OU football: Jones shines in fourth quarter of Bedlam showdown
- Junior wide receiver Jalen Saunders' 81-yard punt return for a touchdown 28%
- Sophomore quarterback Blake Bell's four-yard game-tying rushing touchdown 26%
- Junior Running back Brennan Clay's 18-yard game-winning rushing touchdown 46%
57 total votes.
After staring at a two-touchdown deficit during the first quarter, senior quarterback Landry Jones had a challenge of a last home game in a Sooner uniform cut out for him against a potent Oklahoma State football team.
The Sooners flopped early on both sides of the ball during the 107th Bedlam meeting, settling for field goal attempts on two of its first three offensive drives — with sophomore kicker Michael Hunnicutt missing one — while the defense gave up 71 yards and 14 points during the first 15 minutes.
OSU barely missed a beat, punting on its first drive before tabbing touchdowns on the next two consecutive possessions, including seven points off of Jones’ lone interception in the game.
But then the veteran quarterback and the OU offense started to settle into a groove that allowed the Sooners to catch up to the Cowboys.
“It was so early (in the game) and we weren't going to continue to make those mistakes,” coach Bob Stoops said about the confidence following the first quarter. “We were moving the ball so we just needed to stay positive.”
With just under seven minutes left in the half, Jones connected with junior fullback Trey Millard for OU’s first touchdown of the game. From that point on, the Sooners started to gain traction on both sides of the ball.
After the Cowboys marched down to OU’s 25-yard line, junior cornerback Aaron Colvin won the tip drill battle for the Sooners’ first interception which allowed the OU offense to come up with points on a crossing pass from Jones to junior wide receiver Jalen Saunders to tie the game up 17-all with 2:42 left in the second quarter.
The Sooners ability to go quickly downfield to negate the first OSU lead was something that the coaches knew they could get from their veteran leader.
“[Jones] always gives you a chance for big plays and score quickly,” Stoop said. “He always throws it great and the line was getting him good protection."
Although OU never led in the first half, erasing the OSU leads throughout the game put the Sooners back into the contest they were nearly ran out of during the first 15 minutes. The Sooners found ways to knot up the game two more times but failed to take the lead each time.
Then, the fourth quarter madness began.
Under duress with the seconds ticking away, Jones and Co. put together a pivotal 17-play, 86-yard drive that took the team from the OU 14-yard line all the way down to the OSU four-yard line before sophomore quarterback Blake Bell dashed in for the rushing touchdown with four seconds left into regulation to tie the game up at 45-all.
Overtime then favored the Sooners after the defense held OSU to a field goal and OU used two running plays to earn its first and only lead to win the game.
The scenario was the second consecutive time OU trailed in the fourth quarter to win a ballgame after the Sooners found themselves behind until Jones connected with junior wide receiver Kenny Stills for the 50-49 win over West Virginia a week ago in Morgantown. The pair of comeback successes was something that the coaches said speaks for the type of players that are on OU's roster.
"These guys have been tremendous in finishing games in the last couple of weeks," co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. "They're confident, poised and they just keep playing the next play."
Ultimately, OSU defense was prepared to face Jones in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter and in overtime but that allowed the OU run game to dial up the pressure to win the game.
Jones ended up finishing the game with 500 yards in the air and was 46-of-71 in pass attempts that saw three different receivers finish with 100-yard games for the first time in OU's history. But all of those stats were minuscule to the senior, who claimed this win as one of his favorite because of its ending.
"You always remember the games where you come from behind and get the victory," Jones said. "God has blessed (us) so much for taking our team through those situations and allowing us to put it together at the end."