No. 3 Sooners Make BCS Case with 61-41 Bedlam Win
Nov. 30, 2008
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP)--Now it's up to voters and computers.
Sam Bradford threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns, and No. 3 Oklahoma based its case for a BCS bump on its high-powered offense, outscoring No. 11 Oklahoma State 61-41 Saturday night in the highest-scoring Bedlam rivalry game in the century-old series.
Needing to make up a minuscule eight-thousandths of a point to second-place Texas in the Bowl Championship Series standings to earn a spot in next week's Big 12 championship game, the Sooners (11-1, 7-1) relied on the Heisman-caliber arm of Bradford.
He completed 30 of 44 passes and also scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, leading Oklahoma to its fourth straight 60-point game.
The Sooners' defense, which had been improving and made a statement in last week's 65-21 rout of then-No. 2 Texas Tech had few answers for quarterback Zac Robinson and the Cowboys--but it was enough.
Robinson threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score, but never could guide Cowboys (9-3, 5-3) into the lead after halftime.
A two-section wide swath of crimson-clad Sooners fans started chanting "B-C-S" during a timeout with 32 seconds left and the game finally in hand, and Chris Brown scored on a 28-yard run on the next play to add an exclamation point.
Whether those fans' wishes will be granted is still up in the air. The BCS standings will be released Sunday, establishing who comes out ahead in a three-way tie between Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech in the Big 12 South standings and also who gets a leg up in the national championship race.
One team will get a trip to Kansas City, Mo., to face North champion Missouri and either bolster its case for the BCS title game or suffer a deflating defeat--and open the door for the team that loses out in the division race to possibly play for the national title.
"There's plenty of reasons for us, as there are for other people," coach Bob Stoops said. "Our argument's just stated here again today, what we've done here down the stretch. It will be what it'll be."
A group of Texas fans pulled out all the stops to try to keep the Longhorns in the coveted No. 2 spot, handing out thousands of signs printed with the score from their win against Oklahoma earlier this year--45-35.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown was even pleading his case in a telephone interview with television announcers while Oklahoma was making its case on the field.
Brown suggested that the Southeastern Conference's tiebreaker scenario was better than the Big 12's because it adds another dimension to the BCS standings: If the top two teams in a three-team tiebreaker are separated by five or fewer spots in the BCS, the winner of a head-to-head meeting would play for the conference title.
Of course, that would benefit Texas. But that's not the way his conference breaks its ties.
"Everything we did tonight kind of says why we should be there. It's out of our hands now," Bradford said. "We'll see how it ends up."
Oklahoma State was able to match Oklahoma strike-for-strike as both teams scored on six straight possessions beginning at the start of the second quarter, but eventually the nation's highest-scoring offense was just too much.
And the biggest of the bounces went the Sooners' way, too. Tight end Jermaine Gresham scored a 73-yard touchdown on a third-down pass that was intended for Manuel Johnson and deflected into the air over three Cowboys defenders and into his arms 10 yards downfield. He was able to outrun the rest of the defenders the final 50 yards to put Oklahoma up 30-19.
Oklahoma's next touchdown came when Stoops decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1. Bradford fumbled the snap but was able to pick it up and still plunge in for the score.
And the whole reason the Sooners were able to stay ahead in the first place was a rare defensive 2-point conversion, scored when Oklahoma State went for 2 to try and tie it at 21 and instead fell behind by four on Frank Alexander's return of Robinson's fumble.
Gresham ended up with nine catches for 158 yards, both career highs, and two touchdowns. Brown had 98 yards on 19 carries and two scores.
Dez Bryant caught two touchdown passes to give him 18 for his career, enough to break Oklahoma State's school record set by Rashaun Woods. Perrish Cox had his fourth career kickoff return touchdown, the most among active players in the country, with a 90-yard dash in the fourth quarter to make it 44-41. But Oklahoma State couldn't keep it up any longer and the Sooners pulled away.