Before we turn the page to the Bedlam showdown for Oklahoma, let’s take one more look at the week that was.
Let’s look at just one more thing.
Perine, Rudolph give Bedlam some intrigue
Flashback to Nov. 21, and there wasn’t one reason to get excited about the annual showdown between OU and Oklahoma State.
Both of them were out of contention for a national championship and for a conference championship. The game being played on college football’s championship weekend had many hoping it would serve as perhaps a conference championship game, but it isn’t even close to that.
OSU, once upon time 5-1, had dropped four straight games. OU, once upon time 4-0, was 7-3 and talking about playing in the Russell Athletic Bowl or Alamo Bowl. Not at all what OU fans had considered when 2014 started.
By Nov. 23, though, things changed. It’s still a lot about pride more than anything else, but the events of Nov. 22 have given the game at least some flavor.
Starting with OU, and it’s all about Samaje Perine. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know full well what the freshman running back did against KU. Perine rushed for 427 yards on 34 carries with five touchdowns in OU’s win and set the all-time NCAA FBS single game record for rushing yards in a game.
For the season, he has rushed for 1,428 yards and a ridiculous 19 touchdowns, averaging a jaw-dropping 6.7 yards per carry this season. He is OU’s first 1,000-yard rusher since DeMarco Murray in 2010.
The game plan seems simple for OU this weekend – feed the beast. With OSU’s struggles on offense, put a few early touchdowns on the board and coast to a Bedlam victory.
Problem is this is a different OSU team than the one who arrived to Waco, Texas, to face Baylor on Nov. 22. The speculation going into that one was about who would start at quarterback. With J.W. Walsh already out, there were reports Daxx Garman wasn’t going to be able to go.
So the question became about whether or not OSU would burn the redshirt of freshman quarterback Mason Rudolph. The answer was an emphatic yes as Rudolph certainly gave Cowboy fans reasons to smile about the future.
No, his 13-of-25 passing for 281 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions didn’t set the world on fire, and OSU did lose 49-28 to the Bears. But he showed a lot of poise in his first start and having to do it this late in the season on the road.
And he made plays happen. It’s not like OU’s passing game will be the talk of the town, either, as it’s possible redshirt freshman Cody Thomas will make third career start Saturday.
Championships are going to be won Friday and Saturday. Tickets are going to be punched to be included in the first four-team college football playoff.
It won’t happen in Norman, not this year. The Sooners are playing for their third consecutive win to finish the regular season and set themselves up for the best bowl possible. OSU is obviously fighting for its bowl eligibility and to avoid ending the season on a six-game losing streak.
And with Perine in one corner and Rudolph in the other, at least it shouldn’t be a boring afternoon at Owen Field.