stoops, who made a leaping catch for a gain of 33 yards to the OSU 2-yard line.
Gabriel kept for a touchdown run on the next play and OU led 7-0 with 13:43 to play in the first quarter.
OSU’s first possession ended in a punt after three downs, and Logan Ward booted a 63-yard punt to the OU 7-yard line.
The Sooners took it 93 yards in nine plays, with Gabriel passing to a wide open Jalil Farooq for a 30-yard touchdown to put Oklahoma on top 14-0 with 9:45 to play in the first quarter.
Gabriel was 20-for-40 for 259 yards passing with two touchdowns.
On the first play of the ensuing possession, Spencer Sanders passed deep and a miscommunication with the intended receiver left no Cowboy in the area, and C.J. Coldon intercepted at midfield.
Sanders was 36-for-67 passing for 381 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions.
OU couldn’t move the ball and had to punt.
Three snaps later, OSU turned it over again, as Sanders had a pass broken up by Woodi Washington, and the tipped ball was picked off by Jonah Laulu, who returned it 26 yards to the OU 4-yard line.
Two plays later, Eric Gray scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 Sooners with 7:57 left in the first quarter.
Gray had 90 yards rushing on 20 carries.
OSU’s ensuing possession lasted just three plays, with OU’s Jordan Kelley making a tackle for a loss of two yards, then sacking Sanders on third and six.
Oklahoma appeared to be primed to score again after a 35-yard run by Gray.
But on the next snap, Brayden Willis fumbled, and the ball rolled to the OSU 4-yard line, where Jason Taylor recovered for the Cowboys.
OSU had to punt, then OU responded with a 75-yard drive in five plays, with Gabriel passing to Marvin Mims for 22 yards, then lofting one into the end zone to Drake Stoops for a 23-yard touchdown to make it 28-0 Sooners with 1:09 left in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, the Sooners picked off Sanders again, with Billy Bowman intercepting at the OU 7-yard line and returning it 8 yards to the 15.
The Sooners had to punt, then the two teams exchanged punts, setting up OSU’s first scoring drive.
The Cowboys marched inside the OU 10-yard line, but had to settle for a 24-yard field goal from Tanner Brown to make it 28-3 with 3:56 to play in the first half.
Late in the half, OU was driving to try to add to their lead, but Gabriel had a pass tipped and intercepted by Jason Taylor, who returned it 10 yards to the OSU 16-yard line with 10 seconds left in the half.
Both teams punted on their first possessions of the second half.
On OSU’s second possession of the half, the Cowboys got into Sooner territory on a 47-yard pass from Sanders to Braydon Johnson.
Johnson had 7 catches for 109 yards.
On 4th and 2, Sanders passed to Johnson, but it was just inches short of the first down at the OU 15-yard line and the Sooners took over on downs.
OU punted and OSU got into Sooner territory again after a 27-yard pass play from Sanders to Jaden Nixon.
On 4th and 4 from the OU 31, OSU was called for a delay of game penalty and had to punt.
OU went three downs and out and punted back, and OSU finally put together their first touchdown drive.
The Cowboys went 61 yards in 7 plays, with Sanders passing to Quinton Stewart for a 2-yard touchdown to cut OU’s lead to 28-10 with 1:03 left in the third quarter.
After another OU punt, OSU inched closer.
Sanders passed to Brennan Presley for a gain of 55 yards to the Sooners’ 12-yard line.
Presley had 9 catches for 118 yards.
The drive stalled from there, and Brown kicked a 25-yard field goal to cut OU’s lead to 28-13 with 12:37 to play.
Oklahoma had their third straight three-and-out possession and their fifth straight punt of the second half, giving OSU the ball back with 11:25 to play.
The Sooner defense met the challenge, as Jordan Kelley and Isaiah Coe sacked Sanders, and Jonah Laulu tackled Ollie Gordon for a loss of four, forcing a three-and-out punt by the Cowboys.
The Sooners had their fourth straight three-and-out and sixth straight punt, and the Cowboys got the ball back with 8:36 to play.
Once again, OSU marched deep into Sooner territory, but at the OU 16-yard line, Sanders had his pass intercepted by DaShaun White in the end zone for a touchback with 5:42 left.
For the fifth straight possesion, OU went three and out, and punted for the seventh straight possession of the half.
OSU went three and out and punted, and OU did the same, for the eighth straight time and sixth straight three-and-out.
The final possession for the Cowboys ended in turning the ball over on downs.
OU has won seven of the last eight meetings in the series.
This was just the fourth Bedlam meeting with OSU ranked and OU unranked, and the first since 2009.
OU improves to 6-5 on the season, 3-5 in Big 12 play.
OSU drops to 7-4 overall, 4-4 in conference play.
The Sooners clinch bowl eligibility, while the Cowboys’ slim hopes of making the Big 12 Championship game are over.
Oklahoma will visit Texas Tech next Saturday at 6:30 pm, while Oklahoma State hosts West Virginia at 11:00 am.