Big 12: Sooners-Cowboys-111203

Promising Oklahoma season turns sour

December, 4, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- After taking the field first, several Sooners went directly to the other end of the stadium and waited for the Cowboys to emerge from their tunnel.

But Oklahoma never backed the talk. Not Saturday. Not August, either.

Oklahoma State saved its talking for the field and rolled 44-10 Saturday night, reducing preseason No. 1 to a punch line by the third quarter. After Jeremy Smith's 37-yard touchdown dash made it 44-3, two OSU offensive linemen held up the "shark fins" to their foreheads. After OSU's Justin Gilbert intercepted Landry Jones in the fourth quarter, the theme from "Jaws" reverberated throughout Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Sooners entered the weekend with a chance to capture their eighth Big 12 title and advance to the Fiesta Bowl. They exited with their biggest Bedlam defeat since 1945, and could plummet as far as the Holiday Bowl, the fifth bowl in the Big 12 pecking order.

For Jake Trotter's full column, click here.

And click here for more coverage SoonerNation of Oklahoma's defeat.

Maisel: Oklahoma State gets last word

December, 4, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- The question of whether or not No. 2 Alabama should be penalized already has been answered. While No. 3 Oklahoma State beat its archrival No. 10 Oklahoma, 44-10, getting a last and very powerful word before the BCS judges, its rival for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome sideline opposite No. 1 LSU watched mutely from Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Crimson Tide didn't play Saturday because it's not a conference champion. That's a feeling with which the Cowboys are all too familiar. They had never won an outright conference championship. Ever.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, who five days ago explained that it wouldn't be fair to rank his Cowboys ahead of the Tide, had a change of heart Saturday night.

"They had their shot," Gundy said. "Just give us ours."

For Ivan Maisel's full column, click here.

Video: Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle

December, 4, 2011
Joseph Randle talks about Oklahoma State’s Bedlam win and what it means to the Cowboys.

Mike Gundy's postgame dance is back

December, 4, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- If you didn't already know how to do the Gundy, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is trying once again to teach you.

He broke out his signature dance move for his team after its 44-10 victory over Oklahoma.

You can see him bust his move at the :40 mark of this video.

"I had no choice," he said.

OSU takes back state bragging rights

December, 4, 2011

STILLWATER, Okla. -- The proud Pokes finally did the deed.

The goalposts came down, and the Oklahoma State flags went up.

Red state? Blue state? For the first time since 2002, Oklahoma is an orange state.

The impact of Saturday's dominant 44-10 Oklahoma State win over Oklahoma was far-reaching. After voters from coast to coast slot LSU No. 1, they'll have to decide on No. 2: Alabama or Oklahoma State?

But on this night, the Cowboys had a chance to enjoy the simpler pleasures, too.

All that politicking and SEC mudslinging will last less than 24 hours.

This win on Saturday night? It'll last a whole year and bleed everywhere -- from coffee shops to elementary schools across Oklahoma.

Coach Mike Gundy says he's immune from the ever-present smack talk. But everybody else?

"I know it affects the players," Gundy said. "And coaches' families, their kids. I've got three kids that go to school, and all the coaches have kids. They want to win. That's what their dads do. That's just a fact. Whether you like it or not, there's legitimate reasons for us to win, so when they go in those restaurants, they don't have to listen to, 'Hey, y'all made it all the way to No. 2 in the country, but you still didn't beat OU.'"

[+] EnlargeOklahoma State celebration
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesThis was only the 17th time Oklahoma State has beaten their in-state rivals Oklahoma.
They played this Bedlam rivalry for the 106th time on Saturday night. This was only the 17th time that Oklahoma State fans left with their heads held high.

"It's one thing to hear it around the rest of the state, but when you go home and you have to hear people talk to you about it, it makes it worse," said receiver Justin Blackmon, who hails from the heart of Sooner country. His hometown of Ardmore, Okla., is only about 80 miles south of Norman.

"I know they won't be able to talk," Blackmon said.

The simple truth: Wins like these are more special for the folks in orange. They don't see them quite as often, but that number is growing.

For a year, they'll relish the first outright conference title in school history and the first since they shared a conference crown in 1976.

Gundy called it the most gratifying football moment of his career, overtaking the first time he beat Texas in 2010.

"Nothing compares," said the career Cowboy, who has spent 21 years as a player, assistant and now head coach at Oklahoma State.

This one was special.

"We've earned their respect over the last four, five, six years, so it's different," Gundy said. "There were a number of years we didn't even have their respect. They respected us, and that helps, but still, you've gotta beat 'em. Otherwise it's always, OSU has got to this level or that level, but they've never beat OU."

And Gundy, in a fashion that turned the second half into a party atmosphere instead of a tense one, became the first coach since that coaching savant down in the Bayou, Les Miles, to knock off Oklahoma as the Cowboy-in-chief.

The Cowboys didn't beat Oklahoma. They beat the heck out of Oklahoma. The offensive line: "Phew, dominant," quarterback Brandon Weeden said with a shake of his head.

Weeden had enough time in the pocket for most of the night to craft each of his linemen a handwritten thank-you note to hand out in the postgame locker room, where Gundy obliged his team with another one of his patented dance sessions.

"I had no choice," he said. "I'm a YouTube sensation. There's no telling what'll be on there next."

That was only after a well-deserved Gatorade shower.

"God, that was cold," Gundy said.

Yeah, Oklahoma fans felt the same way.

Oklahoma State running backs Jeremy Smith and Joseph Randle -- who combined ran 22 times for 178 yards and four touchdowns -- found holes from the offensive line wide enough that if the two were Siamese twins, their numbers might not have been much different.

The last time Oklahoma State took the field, Iowa State fans stormed it. Saturday night, it was the Cowboys' turn, all before slapping on orange shirts and white hats declaring them "Big 12 Champions."

Fans braved the nine-foot drop from the stands to the field at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Weeden stopped and posed for an endless string of photos. Players celebrated among the mob.

"I had my helmet on, and I got slapped in the head so many times, I might have a concussion," Weeden joked.

He stopped and shook Pickens' hand after. Those hundreds of millions of dollars that Pickens handed over to the school he loves so much? BCS National Championship Game appearance or not, it's paying off.

Oklahoma State, for the first time, is the Big 12 champion.

"To see [the players] enjoy that, that's a huge thrill for me, because there's so much that goes into this," Gundy said. "I just want them to be able to enjoy it."

They will. And so will the rest of the Oklahoma State family.

STILLWATER, Okla. -- That's as thorough a beating as any Bob Stoops team has taken since USC back in the Orange Bowl.

I believe for their efforts, the Trojans were given a ... national championship? Just some food for thought.

Followed by some analysis for dessert.

How the game was won: Oklahoma State dominated from start to finish in the 44-10 win. Oklahoma moved it early, but Oklahoma State piled on points after a Landry Jones fumble that set up the Cowboys' second touchdown. The second half never materialized as a real contest, especially after Jones inexplicably fumbled while trying to throw a bubble screen and Oklahoma State DE Richetti Jones scooped and scored from five yards out to make it 34-3 early in the third quarter.

Turning point: Down 10-0 and facing a 3rd-and-6 at OSU's 19, Jones was flushed out of the pocket, but OSU LB Alex Elkins caught him. He stripped the Sooners QB, and Jamie Blatnick returned the fumble 59 yards to the OU 1-yard line. The rout, as they say, was on.

Stat of the game: Remember that opportunistic Oklahoma State defense? The one that ranks second in the nation in turnover margin? It grabbed three turnovers in this one, stuffing an OU drive in OSU territory on one, returning another for a touchdown and returning a third to the 1. A solid beating turns to a rout fast when that happens.

Players of the game: Oklahoma State's offensive line. The holes were huge. Brandon Weeden had all day to throw. The Big 12's best front five played a heck of a game and gave the offense what it needed to operate, despite lots of early blitzes from Oklahoma that the Cowboys countered with screen passes. Late in the game, OSU continued to punish OU up front, too.

Second guessing: Poll voters and BCS computers. OSU didn't get any help from LSU, but Oklahoma State and Alabama were pretty close in my mind coming into Saturday night's game. The beatdown swung it in the Pokes' favor from where I'm sitting. No rematch. Let's see LSU's stifling defense take on an Oklahoma State offense that's scoring on everybody. LSU has never seen an offense like it would see in the Superdome. Oklahoma State's never seen a defense like it would encounter. Who doesn't want to see that?

What Oklahoma learned: It can't bounce back offensively from the loss of Ryan Broyles. It struggled last week against Iowa State. Baylor's defense? Well, it's not very good. But the Sooners struggled all night to put together a drive. Receivers weren't open, and OSU's corners, Brodrick Brown and Justin Gilbert, played outstanding games and both grabbed interceptions. Those receivers were plagued with the drops again, too, and without DE Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma's pass rush was non-existent.

What Oklahoma State learned: It can deliver a beating just like Oklahoma has done time and time again in this rivalry. The worst beating OSU had ever delivered before Saturday was a 47-0 win in 1945. Midway through the fourth quarter of this matchup, Oklahoma State fans started chanting "L-S-U! L-S-U!" in hopes that a date with the Tigers in the Superdome was on the way. Oklahoma State didn't surprise anybody by hanging as many points as it did, but the defense completely shutting down the Sooners? That's a shocker.

What it means: We're in for a very tense next 20 hours or so until the BCS standings are revealed on Sunday night. Virginia Tech, who was ahead of Oklahoma State in both human polls that factor into the BCS, lost to Clemson. That helps, and the lopsided fashion the Cowboys won will make lots of voters think twice about automatically putting Alabama at No. 2 behind LSU on their ballots. Oklahoma State can't hide from its horrible loss at Iowa State. But it has more quality wins than Alabama and has won all but two of its games impressively. Which will carry more weight?

Rough night gets worse for Landry Jones

December, 3, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- I suppose if you ask a quarterback to throw it enough times, bad things will happen eventually?

Landry Jones is on pace for a career high in attempts, but he's already been chiefly responsible for two Oklahoma State touchdowns.

On the latest, he looked like he was whipping the ball out to a receiver on a bubble screen, but the ball slipped out of his hands and went backward.

Richetti Jones scooped it up and returned it 5 yards for the score to make it 34-3 Cowboys early in the third quarter.

Jones already fumbled once on a sack that OSU returned 59 yards to the 1-yard line.

That was an outstanding team play from OSU, who got to Jones on a big blitz and linebacker Alex Elkins forced the fumble.

This one, though? It might have effectively ended the game. The only thing Oklahoma's done less than move the ball is keep Oklahoma State from moving it.

Ugly, ugly night for the Sooners.

Touching moment at Bedlam halftime

December, 3, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State hasn't played a home football game since a plane crash that killed four victims, including women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna.

At halftime, the bands from both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State paid homage.

The Sooners band joined Oklahoma State's to fill the field and play "Amazing Grace."

A fitting tribute and a nice touch. Well done by both sides.
STILLWATER, Okla.--Not quite the shootout most expected, but a fun game. Plenty of passes. Quite a few more incompletions than we thought we'd see, perhaps. Most of them by Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State has completely dominated to this point, even more complete than anyone probably could have expected. A mental block against the Sooners, who have won eight consecutive Bedlams? I think not. OSU is on point. The Cowboys are a better team than Oklahoma, but not this much better. The Cowboys are out to prove something to ... pretty much everyone.

Oklahoma banged in a 48-yard field goal at the halftime gun.

Turning point: Oklahoma needed to move the chains. Facing a 3rd-and-6 at the OSU 19-yard line, OSU brought a big blitz and linebacker Alex Elkins knocked the ball away from quarterback Landry Jones. Defensive end Jamie Blatnick scooped it up and rumbled, young man, rumbled 59 yards down to the Oklahoma 1-yard line. Joseph Randle punched in his 22nd rushing touchdown of the season a play later to give OSU total control at 17-0. OU went three-and-out on the ensuing possession.

Stat of the half: Oklahoma has inexplicably ignored its running game, despite not having receiver Ryan Broyles. Jones has thrown the ball 38 (!) times. The Sooners' backs have carried the ball just eight times.

Best player in the half: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State. Weeden's been very, very sharp while Jones has struggled. The Cowboys passer has completed 14 of 21 passes for 156 yards and consistently moved the chains, though he hasn't thrown a touchdown pass yet. The Cowboys have been running free on intermediate throws over the middle, and Weeden's been on the money all night.

What Oklahoma needs to do: Find a balance between a fast-paced offense capable of putting up points and an offense that doesn't ignore the running game. If it sounds near impossible, that's because it is. But that's life with a 21-point deficit at halftime against the nation's No. 3 team. Oklahoma's passing game simply isn't the same without Broyles. Against the kind of pressure OSU's defense puts on opposing offenses, that's abundantly clear tonight. Did Oklahoma feel like it had to come out and outgun OSU?

What Oklahoma State needs to do: Uh, everything it just did. Lost in the "24" on the scoreboard is the "3." Oklahoma State's defense has been aided by a few drops, but they've tackled well, hit harder than Oklahoma and has been sound everywhere with no busts. Opportunistic turnovers have surfaced, too. For Oklahoma State, if it wants a chance at the title, it better keep scoring and preventing Oklahoma from answering. Now is not the time for mercy. Now is the time for style points.

Sooners not sure-handed minus Broyles

December, 3, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Bob Stoops and Landry Jones told me this week about the little things that go missing without injured receiver Ryan Broyles.

Sometimes a receiver drifts too far or too short over the middle. He does things differently than Broyles, who had caught around a third of Jones' career completions before tearing his ACL against Texas A&M.

Last week in windy conditions against Iowa State, the Sooners receivers dropped seven passes. This week, we've already seen six by my count, plus a deep ball that Jaz Reynolds didn't help break up. Brodrick Brown intercepted that one.

Broyles' best attribute was his hands. If the ball touched them, he caught it.

For all the talk of the little differences between having and not having Broyles, tonight, it's the big ones that have hurt.

Numbers tell most of the Bedlam story

December, 3, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Sometimes, this game is pretty simple. So far, Bedlam fits the bill. Oklahoma State is dominating.

All you need to do is glance at the stat sheet to see why the Cowboys lead, 10-0.

Brandon Weeden has completed 8 of 10 passes for 115 yards, and the Cowboys offense has been as sharp as ever. The running game is rolling too. Jeremy Smith and Joseph Randle have run for 53 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Everything Oklahoma State has wanted to do offensively is working.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma has made moving the ball on Oklahoma State look pretty difficult. Landry Jones has completed just 9 of his 18 passes for 84 yards and an interception deep downfield in the end zone.

The running game? Nonexistent. Brandon Williams has three carries for nine yards and Trey Franks added four on an end around.

Analyze it all you want. This doesn't take much.

Oklahoma State has sprinted out front and the reasons are obvious.

Sooners coaches honor OSU victims

December, 3, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Sure, it's a rivalry, but it's civil.

Oklahoma's coaches are wearing orange ribbons tonight to remember the four victims of a plane crash last month that included Oklahoma State women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna.

Oklahoma State's offering up a tribute of its own, too, playing at home for the first time since the crash a little over two weeks ago.

The Cowboys have a "4" logo on the back of their helmets to honor the victims.

Sooners tweaking leaky secondary

December, 3, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma tried using defensive back Javon Harris.

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III and receiver Kendall Wright made it obvious that wasn't going to work earlier in the season. Apparently, neither will using experienced senior Sam Proctor.

Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson, who most often plays a nickel back position, is playing deep safety, something Bob Stoops has said a handful of times he has no intention of doing. Joseph Ibiloye replaced Jefferson underneath at the nickel back.

Jefferson might be Oklahoma's most instinctive defender outside of lineback Travis Lewis, and having him back there could help. Brandon Weeden hit Tracy Moore underneath for a 52-yard gain to set up a touchdown, but so far, Oklahoma's been solid over the top, where the Bears gave the Sooners big trouble.

It's definitely something to keep an eye on.

Landry Jones pressured, not sharp early

December, 3, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State didn't come after Sooners quarterback Landry Jones in a big way on the opening drive. Jones, however, did have one ugly overthrow to the sidelines and forced another pass deep to James Hanna that was nearly intercepted and got Hanna drilled by Markelle Martin.

Once the Cowboys turned up the blitzes, they worked.

Jones took two huge shots and got planted into the turf and had no time to throw. The result: A three-and-out.

We're still scoreless in Stillwater, but the Cowboys defense has shown up early, and it's clear Jones has noticed. He's 2-of-7 for 11 yards, and Oklahoma State's gotten the best of him so far.

After completing his first two passes, his next five have been incomplete.

Pregame fireworks narrowly avoided

December, 3, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma preceded Oklahoma State on the field Saturday, but a whole bunch of Sooners, after taking some time for personal prayer in the end zone, waited along the human tunnel to welcome Oklahoma State's players through the smoke billowing out of the corral.

Oklahoma players were hopping around, and had no intentions of heading to the sidelines. But a few crimson-clad coaches ran and pulled them off the line before the Cowboys took the field.

Could have been a bit of an ugly pregame scene, but it was avoided.