A typical season this was not for Oklahoma.
The Sooners started the year outside of the Associated Press top 10 for the first time since 2000. They fell out of Big 12 contention, in essence, when they lost to Texas for the first time in four years. Bob Stoops had a rare quarterback competition that lasted, due to injury, until the final weeks of the season.
By Dec. 7, Oklahoma had its two typical results: 10 wins and control of the Bedlam rivalry.
Oklahoma won 10 games for the 12th time in 14 seasons and defeated Oklahoma State for the 10th time in 11 years thanks to an improbable touchdown drive from quarterback Blake Bell on the road in the fourth quarter.
The Sooners don’t want to admit it, but they are spoilers for the Cowboys. Oklahoma’s Bedlam win knocked Oklahoma State out of the Fiesta Bowl and out of contention for an outright BCS title.
The Cowboys are enjoying their best era in program history, but they remain under the thumb of rival Oklahoma after a game-winning drive in the final 24 seconds (the final OU touchdown was a fumble recovery from desperation laterals).
Similar to John Cooper's Ohio State teams against Michigan and Mark Richt's early squads against Florida, Mike Gundy's teams are conference and national contenders, but rivalry games continue to vex them.
Three Things We Learned from Oklahoma 33, Oklahoma State 24
Blake Bell redeemed himself in a wacky season. The Belldozer may as well be the name of a roller coaster in Norman. That’s the kind of season Blake Bell had. The junior was the assumed heir to Landry Jones at quarterback until the final weeks of training camp when Trevor Knight was named the opening day starter. Knight’s injury issues put Bell back into the starting job when he led the Sooners to a win at Notre Dame before a concussion gave the job back to Knight. Bell had been struggling enough this season to be the third guy in against Oklahoma State. With Knight out in the second half, Bob Stoops went to sophomore Kendal Thompson rather than Bell. The quarterback who had been passed over, though, was brilliant on the final drive. In a game in which every quarterback struggled, Bell got made the final statement, completing 5 of 8 passes for 57 yards with a beautiful touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders to win the game. Even if he made a risky throw in the direction of Thorpe Award finalist Justin Gilbert, who dropped a potential interception, Bell can once against claim the role of fan favorite.
How did Oklahoma win this game again? Take a look at those quarterback numbers for Oklahoma. First, one of the guys who threw a touchdown pass is the holder. The other entered the game third string. Oklahoma needed three quarterbacks to beat Oklahoma State, and none of them looked that great until the final drive. With an ineffective offense, the Sooners were in a position of desperation when holder Grant Bothun completed a touchdown pass to kicker Michael Hunnicutt on a fake field goal in the third quarter. A play earlier, a potential touchdown catch was erased on when defensive back Daytawion Lowe knocked the ball out of the hands of Brannon Green in the end zone. Before the final drive, Oklahoma’s scoring included a punt return for a touchdown, a fake field goal and two extended drives ending in field goals. The Sooners were a mere 2 of 15 on third down (but 3 of 3 on fourth) and were outgained on a per play basis 6.2 yards to 4.9. The Sooners got to their 10th win of the season in the way they got to a handful of their first nine: By winning ugly. Still, the Sooners won 10 games for the 12th time under Bob Stoops despite injuries in the front seven and to fullback Trey Millard and a rotating cast at quarterback.
Oklahoma State can’t get over Oklahoma. How did Oklahoma win? Well, the Cowboys helped. The tone was set on the first play of the game when Desmond Roland’s 75-yard touchdown run was called back on a holding call on wide receiver Charlie Moore. Moore dropped two more passes, including a third down pass in OU territory in the fourth quarter. Moore wasn’t alone as a the goat, though. Even though the Cowboys could move the ball on the ground, Clint Chelf struggled with accuracy until Oklahoma State’s fourth-quarter go-ahead drive. The Cowboys also went for a touchdown on fourth down from the Oklahoma 2 in the first quarter. Oklahoma stuffed it for the Sooners’ first red zone stop since the second game of the season. This era remains the best in Oklahoma State history, but the Cowboys remain under the thumb of their in-state rival.
A typical season this was not for Oklahoma.