Oklahoma State went into Norman with a shot at a Big 12 title and a New Years Six bowl game. Neither of those opportunities would prove fruitful for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State brought a gameplan that included a heavy dose of Justice Hill and Chris Carson, and it worked for most of the game. On the afternoon, the two combined for 217 rushing yards. The biggest problem: 186 of those came in the first half. The Sooner defense adjusted and limited the Cowboy rushing attack in the second half and forced Oklahoma State out of their designed attack.
One storyline we talked so much about in the two weeks leading up to this game was the perceived ability to throw the deep ball on OU’s secondary. The Sooners were giving up over 290 yards a game through the air. That trend did not hold in this game.
Mason Rudolph was not sharp, and in Bedlam, you simply have to be. Rudolph went 11/25 for 186 yards. He did not have a touchdown pass.
Against a secondary like OU’s, it’s quite a conundrum to see a lack of interest in the deep pass. I think a lot of that was due to the elements, but while discarding the deep pass, OU’s defense made adjustments to key on the run underneath, and that’s where the game shifted. OU’s adjustments, and OSU’s lack thereof, held the Cowboys to under 150 total yards in the second half.
Today’s failure wasn’t all on the offense though.
The Oklahoma State defense held the Sooner rushing game in check in the first half, allowing just 40 yards. That was a one-sided story, however. Oklahoma State got a heavy dose of Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine in the second half, who combined for 348 yards on the game.
The Cowboy secondary gave up quite a few big plays of its own.
OU already with four pass plays of at least 15 yards...— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) December 3, 2016
• 18 -- Westbrook
• 20 -- Westbrook
• 69 -- Westbrook (TD)
• 67 -- Flowers
Oklahoma receiver Dede Westbrook left the game in the second quarter with an apparent head injury after taking this hit from Jordan Sterns. OU wouldn’t need him though, as their running game found new life in the second half.
This game was a bit closer than the final score suggests, at least in my opinion. OSU had three trips inside the OU red zone in the first half and came away with just three points to show for it.
A common theme of this game was Oklahoma State’s inability to take advantage of Sooner mistakes. Conversely, the Sooners did a good job of responding when OSU threatened. The game flipped when OSU appeared to be poised to gain control in the second quarter after Mason Rudolph barreled in for a touchdown to take a 17-10 lead with 1:28 left. Oklahoma was having serious trouble stopping the Cowboy rushing attack, and the defense was balling out.
After the touchdown, Oklahoma would need just five plays and a minute to tie the game up before halftime. The Sooners got the ball after halftime, and the rest is history.
Oklahoma State falls to 9-3 on the season, and to 2-8 against Oklahoma in the last ten installments of Bedlam. They will await their bowl destination, which appears to be the Alamo Bowl. They would face Colorado or USC.
Full game info (courtesy of ESPN.com):
Check back with CRFF tomorrow morning for our final thoughts on Bedlam.