- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma kept its BCS hopes alive with a 42-34 win over Baylor at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Here's a look at how the Sooners improved to 7-2 overall, 5-1 in the Big 12.
How the game was won: OU’s defense buckled down after allowing 9 points early in the third quarter. The Sooners forced a punt and turnover on downs after Baylor cut OU’s lead to 28-26 with 7:42 to play in the third. The Bears didn't score another point until less than two minutes remaining in the game, though, and OU’s offense scored back-to-back touchdowns in the same span.
Turning point: BU appeared to have all of the momentum after pulling within two, but the Sooners responded with touchdowns on back-to-back drives, capped by Blake Bell’s 55-yard touchdown run. The play showed the versatility of OU’s offense, which can make the Sooners a nightmare for most opponents.
Stat of the game: 9 of 12. The Sooners converted 9 of 12 third downs to keep drives alive and eventually turn them into points. OU punted just three times in the game.
Player of the game: Damien Williams. Rushing for 99 yards and a touchdown, the junior looked like he was recovered form an ankle injury that hampered him against Iowa State. His quick feet and explosiveness returned on Saturday.
Unsung hero of the game: Ty Darlington. The true-freshman center started the first game of his career after Gabe Ikard couldn’t play due to a head injury. Although Darlington was called for two penalties, he held up well after being thrown into the fire, helping OU finish with 467 total yards, including 190 rushing.
What it means: The Sooners' hopes of a BCS berth remain intact despite some uncertain moments after halftime. OU looks to be in the driver’s seat if it can win its final three games against West Virginia, Oklahoma State and TCU. Baylor's bowl hopes are quickly diminishing. The Bears fell to 4-5 overall, 1-5 in the Big 12. It's not all bad for BU however, thanks to a three-touchdown performance by dynamic sophomore running back Lache Seastrunk, who appears to have a bright future in green and gold.