Oklahoma not only lost its chance at a national championship last week when it was defeated at Texas Tech, but some major contributors as well. Among them were quarterback Sam Bradford (concussion) and running back DeMarco Murray (knee).
With Bradford in doubt, Murray undoubtedly out and Oklahoma State coming to town, trepidation was running high in Sooner country.
During all the apparent turmoil, it seems everyone forgot senior Allen Patrick was more than capable of carrying the offense.
He did it a year ago when Adrian Peterson went down with a shoulder injury and he did it again Saturday night in OU's 49-17 win over Oklahoma State.
In his last performance on Owen Field, Patrick rushed 29 times for 202 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught an 11-yard TD reception, the first of his career, and had 46 yards in kickoff returns.
All this from a guy who's been splitting time with Murray and Chris Brown most of the season, mostly because he hasn't been able to separate himself like he did a year ago.
"It was a pay back to my team. I had a fumble early on in the game against Texas Tech and I just tried to come out here and focus on playing a better game today," Patrick said. "Today was my last day to come out and perform in front of the home crowd so I just tried to go out with a bang"
Patrick and the Sooner offensive front were dominant from the start. Oklahoma scored touchdowns on all four of its first-half possessions and led 28-10 at the break. Patrick had 142 yards by halftime and took considerable pressure of Bradford, who suffered a concussion in the Tech game.
"It was unreal. He ran really hard tonight and made some great cuts," Bradford said. "I can't really say enough. It's a great way for him to go out on a senior night."
Patrick, who missed much of the preseason with an ankle injury, looked more like the 2006 version of himself. Of course, his offensive front put together its best performance of the season as well. Oklahoma had 307 total rushing yards.
"Their offensive line mashed us. They just knocked us back and pummeled our guys," OSU head coach Mike Gundy said. "We knew they had an effective running game and they got it going and were able to block down on us. They were able to mash down on our guys and run the football effectively."
Center Jon Cooper said his unit, which has come under scrutiny for its production this season too, had been challenged all week to play with an attitude against the Cowboys. Was the attitude there?
"Yeah there was, especially up front," he said. "We got challenged to come out in this game and really make a statement. We really tried to come out and run the ball for four quarters."
Before the game, Patrick met with head coach Bob Stoops, who told him not to dwell on the past, in particular last week's fumble to start the Texas Tech loss.
"He was just telling me to clear my head and not to worry about what happened last week, but just come out here and play my game," Patrick said.
Stoops obviously liked what he saw.
"I was especially proud of Allen Patrick," he said in his post-game comments. "He received the first game ball I gave out. He is a hard-playing, tough example to our team of just persevering and with how hard he plays."