Bedlam film review: First half

There were almost too many plays that stood out during Bedlam so film review is in two parts. Here's the first half.

Every play matters but some stick out more than others. Each week Sooners Illustrated will look at the five plays that stood out in Oklahoma's performance. This week it's the first half of OU's 33-24 win at Oklahoma State.

Play No. 1: Roland called back

Bedlam started off with a bang, or at least we thought. OSU running back Desmond Roland took it outside, hit the hole, and he was gone.

Nobody touched him en route to a 75-yard touchdown run that had Boone Pickens Stadium rocking. Problem was the Cowboys were called for holding. A clear holding, too, as Zack Sanchez had no way of breaking free on the edge to stop the play.

OSU went three and out on the drive and went from having a 7-0 lead to being momentarily deflated. Roland ended up with 21 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns regardless.

It's tough to say that would have changed the tone of the game, but it halted any momentum OSU thought it would have.

Play No. 2: Déjà vu for Saunders

OU wide receiver Jalen Saunders set Norman on fire with an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter in last year's Bedlam.

He did it a little earlier this time around. With OU down 7-0, Saunders took a punt 64 yards for a touchdown to ignite the spark for the Sooners.

It was a nice return by Saunders, who patiently waited for the first wave of defenders to leave. After that, he busted it toward the sideline and nobody was going to catch him.

Play No. 3: Ndulue stones Roland

You wouldn't be wrong to call this the biggest play of the game. Roland gashed the OU defense for a 51-yard gain. Gabe Lynn sized up Roland and whiffed badly. The hustle of Julian Wilson was the only thing that kept that from being a touchdown.

Lynn made up for that mistake with two big stops on first and second down. And then Chuka Ndulue had probably his biggest play as a Sooner.

Facing fourth-and-goal at the 1 yard line, Roland went straight up the gut, only to be met and denied by Ndulue.

"It's football, you know," Ndulue said. "I just wanted the chance to make a play. It's a rivalry game. I was able to make it."

Play No. 4: Saunders converts on fourth down

The first indicator that Bob Stoops was going to throw caution to the wind and take some chances. OU trailed 10-7 late in the second quarter and the Sooners faced fourth-and-1 at OSU's 44 yard line.

OU fooled the defense with a Trevor Knight pitch to Saunders, who easily picked up the first down on a 12-yard gain.

The Sooners didn't cash in for six, but OU closed out the half with an 8:02 drive that led to a field goal and a 10-10 game at intermission.

Play No. 5: Knight banged up

But before OU could tie it up, it suffered a major blow. Knight rolled out in hopes of finding the end zone on third-and-goal from the 4 yard line.

He kept the play going with his legs before deciding to stretch for it. He was smashed on the sideline and injured his shoulder.

Knight wouldn't see the field again and would only add to the drama of what would be a wild second half in Bedlam.

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