Reality Check: Sooners show Okie State who's No. 1

Oklahoma quarterback Jason White holds the Bedlam Bell trophy over his head as he walks off the field following the game against Oklahoma State after the Sooners' 52-9 win over the Cowboys Saturday in Norman. White threw two touchdown passses and the Oklahoma defense held OSU to a season-low 161 yards of total offense in the win. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma State Head Coach Les Miles learned a valuable lesson in his Cowboy's loss to Oklahoma: If you're going to talk the talk, you need to be able to walk the walk.

"We're playing the nation's top-ranked team, or so we've been told," said a then-confident Miles after Oklahoma State's win over Texas A&M last Saturday.

Well, Miles' Cowboys didn't need to be told again on Saturday in Norman because they were shown just why Oklahoma is ranked No. 1, as the Sooners ended a two-game losing streak to Okie State with a 52-9 Bedlam blowout in front of a record crowd of 84,027 fans at Owen Field.

"It was a very solid football game and I was very proud of our players and assistant coaches," said Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops. "They've really done an excellent job and had a great game plan. Our players really focused in and played well and showed they really like to rise to the occasion in games like this that really matter, and when there is a championship involved."

"They are an awfully good football team, we knew that coming in," said Miles, who is now 1-2 against Oklahoma. "We didn't get exactly what we wanted from our football team, but they certainly did."

"Four turnovers early in the game hurt. You can't do that against a great football team. We just couldn't get off the goal line and made it a short field for them. They capitalized on it."

Most of the talk surrounding Saturday's Bedlam matchup surrounded OU's and OSU's offense, but it was the Sooner defense that once again loomed large in a big game. Oklahoma's defense held a Cowboy offense that averaged over 41 points and 444 yards a game to just 9 points and 161 yards while producing four sacks and forcing three turnovers.

"Our defense didn't give up a touchdown the entire day," said Stoops. "To stop them and keep them out of the end zone showed a lot of pride and toughness by our defense. That's as proud a defense as I have seen us play."

"As a defense, we were ready," said junior defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek. "It definitely proved better than the last two years. The coaches prepared us very well for this game. We've probably had our best week of preparation since I've been here. We were ready to go and executed the game plan to perfection."

Oklahoma State's players were just as impressed as everybody else.

"OU has a great defense, and they played their hearts out today," said OSU receiver Rashaun Woods, who was held to just four catches for 25 yards. "They played 100 percent, and they should be commended."

OSU running back Tatum Bell said: "They were better than I thought. They got a lot more speed than I thought they had. We never got into sync. We never got comfortable running plays. Really, the way we played, it seemed like we never got off the bus."

"We just couldn't get it going on offense because of their pass rush," said Miles. "We couldn't get our quarterback comfortable in the pocket even with play action. It was difficult to get the ball to our guys on the perimeter. That had the biggest effect on Rashaun. They did a good job covering us. (Derrick) Strait is a tremendous corner. They have some true playmakers."

Oklahoma jumped out to a 24-3 halftime lead behind two touchdown runs by Kejuan Jones and a 6-yard touchdown pass from Jason White to Brandon Jones, but the Cowboys made a comeback attempt early in the second half. Oklahoma State cornerback Darrent Williams intercepted a White pass and returned 11-yards for a touchdown to cut OU's lead to 24-9 with 11:47 to go in the third quarter, but that would be as close as the Cowboys would get as the Sooners would respond with 28 unanswered points to end the game.

White capped an 8-play, 81-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Sooners up 31-9 at the 5:29 mark of the third quarter. On the Sooners' next drive, junior receiver Mark Bradley took a hand-off on a reverse threw a pass 17-yards for a touchdown to Mark Clayton and the rout was on. And with that touchdown catch, Clayton became the all-time leader in career touchdown receptions with nine.

White then threw the dagger through Oklahoma State's heart midway through the fourth quarter when he found Brandon Jones deep over the middle for a 66-yard touchdown pass with 8:50 to go.

OU tacked on another late fourth quarter score with 5:42 to go when Paul Thompson found Bradley in the corner of the end zone on a 14-yard touchdown pass to put the Sooners up 52-9.

Overall, it was an ‘off-day' for White, who completed 11 of his 27 pass attempts for 194 yards including two interceptions, but still a great day for the offense. Oklahoma's offense racked up over 446 yards of total offense including 221 on the ground.

"We came out and ran the ball real well the entire ball game and that started to open things up," said White. "Toward the end, we started to throw the ball a little bit better. It gave us confidence that our running backs kept running hard and that carried over to our passing game."

"You would have thought all week the plot was about their offense," Stoops said of his offense, that scored over 50 points for the fifth time this season. "You would have thought we had no offense coming in the game. I looked at statistics all week and we had more points, more yards, a decent amount too, but that was never talked about the whole week."

"They pretty much dominated us," said Oklahoma State center Ben Buie. "We had to get away from our game plan. We were facing a lot of third-and-longs, and they were bringing the house. They really didn't surprise us. We knew what they were going to do, but we just couldn't stop them."

With Oklahoma State now out of the way the Sooners have three potential hurdles to clear (Texas A&M, Baylor, at Texas Tech) before a potential Big 12 Championship and National Championship game. Stoops wrapped up the win and talked about OU's goals for the rest of the season.

"The team was very focused and anxious," said Stoops. "Our guys like it when there is a lot riding on it. The pressure's on, there are championship implications, that's gets our attention and they prepared for it."

"Beating Oklahoma State isn't going to be the end all of our season. Fans are going to be mad if we don't finish up here and win a championship. You can deny it all you want, but that's what we've been about and that's what we will remain about. This game means nothing without the next three."

Up next for the Sooners is another revenge matchup against Texas A&M next weekend in Norman. Kick-off is scheduled for 11 a.m (CST).

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