Behind a dominating ground game and a smothering second-half defense, the Oklahoma Sooners took Big 12 South tie-breakers out of the equation on Saturday with a 49-17 thumping of Oklahoma State at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Senior running back Allen Patrick ran for a career-high 202 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 7.0 yards a carry. The Sooners racked up 307 yards on the ground and scored on all but three possessions.
Oklahoma's run game took the pressure off quarterback Sam Bradford, who wasn't cleared by doctors to play in the Bedlam matchup until Thursday. Bradford suffered a concussion early in last week's loss to Texas Tech.
Still, the nation's leader in passer efficiency lived up to that billing as he completed 11-of-15 passes for 150 yards and just one interception. He threw four touchdown passes on the night, the second of which set an NCAA record for TD passes in a season by a freshman.
Oklahoma scored on each of its four first-half possessions and took a 28-10 lead into halftime.
The Cowboys were effective in moving the ball as they racked up 217 first-half yards, but came away mostly empty-handed. That included being stopped on four straight plays inside the OU 1 early in the second quarter.
Zac Robinson tried to run around the right end, but fumbled trying to cross the goal line.
A Cowboy TD would have cut OU's lead to seven points. Instead, the Sooners drove 87 yards in 11 plays and took a 28-7 lead on Bradford's two-yard pass to Joe Jon Finley.
Oklahoma (10-2, 6-2) racked up 263 yards on 35 first-half plays, mixing in the occasional pass with a heavy dose of the run.
Patrick had 140 yards by halftime.
The Sooner offense's only stagnant time came on its first two possessions of the second half. Oklahoma ran six plays and netted seven yards. On the third play of the second drive, Bradford threw an interception to Jacob Lacey, who returned it 23 yards to the Sooner 1.
That resulted in a one-yard TD drive by the Cowboys to cut OU's lead to 28-17.
But the hope stopped there for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma drove 59 yards in eight plays and scored when Finley caught his second TD of the night, this one from 12 yards.
That was more than enough for the Sooner defense. After showing holes in the first half, the Sooners held OSU to just 84 yards in the second half and without a first down for the final 26 minutes.
On its last four drives, OSU (6-6, 4-4) gained eight yards and ran only 10 plays.
Conversely, the Sooner offense kept rolling. After the early hiccup, the Sooners ran off drives of eight, seven, eight and nine yards. Oklahoma had 224 more yards in the second half.
Oklahoma got on the board first when the Sooners drove 50 yards in nine plays. Patrick caught an 11-yard TD pass for a 7-0 lead.
The Sooners struck again four minutes later on Patrick's five-yard TD run.
After the Cowboys put together a 13-play, 87-yard TD drive, the Sooners answered with a 68-yard drive capped by Chris Brown's three-yard score early in the second.
Patrick added his second TD early in the fourth quarter. Quentin Chaney caught his first TD pass of the season from Bradford to cap Oklahoma's scoring.
The win assured the Sooners the Big 12 South title and a spot in Saturday's Big 12 Championship at San Antonio, Texas. A loss would have put the Sooners in a three-way tie, bringing a tie-breaker into play.
Oklahoma will be playing tonight's Missouri-Kansas winner in San Antonio. The Sooners will be vying for their second consecutive conference crown.