With 5:11 left in the fourth quarter, the Sooners led 35-21. Here’s how a 14-point lead in the final five minutes turns into a three-point overtime loss.
Possession No. 1: OSU touchdown
The Cowboys took over at their own 43 yard line with 5:11 left following a punt by OU’s Jed Barnett. Freshman cornerback Jordan Thomas started for the Sooners and had played the entire game. But he was a little banged up so senior Julian Wilson entered the lineup in the fourth quarter. OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph knew exactly what to do.
The freshman completed a 14-yard pass to Brandon Shepherd to get into OU’s territory, and then scored on the next play on a 40-yard strike to Shepherd. Both passes were targeted at Wilson and happened so fast that the comeback wasn’t as crazy as it first sounded.
Possession No. 2: OU goes three-and-out
A touchback put OU at its 25 to start the next possession. This drive was about OSU using its timeouts to try to give it a shot later. On a third-and-two, Alex Ross lost two yards, and OSU used its final timeout with four minutes remaining.
“It hurts,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “When some of your better players aren’t in there it changes you a little bit and you’re not quite as effective.”
Possession No. 3: Sanchez saves the day
This was supposed to be the Bedlam memory. Facing a third-and-12 at OSU’s 25, Rudolph made his only mistake of the game. OU cornerback Zack Sanchez stepped in front for his sixth interception of the season. Owen Field was rocking. OU was 3:16 away from going to 9-3.
“I feel like everybody got a sense that it was over,” Sanchez said. “It just wasn’t our night for whatever reason.”
Possession No. 4: Hill makes magic
OU went backwards on this drive, but it didn’t seem like it would matter. OSU didn’t have timeouts, and a punt pinned OSU at its 15 yard line.
Of course, that’s not how it turned out. OU chose to accept a running into the kicker penalty, and Tyreek Hill made it pay with an electrifying 92-yard punt return down the sideline to silence 85,000 fans.
“I mean with 45 seconds left when you punt the ball you hope the defense can go and you have a timeout,” defensive lineman Chuka Ndulue said. “If you’re a smart guy you’d figure the defense could hold them going down the field, but things don’t go as planned.”
Opposite emotions for Hill.
“At the time it didn’t feel real. I was crying while I was running; tears of joy,” Hill said. “I knew I had to make one (defender) miss. Once I made him miss, I knew I was gone.”
OU never recovered after that. An attempt at a final possession fizzled. The overtime possession was a wreck, ultimately resulting in a missed 44-yard field goal by Michael Hunnicutt.
“I just pulled it a little to the left,” Hunnicutt said. “Was trying to come back and get it inside the left upright. It is what it is. One kick.”
OSU imposed its will in overtime and nailed a 21-yard field goal for the improbable Bedlam upset. And the latest “what the” moment for OU in 2014.