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A BEDLAM FOR THE AGES

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Ghosts of Bedlam past were awakened as Tyreek Hill trotted into the same corner of the end zone where Rashaun Woods became a Sooner assassin, and another Bedlam legend was born.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

I didn't get to watch the overtime.

That's right...after all that craziness, I turned off the TV after Grogan's extra point tied the game.

My wife made plans with another couple who wanted to take us out to dinner for our 10th anniversary. I had agreed, as I believed that Bedlam would be played either at 11am or 2:30pm Central, and even if at 2:30pm, I didn't figure for a slow end and OT.

The restaurant would not hold the table more than 10 minutes, so I dutifully lost the battle. That was fine, because OSU won the war.

I'm not really sure how to process all of this, and I really think the bigger part of the post is reviewing what led to this raucous and shocking moment.

But, without question, Tyreek Hill's last minute heroics will have a place next to Woods and TD Bryant. And, in the end, it was Gundy's decision making that set the stage for this drama.

Without the head ball coach's stubborness in trying to hold on to Rudolph's redshirt, none of this would have happened. If Rudolph had replaced an injured Walsh against Missouri State, WHICH HE SHOULD HAVE, the Cowboys would not have limped in as 20pt underdogs. Just think about the bizarre set of events that brought us to Hill's return and Grogan's game winner:

1 - Gundy decides to protect Rudolph's redshirt and throw Garman to the wolves in game 2;
2 - Garman exposes an offensive line, and in the process gets the crap beat out of him because of his lack of mobility and inability to make quick reads;
3 - #2 leads to the brutal beating he took against Texas, where he suffered at least a mild concussion;
4 - Gundy trots Cornelius out for 1st team snaps in prep for Baylor, still trying to protect the redshirt, but Rudolph tells Gundy he wants to start (and we have fairly solid info that he told coaches he would transfer if he didn't...);
5 - Rudolph promptly leads the offense to as many TD's (4) against Baylor as they had scored in the previous 3 games, and almost as many offensive points in the last two games (59) than OSU had in the previous 5 games (60). He looks every bit the QB of the future, and completely changes the outlook for Bedlam for many fans.
6 - Rudolph starts Bedlam, and while looking solid, it appears that OSU will fall under the forceful work of OU's Perine, who amassed 151 yds on 26 carries, and was averaging 5.8 ypc before...
7 - Perine goes down in the 3rd quarter with a sprained ankle (and it was a pretty tragic scene...thoughts and prayers for a full recovery), and OU's offense goes in the deep freeze. Outside of Ford's 51 yard scamper, the Sooners had only 39 yds of offense the rest of the game;
8 - Still, OSU trailed by 14 with 5:11 to play, when Rudolph hits Sheperd on two consecutive, perfectly thrown passes, and suddenly it's a one score game exactly 20 seconds later;
9 - OU, now in full "circle the wagons" survival mode, showing no imagination and running 3 straight handoffs, allows the Cowboys to get the ball back with 4 minutes left;
10 - Rudolph throws perfectly to a wide open Blake Jarwin, and Squinky flicks a Bedlam killing tentacle;
11 - Rudolph, trying to make a play on 3rd and long, throws and INT into tight coverage. Bedlam over, right? OU ball on the OSU 41 with 3:16 remaining and OSU out of timeouts;
12 - OU, still going ultra-conservative, pulls what should have been a very solid play call, but Sam Wren makes what I think is the 2nd most important play of the game, reading the fake and keeping contain on Thomas, forcing a sack and 3rd & 16. Why was this so big? OU was fairly close to FG range. Maybe they don't take the chance, but this removed all doubt, and with OU not about to throw the ball, virtually guaranteed the remaining craziness;
13 - You know it's coming. This is just too perfect of a moment. OU punts, and OSU is flagged for running into the punter. But wait, it's 4th and 14...the penalty is only 5 yards. OSU is already pinned at their own 15 with 1:01 left and no timeouts, needing a TD to tie. Why replay the punt? You gain virtually nothing except for running a few more seconds off the clock. Who would have thought that Bob Stoops would pull a Clint Bowen?
14 - The unthinkable, the unimaginable, the unbelievable...in one play, OU allows more punt return yards than they had given up ALL SEASON...they should put a plaque in that corner of that end zone...

15 - OU pretends to be interested in trying to get in position for a game winning FG attempt in the last 40 seconds, but they aren't taking any real chances, so to OT we go, where a reinvigorated OSU defense forces a 44 yard FG attempt by one of the better FG kickers in the country, and what do you know, it sails every so slightly to the left, likely leaving the outcome of Bedlam on the leg of...Ben Grogan?
16 - As if Tyreek Hill's return opened some portal into OSU's past, the offensive line suddenly opens holes, as the Cowboys stick to the ground and move the ball into "PAT" range for Grogan.

Ballgame.

A season down the drain was miraculously revived, and now the Cowboys have a chance to really drive momentum (as well as our collective Hill/Rudolph hysteria) into the spring and next fall.

And another Bedlam legend has been born.

GO POKES!!!