Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

December 8, 2013

Sooner Magic

Bell's TD pass to Saunders spoils OSU's hopes for Big 12 title

STILLWATER — It took a little over 57 minutes, but Bedlam finally broke out at Boone Pickens Stadium. That was when a defensive struggle turned into an offensive shootout.

Oklahoma landed the last two blows and left with a 33-24 upset victory in one of the most memorable games in the series’ 108-game history.

“We knew what we had to get done and we kept our composure out there,” said OU wide receiver Jalen Saunders, who hauled in the game-winning touchdown catch with 19 seconds left.

Who Saunders caught the pass from, the set of circumstances leading up to it, and the chain reaction to bowl scenarios because of it were major parts of what etched Saturday into OU lore.

The 18th-ranked Sooners (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) entered the day with no chance for a Big 12 Conference title. The No. 6 Oklahoma State (10-2, 7-2) was the league’s only team just needing to win to claim a share of the crown and the league’s berth to the Fiesta Bowl.

The Sooners were 10-point underdogs with their third-string quarterback — Blake Bell — on the field the entire fourth quarter.

Somehow, OU made it all work out in its favor.

Starting quarterback Trevor Knight suffered a left shoulder injury late in the first half. OU switched back and forth between Bell and Thompson throughout much of the third quarter before landing on Bell at the start of the fourth.

Turned out to be the right decision. Bell threw for 140 yards with 131 of it coming in the final 15 minutes.

“Whenever I got my opportunity, I wanted to do the best I could,” Bell said. “With Trevor going down and Kendal coming in, I knew once I got my shot, I needed to — that first third-and-long I came in, I obviously should have made that play, but once I got in the rhythm of the game, yeah, I felt like everything was clicking.”

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