Big XII Week XII Game of the Week: Bedlam Blowout
Bedlam, the most historic matchup in the Big XII. An in-state rivalry that is among the upper echelon of college football rivalries. #18 Oklahoma State at #14 Oklahoma went to battle to be the favorite for the Big XII title. Oklahoma took a commanding 21-point lead in the 1st quarter and never looked back.
For Oklahoma, the offense looked like the high-flying offense of old under Lincoln Riley, and this defense has progressed nicely since Alex Grinch took over. On the other side, Oklahoma State came out flat and then lost starting quarterback Spencer Sanders for over a half of the game. After the Spencer injury, the writing was on the wall for Oklahoma State and that message spelled toast. Let’s take a deep dive into the Bedlam Blowout.
To open the game, Oklahoma came out on fire. The Sooners scored 21 straight, and it became apparent then that this game would get out of hand. When Oklahoma State was finally driving and looking to score their first points of the game, they were struck by disaster when starting quarterback Spencer Sanders was taken out of the game via injury. In came backup quarterback Shane Illingworth for Spencer Sanders. Throughout the first half, Illingworth played semi-efficiently, and the deficit was cut to 14 by the Cowboys. As you can probably tell, disaster is about to strike for the visitors in the second half.
The headline for the second half is Oklahoma’s defensive eradication of the Cowboys offense. Oklahoma State had five second-half drives. They ended with four punts and a turnover on downs. Oklahoma’s defense came alive all game with four sacks, seven tackles-for-loss, and an interception. Oklahoma pass-rusher Ronnie Perkins had a beautiful performance with two sacks and three tackles-for-loss. I am personally excited to see Ronnie Perkins play on Sundays in the NFL.
My takeaway from Oklahoma is that they have the best defense in Big XII,with no close competition. My takeaway from Oklahoma State is that the Cowboys offense gave up on running the ball in the second half in favor of passing too early. When Illingworth/Sanders dropped back to pass, Oklahoma was already back there with him. The passing game was crippled all-day and both quarterbacks combined for a 37.5 completion percentage. Oklahoma State needs to wholeheartedly embrace the ideology that they’re a run-first team with Chuba Hubbard as the centerpiece of the offense.
Oklahoma State choked away their best chance to win the Big XII title in recent years. Saturday’s ugly loss for the Cowboys now has them playing catchup with Sooners and Cyclones for a chance to win the title. For the Sooners, Saturday was big for them. Rattler gained confidence, experience and will shoot up the rankings after beating a “superior” opponent. Saturday’s matchup wasn’t quite as entertaining as past Bedlam Battles, but it was a meaningful game. I can’t wait until next year’s clash.