Fifth Act: Sooners Win Big 12 Championship in OT Thriller With Baylor

Since the Big 12 Championship game returned, Oklahoma hasn’t missed one. They tried to make it two straight this season against, Baylor, a team they had their biggest comeback in school history against nearly a month ago. Both teams went three and out on their first possession. Ronnie Perkins and Nik Bonitto forced a sack. On offense, CeeDee Lamb busted off a 71 yard reception on a short pass from Jalen Hurts. Hurts has now passed for more than 9,000 yards in his career. The drive was capped off by Kennedy Brooks who powered his way into the end zone. Sooners led 7-0. The Sooners got another stop, on their next possession Hurts found Lamb for a 26 yard gain. That led to a 44 yard Gabe Brkic field goal. Oklahoma padded their lead to ten. Brkic moved to 15 of 15 on the season on field goals. Kenneth Murray made his presence known to start the second quarter. Murray notched a TFL on a Charlie Brewer run, then on third down, hit Brewer for a big sack to get the ball back to the Sooners. On the Sooners possession, Jalen Hurts was blasted from behind by the Big 12 Defensive Player and Lineman of the year James Lynch. He fumbled it, Baylor recovered, but the OU defense stood strong. John Mayers put Baylor on the board connecting on a 44 yard field goal. Sooners led 10-3. One of the sacks by Kenneth Murray early in the second made Charlie Brewer a bit woozy. Brewer went in on the drive that led to the field goal. However, Holly Rowe of ESPN reports that lead official Mike Defee made Baylor send Brewer back to the locker room because he just didn’t look right. Gerry Bohannon entered the game for him. His first drive stalled. Oklahoma got it back and on their first play Lee Morris slipped, underneath coverage by Jordan Williams recovered and intercepted Jalen Hurts setting up Baylor inside OU’s 30. After taking a sack, Gerry Bohannon on third down fired a 33 yard touchdown to Tyquan Thornton. That tied the game at 10. James Lynch notched his second sack of the game on Jalen Hurts which forced OU to punt. Baylor took it at about the 50. Bohannon connected on a jump ball to Thronton which put Baylor inside the red zone with under 20 to go in the half. The Sooners held again and forced another field goal. Mayers connected on a 28 yard strike to give Baylor the lead 13-10. That was the halftime score. Before the second half kicked off, Baylor Head Coach Matt Rhule announced QB Charlie Brewer would miss the rest of the game. OU Nickelback Brendan Radley-Hiles had his helmet taken away and came out in the second half in sweats. The OU defense looked motivated on the first drive out of the locker room forcing a three and out. OU labored on their next drive going ten plays. A 15 yard run by Rhamondre Stevenson helped lead to a 24 yard Gabe Brkic field goal. That squared the game at 13. Oklahoma then got the ball back after another three and out, Stevenson broke off a couple of chunk plays which led to Jalen Hurts connecting on an 18 yard touchdown strike to Nick Basquine. It was Basquine’s third career touchdown. The Sooners led 20-13. The OU defense’s great play continued. Kenneth Murray notched a tackle for loss then Jalen Redmond sacked Bohannon on third down to force another punt. OU took over on the Baylor 49. That ended the third quarter. In the fourth, OU padded their lead. On a third and 12, Jalen Hurts dumped a pass down to Kennedy Brooks who scampered for 20 yards into Baylor territory. Then Hurts found Lamb again, this time for 17 yards which led to a 24 yard Gabe Brkic field goal. Oklahoma had a 23-13 lead in the fourth. The Bears tried to get something going moving to third string quarterback Jacob Zeno. His first play, he was sacked by Isaiah Thomas. It was the 13th tackle for loss by the Sooners. On the very next play though, Zeno connected with Tristan Ebner on an 81 yard touchdown. The Bears were right back in it trailing 23-20. OU couldn’t get anything going offensively. Baylor got it back, Zeno hit Chris Platt on an 80 yard strike deep into OU territory. OU would force a field goal though by Mayers. We were all squared at 23 with under four to play. The Sooners couldn’t get momentum to score, punted it to Baylor with 1:02 left. The punt went to the one yard line. We would go to overtime. In the first OT, Jalen Hurts found CeeDee Lamb on a quick hitter, it didn’t go for much, but a 15 yard facemask penalty was assessed on the play. One play later, Rahmondre Stevenson scored from four yards out. Sooners up 30-23. Baylor’s turn with the football. The Sooners forced two incompletions on the first two downs. On third down, Nik Bonitto came up big just like he did in the first meeting. He sacked Zeno setting up a fourth down and 20. On fourth down, Oklahoma’s pressure forced an incompletion and the Sooners win their fifth straight Big 12 Championship, 30-23. Lincoln Riley said, “We beat a damn good team and we’re champs” on the TV broadcast. Jalen Hurts finished the game 17-24, 287 yards a touchdown and one interception. CeeDee Lamb had eight catches for 173 yards. Now the Sooners wait to see what happens in the SEC Championship and if they will go to the College Football Playoff.

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